In Illinois, evidently the state bar association conducts an advisory poll of the lawyers in a given circuit about the qualifications of the judicial candidates for that circuit, and to be "recommended" the candidate has to score a 65 or higher on the poll.
And, from this fun article, it appears that some would-be judges are mad that they don't make the numbers. One supporter of a woman candidate complained that her low ratings were the result of gender bias. One lawyer was viewed by only 7.69% of the respondents as meeting the requirements for being a judge. One fellow who just missed the grade on temperament declared: "There's good reasons why bar associations don't choose judges." (I guess there was no separate category for subject-verb agreement.)
Heck, I don't know any of these lawyers or judges, but I had fun putting those quotes in the mouths of people I do know, in Virginia or Tennessee or somewhere around here.