SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Against the wind

Tuesday, Oct 9, 2012

* My weekly syndicated newspaper column

There’s not a lot that a state legislative candidate can do when his or her party’s presidential nominee starts to tank.

The presidential race drives turnout to the point where candidates lower on the ballot must struggle mightily to rise above the noise and get their messages heard by distracted voters.

And because there are no statewide races in Illinois this year, that means there are no truly high-profile campaigns to “break up” any presidential advantage or momentum.

Congressional races are all that state legislators have this year to cushion the blow from the top, and down-ballot candidates are increasingly placing their hopes on those contests.

After 2010, downstate Illinois looked like highly fertile ground for the Republican Party. If the GOP had fielded better candidates in the Metro East area near St. Louis, for instance, they might have picked up more seats in the Legislature.

But 2010 is little more than a memory these days, and although downstate still has several opportunities for Republicans, the north and northwest Chicago suburbs appear to be gaining importance. Lots of proud ticket-splitters in that area, along with some viable Republican congressional incumbents (Bob Dold and Joe Walsh), means it could be fertile ground for the Republicans.

The 29th Senate District might be one example. Arie Friedman (R-Highland Park) is running as a moderate Republican. He was slammed hard last month by the conservative Illinois Family Institute for claiming to be pro-choice, which the Republicans actually loved. They believe the attack will help Friedman with more moderate voters, and that’s the path to victory.

The Democrats thought they had this Senate district in the bag, along with both of its House districts (Reps. Elaine Nekritz and Scott Drury). But the area’s congressional races (especially Dold) have the Republicans believing they’re at least in the hunt in all three legislative contests.

Polling shows single-digit advantages for the Democrats in those three races. If Dold’s lead evaporates, then the GOP candidates further down on the ballot are probably cooked. If Dold hangs in there, the others might at least have a shot.

So far, Dold appears to be holding his own. The latest We Ask America poll taken last week had Dold up by almost four points.

The Senate Republicans are hammering Friedman’s Democratic opponent, Julie Morrison, of Deerfield, in the mailboxes these days. Two recent mailers highlighted Morrison’s struggles on three separate occasions to answer questions about where she stood on the state income tax increase.

The Republicans believe that once north suburban voters have “checked the boxes” on abortion, guns and other social issues, they’re open to listening to fiscal messages such as taxes. That worked well for U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk in the area when he was a congressman, and Dold has positioned himself the same way.

Friedman has a history of being conservative, however, so this is somewhat of a GOP makeover attempt, and the Democrats are saying voters won’t buy into it. They may very well be right. The Republicans may have needed a more moderate candidate there.

What looks to be a fairly close congressional race in the Quad Cities/Rockford/Peoria region is working to the Democrats’ disadvantage in state Sen. Mike Jacobs’ (D-East Moline) district.

Jacobs has made some major missteps in his career and has real problems with his Democratic base. And even though President Barack Obama will win the Senate district by a sizable margin, Jacobs still is struggling hard to defeat Republican Bill Albracht.

And Albracht is being helped against the prevailing presidential winds by U.S. Rep. Bobby Schilling’s race against Cheri Bustos. The latest We Ask America poll taken last week had Schilling (R-17th) leading by about 2 1/2 points, while Obama led by about 7 points in the district.

This explains why the Illinois Republican Party chairman recently declared that most of his organization’s energy would be focused on congressional races this year. Simply put, the Republicans have to break up Obama’s momentum in his home state and create some of their own momentum in the congressional races to avoid a down-ballot disaster.

Obama helped the Republicans by performing badly in the first presidential debate Wednesday night against Mitt Romney. As a result, he lost some ground nationally and here in Illinois.

That doesn’t mean Obama will lose Illinois or even the election — George W. Bush badly lost his first 2004 debate to John Kerry and still won. But if Obama doesn’t regain his footing, it could mean that Republicans running for Congress and the Legislature won’t have to push so hard against the wind.

* The DCCC has slightly different numbers in the Schilling vs. Bustos race. From a press release…

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released a new Anzalone Liszt poll showing Cheri Bustos gaining critical momentum over Congressman Bobby Schilling.

After overcoming a 9 point deficit in August, Bustos now holds the lead over Congressman Schilling 45 percent to 44 percent and is winning independents 39 percent to Schilling’s 37 percent.

