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Question of the day

Friday, Nov 9, 2012

* What were the worst Illinois campaigns and the best Illinois campaigns of 2012? Explain.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


24 Comments
  1. - BiBe - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 11:50 am:

    Sue Scherer for both. Worst negative-Madigan-puppet-campaigning. Most effective negative mailers on a daily basis by the Speaker of the House.


  2. - Professor - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 11:55 am:

    What no Jessie Jackson Jr. news ? Hats off to Ald. Carrie Austin (34th) for calling Jr. out.
    About time.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 11:55 am:

    @FakeJasonPlummer - Mine, @capitolfax, except for me not Winning the Congress Part.

    Sorry.

    Worst Campaign had to be a tie between … Walsh and Duckworth.

    Walsh couldn’t regain the Election Day magic and was never in control of what he needed to do.

    Duckworth won despite herself, started the focus so late, that only Walsh being her opponent made the save possible. Not ‘textbook” by any stretch, but she won, and even that can’t get her away from a “Worst”, sorry.

    Best …

    Let me come back to that one.


  4. - just sayin' - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 12:00 pm:

    Trick question.

    Answer is Skip Saviano for both best and worst.


  5. - shore - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 12:08 pm:

    I thought walsh until that comment was pretty good. He had her running scared and she admitted it when her campaign embraced the bipartisan message in mid september. Rodney Davis who I don’t like also ran a great campaign. His negative ads were without question the best of the cycle.

    Dold ran a horrible campaign. He was Kenilworth smug in embracing grover norquist and voting for the ryan budget, 2 things Kirk never would have done and then didn’t do enough on Israel to lock down the jewish vote that kept seals out of congress. I thought the Enyart and Foster campaigns didn’t do enough to play up their resumes. Physicist and General are two major resume wins and they virtually ignored that.

    Duckworth and Biggert though were the worst. Biggert stayed on one election too long and she was not capable of running a race anymore. Duckworth was aside from Debbie Halvorson the worst prepared candidate in her ed board sessions and that showed in her campaign.


  6. - Wensicia - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 12:12 pm:

    I’d say Dold ran an excellent campaign, trying to come off as moderate, but he lost.


  7. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 12:16 pm:

    Jesse Jr. clearly ran the best campaign. Maximum return for minimal effort. However, it was also the worst campaign in that it should never have been run at all.


  8. - reformer - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 12:17 pm:

    Rep. Sandy Cole deserves a nomination for booting a seat in what had been considered safe red territory to an opponent who had little Madigan help until the end.

    An honorable mention goes to the Cross braintrust that didn’t vet the candidate Deb Conroy beat in DuPage. If they had vetted him, they might have found the restraining order against him from his ex-wife that is still in effect.


  9. - Sideliner - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 12:34 pm:

    If what I have been told is even half true, Biggert by a mile. Staggering incompetence by young inner circle know-it-alls. GOP, be very afraid of your next gen campaign staffers.


  10. - Chambana - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 12:53 pm:

    Doesn’t Rodney Davis deserve a little credit? Nominated in late May with $0, 0 name ID, and 0 organization in a district drawn to elect a Democrat.

    In the bloodbath that the GOP faced Tuesday, that’s a pretty impressive compliment, even against a nutjob like Gill.


  11. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 12:57 pm:

    Rodney Davis as Best for…

    ===Doesn’t Rodney Davis deserve a little credit? Nominated in late May with $0, 0 name ID, and 0 organization…===

    Well said.


  12. - OneMan - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 1:04 pm:

    Well, for worse I would have to nominate

    Tao Martinez for Kane County Coroner, looks like he may have spent close to 30K at least on the general had a ton of yard signs running for an office where the previous coroner was under indictment before he died.

    Tao managed to apparently only get about 250 more votes than another Democrat running for another countywide office who appears not to have raised or spent any money.

