President Pritzker? Political analysts speculate on Illinois gov's future amid Biden's uncertainty

On Wednesday, Governor JB Pritzker will deliver his sixth State of the State address. His budget is likely to include plans to deal with a $900 million deficit, money for asylum seekers, and more green jobs. However, it's what he won't be addressing that has our political analysts talking.

Governor Pritzker is likely to deliver a familiar refrain during the State of the State address, all the while mindful that this year's speech may be as much about his future as his constituents'. Recent polls show 7 in 10 Americans believe Joe Biden is too old to run for re-election, and Pritzker is widely considered a first-tier candidate should this summer’s Democratic National Convention in Chicago become a "Biden's out" brokered event.

"Maybe the Democrats let Trump get nominated in Milwaukee and they come down here and pull a bait and switch on him. If they put anybody in there but Biden, they've got a pretty good chance to win," said Pat Brady, former Illinois GOP chair.

Following the State of the State, Pritzker heads to Nevada where he'll lobby for abortion rights, keeping him firmly in the national spotlight, which is exactly where he needs to stay should Biden drop out of the race in the 11th hour.

"He has resources. Everything at the last minute might require extraordinary resources. He's able to provide those," said Thom Serafin, political analyst.

While the State of the State is an opportunity for Pritzker to shine, all is not well in the Land of Lincoln. FOX 32’s resident Democrat and Republican analysts agree the governor will likely steer clear of the growing crisis that is outmigration.

"If you ask people in Springfield, they don't bring that up. We don't want to talk about it because that's a nasty statistic. Why are people leaving Illinois?" Serafin said.

"Downstate is basically universities and prisons. All the businesses that were there when I grew up as a kid are leaving and now they're leaving north of I-80. This is the economic engine of the state. We need to have a discussion and the governor needs to lead on this about how we're going to revitalize this state," Brady said.

Pritzker delivers the 2024 State of the State address in Springfield at noon on Wednesday.