This poll also shows that attacks on Congressman Schilling’s record of voting to end the Medicare guarantee just to give tax breaks for outsourcers are working, and Congressman Schilling’s popularity is tanking. President Obama is set to win big in Illinois 17th Congressional District as he did in 2008.

* The DCCC poll also has Obama with an 11-point lead in the district

Barack Obama holds an 11-point lead over Mitt Romney (51% Obama / 40% Romney), in a district he won by 21 points in 2008 (60% Obama / 39% McCain). Obama further consolidating his 2008 coalition could cause Schilling even more problems.

More on the Schilling race later today.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


9 Comments
  1. - Shore - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 10:52 am:

    It’s one of your better columns of the year. The only thing I would add is that the missing piece right now is mark kirk and to people like Ari Friedman he could have really been a huge help with fundraising, their picture together on a mailer or at a rally.


  2. - Buddy G - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 1:04 pm:

    Mike Jacobs bringing Western Illinois to our district along with the sale of the Thomson prison after Bobby Schilling fought against this sale until August is helping Jacobs. Jacobs stood up to Schilling who wanted to sell the prison at a loss of $90 Million which is against the law as Jacobs pointed out. Eventually because Schilling could not get his Republican colleague in the house to agree with the Thomson sale Jacobs friends President Obama and Bustos godfather Sen. Durbin going around Schilling and getting full asking price is what is driving Schilling into the ground and Jacobs and Bustos into the drivers seat.


  3. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 4:08 pm:

    The suspense has been killing me all day Rich. Are you not posting the Schilling stuff today? I really want to see the race polled by a non-partisan group. So far all of the polls ahve been issued by the campaigns.


  4. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 4:09 pm:

    ===Are you not posting the Schilling stuff today?====

    TBD


  5. - reformer - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 4:20 pm:

    How badly will a Walsh blowout hurt GOP legislative candidates in the NW suburbs? None of the races in the 8th are close except Sweeney vs. Moylan.


  6. - Shore - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 4:27 pm:

    It’s mcsweeney


  7. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 6:54 pm:

    Nice piece, Rich …

    Well done.


  8. - Deerfield Dem - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 9:13 pm:

    The We Ask America Poll of IL-10 has an equal sampling of Dems and Republicans when after redistricting there are far more Dems in the district than Republicans. The NYTimes reported that the district is the most Democratic in the country currently held by a Republican Member of Congress.

    If you properly sample the amount of Dems and Republicans with the current demographics of the district you will see that We Ask America poll actually shows Schneider with a small lead.


  9. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 9:26 pm:

    ===The We Ask America Poll of IL-10 has an equal sampling of Dems and Republicans===

    The universe is equal, yes. But that’s pre-weighting.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Good morning!
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

          
        * Android Wear update comes to LG G Watch
        * How to fix the four most annoying quirks of Yosemite
        * 6 easy ways to show off your best photos
        * Amazon accepting pre-orders for HTC accessories for Nexus 9
        * Review: Photoshop Elements 13 gets Photomerge and content-aware fill
        * Sony sales target lowered once again
        * SensorCore and Lumia: My Experience

        * Microsoft Windows 10 Technical Preview Update Released
        * Sony A7000 Could Be The NEX-7′s Successor [Rumor]
        * Congress Shuts Down FBI Director’s Decryption Law Proposal
        * Raspberry Pi Touch Screen Unveiled By Eben Upton (video)
        * Touching Story Reveals How Siri Came To Be An Autistic Boy’s Best Friend
        * What Are Some Things That Are Legal, But People Think Are Illegal?
        * Alpine Headphones Literally Let You Feel The Music (video)

        * 23 potential MLB free agents as SkyMall items
        * World Series Game 1: Notes and discussion
        * The e-gus off-season plan
        * Reading Room: A wild card of a World Series
        * Following same path as '59 White Sox, KC eyes title
        * larry's Offseason Plan
        * Abreu wins Sporting News' AL Rookie of the Year honors


        Main Menu
        Home
        Illinois
        YouTube
        Pundit rankings
        Obama
        Subscriber Content
        Durbin
        Burris
        Blagojevich Trial
        Advertising
        Updated Posts
        Polls

