*** UPDATE *** From the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners…
Election judges in a representative sampling of Chicago precincts in the 2nd Congressional District reported that 11% registered voters had turned out as of 1:45 p.m. These numbers included election day voting, early voting and absentee ballots returned in those precincts.
This puts us on course for turnout in the mid-teens. This is to be expected with a special primary and special election. It is shaping up to be among the lowest turnouts in recent decades.
Some slightly good news on the weather front is that we’re also receiving reports that the snow is turning to rain on the South Side.
[ *** End Of Update *** ]
* There are those who actually expect us to believe that the 2nd Congressional District special Democratic primary represents some sort of national referendum on the NRA. For instance, the Reuters lede…
Today offers the first ballot box test of how significantly the politics of gun violence have changed since Sandy Hook.
Mayor Bloomberg is poised for a major anti-guns victory Tuesday with national resonance, after spending millions of dollars to influence a special election here to replace former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.
And here’s a statement from Becky Bond, President of CREDO Super PAC, which has spent about $20K $100K on the race…
“This is a national referendum on the political power of the NRA,” said Becky Bond, President of CREDO Super PAC. “CREDO is knocking on doors and talking to local voters to let them know that Debbie Halvorson will do the bidding of the NRA – not represent the needs of Chicago-area voters. If Halvorson loses the race – it will send a clear message to every candidate who takes the NRA’s blood money – you will be held accountable come Election Day.”
That area has been mostly anti-gun forever. The only national implication of this contest is that it’s now clear that Mayor Bloomberg intends to spend a bunch of money attacking the NRA.
Debbie Halvorson’s campaign has been a joke. She’s raised almost no money, she stumbles whenever she talks, she hasn’t put together squat for a campaign apparatus. Nobody of any consequence has come to her aid or spent cash on her behalf or put bodies in the streets.
So, beating Halvorson is supposed to signal something? Get real.
Yes, Bloomberg spent a lot of money, much of it on Robin Kelly. But winning this district isn’t exactly something to write home about. Pretty much anyone with a decent message and $2 million could do it.
* Jessica Taylor, senior analyst and reporter for the Rothenberg Political Report used a lot of jargon, but had it mostly right on CNN…
“While it’s very easy for a special election to become an incubator for the national issue of the day, it is less clear the issue will resonate on a national scale in 2014,” adds Taylor.
…Adding… From CREDO…
(T)his is the first-ever election where outside groups are jumping in to defeat candidates based on their opposition to gun control legislation so I’m surprised that you don’t think this race has national implications. Especially considering gun control and the NRA have emerged as a key issue in the race at the same time that Congress is debating gun control legislation. It’s also the first election I’m aware of where candidates are being held accountable for cozying up to the NRA.
* The only real news will be if Halvorson somehow wins. It might happen, although I doubt it. Tons of crossover votes by white Republicans and a dismal Democratic turnout made worse by today’s lousy weather…
* Snow could affect voter turnout in 2nd Congressional District primary
Tom Bowen, a former top political adviser to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, projected that Halvorson would need to win at least 60 percent of the vote in Will and Kankakee counties to make up for the huge deficits she is expected to face in Chicago and its suburbs, the district’s more heavily black areas.
“For Halvorson to have a fighting chance, she needs to be blowing it out of the water in these two counties,” Bowen said. “They’re not only areas she used to represent, but they have pockets of white voters who might not be as focused on guns as the city and south suburbs.”
She probably needs to win more than 60 percent.
* Here’s a local update e-mailed from a Robin Kelly worker…
Raining hail. But Robin’s HQ has been hoping. They asked a group of 40 who wanted to provide rides to the polls instead of knocking on doors in the rain and no one wanted out. We have too many vols for the amount of turf we have (almost 20,000 pluses).
Multiple reports of people declaring that they are Republicans but then refusing a Republican ballot to vote in the Dem primary
* If you’re in the district, make sure to let us know what’s going on in comments. NBC5 has a live blog…
What’s the over/under on Bloomberg’s cost-per-vote for Kelly? It’s going to be off the charts.
- Chevy owner/Ford County - Tuesday, Feb 26, 13 @ 10:31 am:
The real impact of Bloomberg will not be the defeat of Halvorson, who has run a terrible campaign and didn’t have much of a chance in any event, but the pushing out of Hutchison who seemed to be doing everything right to win…until the he was able to turn the focus to guns..and she folded like a cheap tent.
- grand old partisan - Tuesday, Feb 26, 13 @ 10:33 am:
“CREDO is knocking on doors and talking to local voters to let them know that Debbie Halvorson will do the bidding of the NRA – not represent the needs of Chicago-area voters.”
Maybe someone should knock on CREDO’s door and let them know that a lot of people in the 2nd District don’t consider themselves ‘Chicago-area voters.’
