But with a month to the election, some leading conservatives are grumbling that Keyes is frittering away the opportunity. They say he is wrong to focus almost exclusively on abortion and gay marriage in his public appearances. They complain that he lets the campaign wander into damaging side issues, particularly his comment that Vice President Dick Cheney's lesbian daughter is "a selfish hedonist." And they say he does little to spotlight specific votes or policies that might turn voters away from the front-runner, Democrat Barack Obama. "I think he had a great opportunity to make it clear there was a huge distinction between him and Mr. Obama, not just on social issues but on tax and budget issues," said tax attorney John Cox, who briefly ran for the GOP Senate nomination.And apparently, Steve Rauschenberger is still in the stage of denial:
"If he can turn those debates into an eloquent discussion of what he believes in and the future of Illinois," said state Sen. Steve Rauschenberger, R-Elgin, "he may still recover in a lot of people's opinions."