    As for best, I think I would have to give it to Foster, beat Bigger bigger than anyone expected


  13. - Lakewood-Balmoral - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 1:22 pm:

    Brad Schneider for both. He ran a horrible campaign as evidenced by a squeaker in a solid blue district. Best for winning a seat Dems have been coveting for ages


  14. - labor at hear - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 1:24 pm:

    I think the worst campaign has to be the Davis/Gill. It boarded on being slanderous in more than one commercial. By far the worsed excuse for spending money as I have every seen. Good argument for ending Super Pacs


  15. - Ivory-billed Woodpecker - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 1:25 pm:

    Best this year was Patricia Watkins’ senate primary campaign. She built a real operation. Smart, hardworking staff and volunteers who made the phone calls and knocked on the doors. Enough money to get her name out. Allied herself with established people who knew what they were doing (aside to Jesse White: supporting Watkins mitigates other decisions). All the more impressive considering the senate president and governor were with the incumbent.

    Worst? My palate is cloyed.


  16. - dave - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 1:25 pm:

    Best has to go to Sam Yingling and Mike Smiddy.

    Both pulled off big upsets, and until late in the cycle no one expected it. Smiddy got no help from the Speaker, and Yingling didn’t get help until late, when he already had the inside track to the win.

    Worst has to go to Sandy Cole, though I am not sure you can get a “worst campaign” aware when you didn’t really have campaign. She took the seat for granted, and was completely caught off guard that the race was close.

    For honorable mention, on Monday I would have never said Bustos, Foster, and Schneider ran great campaigns, but you can’t really argue with the results in any of them - stunningly large margins for Bustos and Foster, and Schneider’s win was a pretty big shock.

    The other honorable mention for best campaign has to go to Melinda Bush. Another surprise, in what most thought was win for Neal.


  17. - Stinky Staley - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 1:37 pm:

    My best and worst both can be found in the 96th Rep. Disrict.

    Sue Scherer’s general campaign was the best. She was left licking her wounds after a brutal primary that alienated her from a significant part of her base. Plain and simple, people did not like her. For the general, they brought in new people that rebuilt the relationships that were damaged in the primary, and established a well organized field operations team that got Scherer over a 20 point win - I know people say its a district drawn for a democrat, but not 22 points democratic.

    On the other hand, Dennis Shackelford’s campaign was pathetic. Got a late start and never was able to convince Cross and the HGOP to spend much money here. He wasn’t walking precincts and, quite frankly, people had no idea who he was leading up to the last couple weeks of the election. Lit drops on Saturdays ain’t gonna get the job done. Between Scherer’s base problem and her Madigan ties, this should have ben a very competitive race. As we all saw, it was not.


  18. - Church Lady - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 1:55 pm:

    Worst goes to Deb Halvorson…She gave up halfway through the Primary, had MANY advantages, monies & warriors at her fingertips, but her & her young & inexperienced staff either ticked them off OR brushed them away……..


  19. - Eilean left - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 2:27 pm:

    Best goes to MJM v Skip
    Worst goes to Sandoval v Skip


  20. - LincolnLounger - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 2:31 pm:

    –GOP, be very afraid of your next gen campaign staffers

    Really, Sideliner? As opposed to our “experienced hands”, including some key legislative staffers who remain from the days when we only achieved a majority for two years with our own maps?

    On to veto-proof we go!


  21. - mokenavince - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 2:33 pm:

    Any one who signed the Grover Norquist pledge must be rated worst.

    Bobby Rush scored 74% to 26% and never really campaigned.


  22. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 2:45 pm:

    This probably doesn’t count, but Pat Quinn’s “grassroots pension reform campaign” would be the worst if it did.
    Sue Scherer, win notwithstanding, was terrible. “Send a teacher to the Capitol!” Duh.
    Rodney Davis for the best. Zero to winner in six months is darned impressive.


  23. - lullaby_too - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 3:00 pm:

    Tom Cullerton - hands down. When you look into how they won - a combination of target online ads, and incredibly strong field program, a consistent and hard hitting mail campaign, and when they went up on TV, I cannot see how this wasn’t the best campaign.


  24. - NW Illinois - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 3:06 pm:

    Best Campaign Luck: Mike Smiddy. Great example of presidential year turnout victory. House Republicans didn’t respect him and didn’t pay any attention to him. Neither did Morthland.

    Best Campaign (one of the best): Sen. Mike Jacobs and his crew.


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