        Archives
        October 2014
        September 2014
        August 2014
        July 2014
        June 2014
        May 2014
        April 2014
        March 2014
        February 2014
        January 2014
        December 2013
        November 2013
        October 2013
        September 2013
        August 2013
        July 2013
        June 2013
        May 2013
        April 2013
        March 2013
        February 2013
        January 2013
        December 2012
        November 2012
        October 2012
        September 2012
        August 2012
        July 2012
        June 2012
        May 2012
        April 2012
        March 2012
        February 2012
        January 2012
        December 2011
        November 2011
        October 2011
        September 2011
        August 2011
        July 2011
        June 2011
        May 2011
        April 2011
        March 2011
        February 2011
        January 2011
        December 2010
        November 2010
        October 2010
        September 2010
        August 2010
        July 2010
        June 2010
        May 2010
        April 2010
        March 2010
        February 2010
        January 2010
        December 2009
        November 2009
        October 2009
        September 2009
        August 2009
        July 2009
        June 2009
        May 2009
        April 2009
        March 2009
        February 2009
        January 2009
        December 2008
        November 2008
        October 2008
        September 2008
        August 2008
        July 2008
        June 2008
        May 2008
        April 2008
        March 2008
        February 2008
        January 2008
        December 2007
        November 2007
        October 2007
        September 2007
        August 2007
        July 2007
        June 2007
        May 2007
        April 2007
        March 2007
        February 2007
        January 2007
        December 2006
        November 2006
        October 2006
        September 2006
        August 2006
        July 2006
        June 2006
        May 2006
        April 2006
        March 2006
        February 2006
        January 2006
        December 2005
        April 2005
        March 2005
        February 2005
        January 2005
        December 2004
        November 2004
        October 2004

        Blog*Spot Archives
        November 2005
        October 2005
        September 2005
        August 2005
        July 2005
        June 2005
        May 2005

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * Haine calls on Gov. Quinn to deny clemency to c.....
        * Attorneys due in court for Quinn hiring lawsuit.....
        * Attorneys expected in court for lawsuit over hi.....
        * Gov. Quinn announces almost $1M in funds for Pa.....
        * A ‘Closing Argument,’ Brought to You by the Koc.....
        * Only a Few 2014 Legislative Races Are Competitive..
        * The Clintons, the Democrats' 2014 super surrogates..
        * Illinois' top educator: Funding problems to remain..


        * Self, Weber expected at Wayne McClain funeral
        * Durbin, Oberweis to meet in 1st US Senate debate
        * Attorneys due in court for Quinn hiring lawsuit
        * Vice President Joe Biden to campaign in Illinois
        * Man convicted in officer's killings paroled
        * No trick: Across US, Halloween bumped for football
        * Family, friends remember women slain in Indiana
        * Indiana man was violent long before 7 killings
        * Family, friends remember women slain in Indiana
        * Indiana man was violent long before 7 killings

        * Rep. Raymond Poe to undergo stem cell transplant
        * Bill Clinton campaigns for Quinn, Durbin
        * Quinn, Rauner spar over jobs, taxes
        * Election 2014: Learn about all the candidates
        * What to watch for in third governor debate tonight
        * U of I sees turning point as election nears
        * Chicago Sun-Times endorses Rauner for governor
        * Sun-Times, Belleville, Champaign, Peoria newspapers endorse Rauner for governor
        * Bill Clinton to address workers at pro-Quinn rally
        * Body camera use concerns Illinois police officers

        * What's next for Tribune, Sun-Times in burb paper deal
        * Chicago heating bills will be significantly lower (if winter cooperates)
        * Chicago heating bills will be far lower (if winter cooperates)
        * Walgreen seeks to seal parts of former CFO's lawsuit
        * Big-biz group a big Mike Madigan donor


        * Sparse crowd at CPS HQ before Board of Ed vote on Hancock school
        * Indiana officials identify fourth body found after arrest of suspected serial killer
        * Jail guard smuggled weed in sandwiches, feds say
        * Father Bob Botthof, teacher who became priest after losing wife, dies at 85
        * Back to the past with mayor’s move
        * Court officials suggest ISIS wannabe could be released from jail on bond
        * Tentative deal at U of I hospital averts threatened nurses’ strike, union says
        * Unemployment rates fall in 31 states, including Illinois
        * Dr. Lawrence Solomon: Renowned dermatologist, book collector loved a mystery
        * Emanuel’s cable tax hike to cost average consumer $28.80 a year


        * Fire fighters battle blaze in Logan Square
        * Woman killed in Park Manor car crash
        * Two injured in Warrenville car crash
        * Public weighs in on Museum Campus plan
        * Waukegan schools remain closed Wednesday
        * 2 from Liberia screened for Ebola in Chicago after falling ill
        * At least 5 people wounded in shootings since Tuesday evening
        * Man dies 5 months after Southwest Side shooting
        * Naperville police ask for help locating "person of interest"
        * Inquiry broadens into suspect in Indiana serial killings