So the district who voted for a guy who was absentee and receiving treatment for a mental issue and was also rumored to be under investigation, is the district that gets to be a “national referendum”. Comeon Son! That is just crazy
when the contest was tow Af–Ams and Debbie H, Halvorson looked like a winner. But the two Af-Am candidates worked out a deal, so now we are back to the usual racial politics in the Chicago area and the racial balance in the district will determine the winner — not the NRA or other apparent factors.
Halvorson needs a lot more than 60% in Will and K3 60% of the vote in those two counties equates to about 7% - 8% of the total vote if voting patterns follow roughly with past turnout. She would have to gather a ton of votes elsewhere to make up the difference to catch the leaders.
Here’s my math. I said at least meaning 60 was a floor.
60% of the 12% of the vote that’s in Will/Kankakee: 7.2 % of the vote.
15% of the 88% that comes from Chicago and Cook (every real candidate gets at least 3-5 points. She’s not only well known, but she’ll get the folks who vote in primaries but are not like the rest of the electorate. Usually 10-12%): 13%.
That gets her to 20%, a very unlikely number to win, but it’s close. My point in setting that bar, and I should have set it at 65, was to say if she’s getting 50-50 in those counties, the game is over.
Actually I think there is -some- slight national significance in this race. The point is not to rattle the NRA. The point is to rattle Democrats who are in (or run in) anti-gun districts, but who compile pro-gun records. It’s the Super PAC / Tea Party strategy but against liberal Democrats.
But I don’t know though how many Democrats around the country are truly vulnerable to this strategy, being “primaried from the left” on gun control. Halvorson is in an unusual situation because she went from a swing district where her support for gun control helped her on margin, to a solidly “blue” district. I don’t know how many Dems in Congress really look at her and think, “That could happen to me.”
That math works - but 20% will not do it in this one with all of the changes in the dynamics. Even if she gets 75% of Will / K3, she still probably needs to be clipping along at 25%+ in the other areas if the public and some internal polls showing Kelly over 30% are correct. Don’t see that happening. True - anything below 60% (probably below 65%+) in Will / K3, she has virtually no chance.
Couldn’t agree more Rich. This election means nothing other than Bloomberg can spend a lot of money to shape this race. I think Toi had more potential to be a national leader on his issues (with extra cred as a former NRA A- ranked legislator) than Robin who I expect will quickly become a comfortable back bencher. Oh well.
- Paddyrollingstone - Tuesday, Feb 26, 13 @ 11:23 am:
Good stuff, Rich. Any predictions on the more interesting race in Cicero?
===So, beating Halvorson is supposed to signal something? Get real.
Yes, Bloomberg spent a lot of money, much of it on Robin Kelly. But winning this district isn’t exactly something to write home about. Pretty much anyone with a decent message and $2 million could do it.===
Could not agree more, this my ===I have about 2 million reasons=== post.
When this race is over, and we look at the cost per vote, and where people voted and the percentages won in those areas, there will be very few surprising things popping out at us, I think.
There is really one thing that is going to interest me at the end of this… Beals’ numbers in his Ward and in the City. That might be the most telling (Beals’ ward strength, city strength, appeal in his back yars …)
- Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Feb 26, 13 @ 11:52 am:
=== major anti-gun victory === for Bloomberg, CREDO, etc.
The press releases taking credit have been drafted. Staffers stand ready with their fingers poised above the “send” button. Hearty back slaps circulate all around.
Typically on election night you’ll only see the total for an election authority’s entire reporting area for each race. It usually isn’t until the next morning when you see the individual townships/wards unofficial results. Perhaps that will change for tonight with only one race to report on but otherwise you may not be able to find out immediately how a candidate did in say Thornton Township and/or Chicago’s 9th ward.
As a progressive Democrat, I have to say that this election was a rude awakening. After hearing the left scream about Citizens United and the superPACs throughout the last election cycle, it’s been shown that a Democrat will gladly stand back and watch that money spent (and spent and spent) to take out her most formidable opponent. In addition, I saw Kos and the progressive blogosphere latch onto one issue and bludgeon another good progressive to death with it. It would have been impossible for Hutchinson to combat the Bloomberg/Kos/CREDO onslaught without some serious money backing her in the last couple of weeks. And let’s not even talk about Halvorson, who never had the money to compete and still believes that her old ground game is enough to so it. On a day like today, who knows what will happen?
Archiesmom hit it right on the head. Kos was having their own little tea party litmus test when it came to this race–and if all the superpac money if for their candidate all the better. Superpac money is only bad when it goes to a candidate opposing them!!
Well, I was voter 19 in Berwyn’s Municipal Democratic Primary at 10am this morning. Lots of poll workers for such a minor election. And 5 guys out front handing out palm cards all for the same organization? For a low turnout election in which the mayor isn’t even being challenged?
Oh, and Oswego Willy, the GOP ain’t even running a primary. They don’t have a single, solitary candidate interested in challenging. And then the GOP wonders why it can’t even shake any votes out of the area, let alone compete.
