Seven Essays: A Time Capsule Prediction of the Burns-Lauzen Contest

Here's my prediction of the outcome, made a week prior to the March 20 primary. Now you can find out: How cracked was Rick's crystal ball?

Consider this essay a time capsule.

I wrote most of it on March 13, copy edited it on March 19, and haven't looked at it since.

That means the prediction you are about to read has been sitting in my MacBook since a whole week before the primary, hermetically sealed in a mayonaise jar on Funk & Wagnal's porch ... along with the spicy promise that I could be horribly, embarrassingly wrong.

As You Know: Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns faced off against state Sen. Chris Lauzen in the Republican primary race for Kane County Board chairman. It was a cantankerous campaign, with both sides pushing each other's buttons hard enough to break fingers and punch holes.

For What It's Worth: I've know both gentlemen for some time, and I like them both. I think either have the potential to be fine and successful leaders of Kane County. It's kind of sad, as in her letter to the editor, that the contestants and the pre-primary commentary sunk so low.

Who Will Win? (You know who won. I don't, as I write this.) When this matchup first became known, I figured it would be a long uphill climb for Kevin. Chris is well known throughout Kane County. Obviously, Chris has a strong base in Aurora and with Steve Rauschenberger leading the campaign, Elgin would be strong at the other end of the county. Burns would have to take the Tri-Cities by a large margin to win. Plus, Chris has a fervant conservative following, folks who traditionally get out and vote in the primary.

One (probably very small) factor that might be interesting is how much the GOP presidential primary might affect the turnout, and therefore the local races. If Santorum does well in getting out the vote, that might work in Chris' favor. If Kane County is primarily pulled by Romney, that could give a slight edge to Kevin.

A week before the primary, I haven't seen anything that would change my initial analysis. Kevin basically swept the newspaper endorsements, but the days when newspapers heavily swayed voters are (perhaps sadly) long past.

I have been wrong many times in this pre-election guessing game. At those times, it's usually because the presumed underdog waged an effective, mostly-unseen, grassroots, door-to-door ground war. Kane County is too large, Kevin's funds too limited and time too short to overcome Chris' name recognition and formidable campaign skills.

So, my prediction is that Chris Lauzen will win. (Or, for you people of the future, "... that Chris Lauzen won.")

A lot can happen in the week before an election, and at my point in the timeline, no one for sure knows the outcome.

But you, in your borderline divine and mystical way, will ascertain the answers having never before seen the questions.

In other words, right now, you know whether my Burns-Lauzen prediction is worthy of Carnac the Magnificent or the equivalent of the hermetically sealed question that goes with the answer, "Sis Boom Bah."

(Describe the sound made when a sheep explodes.)


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