        * Business Report: Former Restaurant Near Statehouse Up For Auction; Downtown Springfield Inc. Update
        * 13th Dist. Candidates Talk NAFTA, Ebola During Springfield Debate
        * Lincoln Legacy Lecture Series To Focus On "Lincoln's Funeral"
        * Small Campaign Contributions Amount To Chump Change
        * Civic Fed: Lawmakers Once Again Taking Illinois Down Bad Budget Path
        * Cheddar's Leaves Springfield WUIS-SJR Business Report
        * Area Cub Scouts Burned In Explosion
        * Notes On The Final Governor Debate
        * Task Force Hopes To Help Turn Students Into Good Citizens
        * Digging up the history of a Civil War camp on Chicago's South Side


        * Our Opinion: Choice for Illinois comptroller comes down to experience
        * Rep. Raymond Poe to undergo stem cell transplant
        * Bill Clinton campaigns for Quinn, Durbin
        * Joanna McQuillan Weeks: Cheese balls deserve more respect
        * Our Opinion: White, Madigan for another term
        * Quinn, Rauner spar over jobs, taxes
        * Our Opinion: Say yes to Magro’s project
        * John Schick: Letter confirmed aggression toward bicyclists
        * Election 2014: Learn about all the candidates
        * U of I sees turning point as election nears


        * Photographic memories
        * Off the beat: Band’s tour bus ransacked outside popular St. Louis restaurant
        * Upcoming Services (Oct. 22, 2014)
        * Area Calendar 10/22/14
        * A preview of Randolph County election races
        * Race preview: 15th Congressional district
        * Candidate interview: John Shimkus
        * Candidate interview: Eric Thorsland
        * Top of the Morning, Oct. 22, 2014
        * Reservations due for Palms dinner programs


        * Women from Arlington Heights, Elk Grove Village, Geneva and Wheaton to compete in Cook of the Week Challenge cook-off
        * Dawn Patrol: 2 passengers into O'Hare monitored; Biden in Vernon Hills
        * Improvements coming to Lombard Prairie Path crossing
        * Durbin, Oberweis interested in finding O'Hare noise solutions
        * Two historic downtown Des Plaines buildings up for auction

        * Patrick Cannon defense strategy rare but n...
        * Feds fine Jesse Jackson Jr.'s campaign com...
        * Ex-Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. faces sen...
        * Representative Jan Schakowsky Sends Letter...
        * Rep. candidate pushes to uphold marriage b...
        * Reps. Schakowsky and Waxman Introduce Bill...
        * Statement by Representative Jan Schakowsky...
        * U.S. House Passes Resolution Condemning An...
        * FAA Rejects Call For New O'Hare Noise Stud...
        * Representatives Quigley, Duckworth, Schako...

        * Defense firms prefer GOP, but spread campa......
        * Early voting; HRC scores congress; alderma......
        * Early voting; HRC scores congress; alderma......
        * Senate Candidates to Debate...
        * Senate Candidates to Debate...

        * Online Marketplace for Sex Led Indiana Ser......
        * Alleged Serial Killer Used Online Advertis......
        * Chicago Innovation Exchange opens flagship......

        * Pumpkin Carving Contest At Buena Beach Bar & Grill This Thursday
        * Early Voting Taking Place Now
        * Rauner’s Neely talk not as first seems
        * Because it was awesome.
        * Waukegan’s school board president speaks. Crazy talk.
        * New Bost ad hits Illinois 12th Congressional District [video]
        * Batinick says Dunn's desperate campaign charges are "ridiculous"
        * Topinka says reducing income tax would cause a heart attack to the state
        * Early Voting Halted in Winnebago County, Illinois Due to Ballot Mistake
        * Illinois Supreme Court Candidate Exposes Members of Shadowy Political Group


        * New TV Ad: Endorsed
        * Governor Quinn Statement on Positive Economic News - Illinois Led the Midwest in Job Creation in September and Had Second Best Growth in Nation; Unemployment Rate Has Dropped More Than Any Other State in the Last Year
        * Rauner Campaign Statement on Final Debate
        * What They’re Saying About Pat Quinn
        * What They’re Saying About Bruce Rauner




            Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller