Tough stretch ahead for Alexi Giannoulias

It could be a rough few months ahead for Illinois Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias.

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s (D) trial will proceed on June 3 as scheduled. Blagojevich’s team had been seeking a postponement until November.

Instead, Giannoulias’s Senate campaign will be confronted with a trial that is expected to last months, smack-dab in the middle of campaign season. The Chicago Democratic establishment will be on trial alongside Blagojevich, and Republicans will do everything they can to chain Giannoulias to the defense stand as well.

In addition, by late April the Giannoulias family bank must come up with $85 million in order to comply with a federal agreement and keep operating. Giannoulias has already said that he expects the bank to fail.

His numbers have stayed relatively solid through the primary season, and recent polling shows him with a lead over Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.). But his campaign will be put to the test in the months ahead.

His campaign got ahead of the bank news when he set the expectation of failure, but setting expectations for the trial will be tough.

—A.B.