This is a crazy little race and everyone knows it. That is why we see so many attempts by politicians to spin it into their message. Fact is, we don’t really know who is going to win and whoever wins won’t really know how they won.
The assumptions are outrunning the logic here. It is like roadkill and I’m watching a whole bunch of buzzards pecking at it over the next few days.
Like I said before, this was extremely shrewd targeting on Bloomberg’s part. He only attacked Halvorson at first, thus aligning himself with CBC concerns that a fragmented black vote could hand the race to her. And he only endorsed after polling data said the race was already over (I’m assuming his did; it was certainly over by the time his ad buy shifted traffic). Now he can claim national momentum. The losers whining about him buying the race didn’t hurt either.
Having said that, you can probably extrapolate some meaning about how D primes are feeling about guns right now (very intensely negative). But that’s just in the D primary universe, and I’m skeptical it would even carry over to the 2014 regular primaries.
I like to think RWR fell in love with Art Laffer (and his sexy curve) around the site on 53rd where Barack and Michelle had their first date.
Love of all sorts blooms in Hyde Park.
- Just The Way It Is One - Tuesday, Feb 26, 13 @ 3:31 pm:
Amazing to me that this Election is garnering SUCH tremendous interest and being followed so carefully on a National scale and with such keen interest by the National Media. They’re seeing it as ALL about the guns. How trivializing that is when our U.S. Representatives get to vote on an avalanche of numerous and incredibly critical issues of vast importance to hundreds of millions here at home here in Illinois and the United States, let alone how their votes impact all the more people abroad! Snow or no snow, wouldn’t it be nice if, therefore, given this noteworthy attention apparently being given the race in All 50 States, even HALF of all of the even-just REGistered voters in the U.S. 2nd Cong. Dist. would show up to have their voices heard on such a significant choice? But I know, please, don’t lol too much on whatever the final results will be at the %-of-those-who-actually-voted sad reality…
–I like to think RWR fell in love with Art Laffer (and his sexy curve) around the site on 53rd where Barack and Michelle had their first date.==
Reagan never cared about Laffer or deficits, or tax cuts, he paid lip service to get elected.
The only thing he cared about was accelerating the collapse of the Soviet Union. After that, he wanted to rid the world of nuclear arms — and that scared a lot of people.
- Endangered Moderate Species - Tuesday, Feb 26, 13 @ 4:27 pm:
Just the Way It Is One,
Democracy, with freedom of the speech and freedom of the press, driven by the free markets.
It is still better that all the alternatives.
The founding fathers are probably surprised their idea has survived for 237 years.
- Just The Way It Is One - Tuesday, Feb 26, 13 @ 4:28 pm:
Re: Update : Ugh. Mid-teens turnout at best. Everyone has an opinion about the way things should be in America, but when they are GIVEN such an important opportunity to make that opinion known, 85% or so of them-barring a couple percent who truly cannot make it, say, due to serious illness-find everything else that’s more important, and choose not to, choose instead to sit on their hands and let only 1 out of 7 of them or so decide who gets to make important Governmental decisions. It’s a cryin’ shame–and yet, Democracy is the best we can do in this challenging world of ours…!
–The founding fathers are probably surprised their idea has survived for 237 years.–
Except for perhaps the Adams boys from Massachusetts, the Founding Fathers would be terrified that Catholics, Jews, Muslims, blacks, women, Hispanics, Asians, gays, people without money, etc., have any say at all about anything, lol.
From Terry Parke in 2006 to 2012, Illinois political graveyard is full of suburban Republicans who were on the wrong side of the gun issue.
Oswego Willy -
To put a finer point on it, will be interesting to see how Beale does in the wards of aldermen/committeemen who “endorsed” him. Even better would be eyewitness reports of whose palm cards they were handing out today.
Now I am not big on field operations, or working a GOTV on election day as a strategy, but I remember, I can’t remember if I read it, or heard the story, or even both, of how Old Man Daley had 25 or so Precinct Captains he had files on, pertaining to their precincts, and the Old Man would watch those precinct’s returns on election night, and those Captains would be able to show by the results how un-”worked” races would go, based on the Captain, the race, and everything else other that working THAT precinct for THAT PARTICULAR race.
The Old man would see 375-15 on a race “worked” and then see 340-25 and know that “candidate A” was OK. Another race, it might be 255-155, and say, “They are going down” and these 25 Captains had the un-”worked” races clocked so well, that just those 25 could show how those races would end up.
Now, we don’t have that, see that, or “work” like that, at such a degree to be that precise.
To your point, I will be interested, because Beale’s “controlled” areas, back then would be un-”worked” areas, but could tell the story about the message, the interest, the issues, heck even the personalities, but the “work being done” will be more speculatory on all our parts, unless we see those precincts voting well over the 15% or so expected, and a plurality of 15, 16, 18 to 1, to be even in that ball park.
But, I agree, will be very interesting to see those broken down by Ward, and further, by Precinct.
But I am not a big believer in GOTV and Field Ops …