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Oberweis considering US Senate bid, touts poll results

Tuesday, Sep 24, 2013

* Illinois Review

A new We Ask America poll shows U.S. Senator Richard “Dick” Durbin could be vulnerable in his 2014 re-election bid, and Illinois State Senator Jim Oberweis may be the GOP’s strongest challenger.

In a head-to-head, the poll shows Durbin at 49.97% and Oberweis at 38.67%, with 11.36% undecided.

Breaking down the data, Oberweis polls stronger among men at 47.13% to Durbin’s 45.16%. He also polls stronger among voters 25-44 years old, and beats Durbin in the vote-rich collar counties as well as downstate.

Oberweis told Illinois Review he was surprised by the poll and the results. He said he’s considering a run, but has made no decision.

I’m told that We Ask America didn’t do the poll directly for Oberweis, but he’s still touting it, as he should.

Considering some other numbers I’ve seen lately, the president’s popularity appears to be sagging in Illinois right now. That’s creating some headwinds.

* And just keep in mind that an incumbent at 50 percent this far out is gonna be really hard to beat, particularly one who has a lot of money to spend on himself.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - An announcement - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 3:48 pm:


  2. - Nearly Normal - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 3:50 pm:

    Should make the race interesting! Free Ice Cream!!

  3. - Anonymour - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 3:51 pm:

    “particularly one who has a lot of money to spend on himself.”

    And particularly one who gets to run negative ads against Oberweis in Illinois.

  4. - Northsider - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 4:00 pm:

    Please, please, oh, please! Please proceed, state senator!

    So, did the poll sample include anyone outside the Oberweis family? And does he really think the state’s Hispanic community has forgotten about those ads?

  5. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 4:01 pm:

    And now we know why Durbin continues to keep his distance from Pat Quinn.

  6. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 4:01 pm:

    …Besides the fact that the two men still don’t like each other.

  7. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 4:04 pm:

    Jim Oberweis getting into the US Senate race does at least two things: it screws up the brand for whoever wins the GOP nomination for Governor and it energizes Durbin’s donors and supporters.

    Maybe if Brady or Dillard wins, Oberweis won’t be so bad, but I think he really hurts Rauner or Rutherford should either of them emerge. It’s going to make thier messaging a lot tougher and they aren’t going to enjoy responding to some of the more egregious Oberweis statements that will surely be made.

    I find it odd that younger voters would go with Oberweis, so that is interesting and worth testing. I suspect, with the right message, Durbin will be able to turn younger voters around pretty easily, as well as suburban women, so the collar numbers are somewhat suspect in my view too. Durbin is not unbeatable, and he hasn’t had to campaign hard in some time. That lack of active campaigning on Durbin’s part may help explain the numbers.

  8. - MEP - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 4:04 pm:

    Why he cannot take the State Senate seat he bought and call it a win I will never know.

  9. - RNUG - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 4:08 pm:

    There’s a fair amount of dis-like of Durbin if people really get to know him. I suspect there is a hard-core group of people that would work very hard to defeat Durbin if they thought there was a real opportunity. And I’m not sure money would be an issue … if Oberweis looked like he could pull it off, it could easily attract a lot of national money on both sides; after all, it isn’t often you have a chance to pick off the #2 man in the Senate.

  10. - Loop Lady - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 4:10 pm:

    If Oberweis wins, he’ll fit in very nicely in the idealogue,do nothing positive GOPers in Congress…

    Rich, why do you think Durbin is keeping his distance from Quinn? As someone on the inside relatively speaking, I see no overt evidence of it.

    The POTUS needs to get a few perceived victories under his belt to prevent him from becoming radioactive. Let’s hope the rollout of ObamaCare goes well…

  11. - dupage dan - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 4:12 pm:

    Oberweis, Oberweis,
    Every election you greet me.
    Big and loud, seeks a crowd,
    You’d happy to lead me.
    Every election your ego grows,
    you run forever and ever.
    Oberweis, Oberweis,
    We’re stuck with you forever.

  12. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 4:12 pm:

    Run with your Political Ice Cream!

    If Jim Oberweis want to run to be the Darling for himself and the Slytherin House Republicans wanting “purity” and not like Sen. Durbin.

    Have. At. It.

    I want Jim Oberweis to spend $5 Million, $10 Million … I want the Black Helicopters, I want Blood Oaths and Litmus Tests, I want the Political Director to teach me about Federal and National government….

    This is just as good as Jason Plummer running again.

    Please O’ Please …run, run like there is no tomorrow, throw the kitchen sink, all the “silent majority”, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity rhetoric…

    Tell us about that First Bill you passed, that no one understands, and all that Governmental Ice Cream you used in commmittee and on the floor, and all about voting against SSM, and the waffling on Pat Brady … those quotes won’t be used against Jim Oberweis …

    I am giddy, I have to say …

    Run, please …

  13. - walkinfool - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 4:14 pm:

    Oberweis for Senate candidacy would be a great boost for the Democratic party across the board.

  14. - dupage dan - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 4:18 pm:

    Jim Oberweis he campaigns alot
    He wants us to think he is hot
    He runs for this
    He runs for that
    For Senate we like him, NOT

  15. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 4:21 pm:

    47th nails it.

    A lot of people will not turn out to support Quinn.

    But if they think Durbin may lose to the Milkman? Add 10 points to turnout.

  16. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 4:25 pm:

    ‘There’s a fair amount of dis-like of Durbin if people really get to know him.”

    My experience with the Senator has been the exact opposite. He’s one of the most pleasant elected officials I’ve ever met.

  17. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 4:27 pm:

    Although come to think of it, I’ve only met him is before or after Mass.

    Maybe he goes on good behavior when entering a church.

  18. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 4:29 pm:

    ===as well as suburban women, so the collar numbers are somewhat suspect in my view too.===

    Ding. Ding. Ding.

    Oberweis is Bill Brady, less the Charm, less the Likeability, and less the cCedibility…

    This has to be like Jim Oberweis’ 6th election in 10 years? No snark, asking … got to be close to 6 or so…

    Agreed with above, “Isn’t the state Senate going to pacify you, Jim Oberweis?”

    If you thought Bill Brady’s numbers with women and the suburbs were bad, throw in that the US Senate gets all the Dog Whistle terms in its rhetoric by the campaigns, as they discuss SSM, Abortion, Immigration, budgets, if there is an issue that is not “hot” that can help Oberweis, let me know. Even ObamaCare might backfire on Oberweis, I mean , Oberweis speaking about his beliefs seems to drop him, ever time …

    Durbin must be breathing a bit easier.

  19. - LincolnLounger - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 4:30 pm:

    Well, I suppose the good news is that if he runs, it will finally be the end.

    He may play the “Aw shucks, I’m just a reasonable downstater”, but the fact of the matter is that there is no more vicious partisan in American politics than Dick Durbin. In many ways I admire his focus. What he and that huge campaign fund would do to Oberweis would be savage.

    Fasten your seatbelts, Obie.

  20. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 4:32 pm:

    ===Although come to think of it, I’ve only met him is before or after Mass.===

    - Skeeter -

    I thought you made it very clear numerous times, that you don’t believe in a 2000 year old Invisible man?

    Sounds as though you have seen him at Mass often, so which is it?

  21. - Because I said so... - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 4:37 pm:

    @Skeeter, Durbin is a very nice guy, not just before or after church. THE MOST grounded elected official I’ve ever met.

  22. - Robert the Bruce - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 4:37 pm:

    The Illinois Review article didn’t provide any evidence for their contention that Oberweis might be the strongest challenger - I wonder what other names, if any, they polled against Durbin?

  23. - Mason born - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 4:39 pm:

    I would love to have any choice other than Durbin. Not sure Oberweis is it. Well actually i am pretty sure he isn’t.

  24. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 4:41 pm:

    ===He’s one of the most pleasant elected officials I’ve ever met.===

    Agreed, and it’s not just after mass. My wife and I were with him once after attending a party together, we happened to leave at the same time. As we were walking down the street, I asked him where his car was, assuming he had a driver waiting to pick him up. He said, “here it comes now,” and promptly got aboard a CTA bus.

    Both my wife and I have worked for other US Senators. Neither of us could imagine our former bosses taking the bus home at night, by themselves. They wouldn’t know what a fare card was, much less how to use it.

    Durbin is a great guy, down to earth and comforable in his own skin. Does he play rough? Sure, but that’s his job, and he’s very good at it. Illinois is lucky to have him in the Senate.

  25. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 4:42 pm:

    Definitely not often. Four times maybe? I never said we were best buds. Conversations for about five minutes before or after Mass. So maybe 20 minutes of talking to him. Is that the definitive note on his character? Of course not. Maybe if I “really got to know him” I would despise him. Since I haven’t “really got to know him”, RNUG may be right.

    And not recently. I stopped going to Mass roughly seven years ago. Maybe Durbin has gone off the deep end during those years. I can’t rule it out.

  26. - downstate lib - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 4:42 pm:

    All things considered, 11 points and the 50% mark ain’t that vulnerable.

  27. - RNUG - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 4:42 pm:

    Skeeter and others,

    First met the Senator in the mid-1970’s. His public image is a nice guy. The stories I could tell … except it would be too easy to identify the other parties involved, and I wouldn’t want to be responsible for any possible reprisals.

  28. - And I Approved This Message - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 4:45 pm:

    “there is no more vicious partisan in American politics than Dick Durbin.”

    Whoa Lincoln Lounger, you might want to take a minute and breath into a paper bag. Have you listened to the rhetoric coming from any number Tea Baggers in Illinois and Washington. Joe Walsh? Michelle Bachman? Sarah Palin? Rand Paul? Ted Cruz? Dick Durbin may be a lot of things and of course he’s partisan, show me a politician of any party who isn’t. But to call him the most vicious pol in America is unproductive hyperbole.

  29. - RNUG - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 4:46 pm:

    Even though I dislike him (and a lot of his policies), I’ll give the Senator his due. He does his job and makes sure constituent services get taken care of.

  30. - J - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 4:55 pm:

    Hey Rich, PPP is asking which state to poll and Illinois is an option.

    Can we get a “Freep this Poll” post tomorrow?

  31. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 4:55 pm:

    This would be a disaster for the GOP. Obie’s ginormous ego will rule the campaign and the inevitable flameout will occur. This is far from Durbin’s first rodeo and he will have “defined” Obie as a crazy extremist likely before the implosion. As others have noted, all his name on the ballot will do is drive up Dem turnout. Stay in Springfield, Milk Dud.

  32. - Amuzing Myself - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 4:59 pm:

    Oberweis for Senate and Rauner for Gov. Now there’s the ticket that will kill whatever is left of the GOP in Illinois for good. God help us!

  33. - Judgment Day - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 5:08 pm:

    If the R’s (and Obie himself) are serious, Obie’s not the candidate. This has to be an asymmetrical political campaign. And it still may not work (call it as it is, a long shot), but if you get the right candidate, well, who knows.

    I’d push for Erika Harold to run. Durbin’s always faced very conventional Republican candidates. Harold could create a totally different dynamic in the election.

    “Same ole Same ole” hasn’t worked for Republicans. Time to take a different approach.

    If I were Obie and I wanted to score points within the Republican party and within his own community, I’d turn into her biggest backer for US Senate.

  34. - south of 70 - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 6:41 pm:

    Oberweis should stick to ice cream, not run for any other office so he doesn’t have to raise the price of ice cream again or reduce the size of the servings.

    Durbin is a great guy who takes care of his constituents and works to make government successful

  35. - MrJM - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 6:51 pm:

    Oh, how I’ve missed the Ice Cream Headache.

    – MrJM

  36. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 7:49 pm:

    Sen Durbin May have taken the bus because he is financially very conservative……..with his own money. For real. Ask around, as they say

  37. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 8:41 pm:

    =If Oberweis wins, he’ll fit in very nicely in the idealogue,do nothing positive GOPers in Congress…=

    Funny. I was thinking the exact opposite. My thoughts ran more along the lines of the observation that George Will made regarding Jack Ryan. From what I recall (paraphrased), George asked whether Jack would actually be happy in the US Senate based on his private sector experience and ability “to get things done.”

    Now having a better sense of what the day-to-day seems to be like (thanks in part to the use of “social media” and in part, in watching what Mr. Kirk and his team are up to (though I’ll admit that may not be a good a foundation for “good” observations or analyses”)), I’m wondering whether someone like Jim would be happy or frustrated in such a role because of his public sector experience and again, “ability to get things done” within that context.

    I’d certainly support him. However, I would still wonder for the same reasons George wondered about Jack. No reflection on Jim. It’s the context he’d be working in.

    Now if he could figure out a way to “bypass” some of the roadblocks, that could result in possible, positive changes overall.

  38. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 8:42 pm:

    I had my snark, made my jokes …

    To the Post,

    Jim Oberweis would bring disaster to a slate of GOP candidates that might filter down all the way …to the General Assembly seats.

    We all don’t need to look too far back and see how Bill Brady was painted by Pat Quinn as “too extreme for Illinois”. Oberweis’ numerous runs for Federal and State offices give a great deal of ammo to paint an “extreme” picture with Jim Oberweis’ own words. Jim Oberweis and the SSM issue alone could make it quite clear to moderates that Jim Oberweis is not inclusive to the body politic, and makes it quite clear that being a Republican must mean making “inclusion” a dirty word …

    Until Jim Oberweis didn’t. Until Jim Oberweis backtracked, and welcomed all these other ideas… as long at the Platform is striclty followed by the Chairman, which flies directly in the face of inclusion, but gets applause from the “Right” who refuse the ideas of the Reagan Rule, and can be easily manipulated in a General Election against Sen. Durbin.

    Sen Durbin is not Sen. Carol Mosely Braun.

    The idea that this is “Peter Fitzgerald II” is utterly ignorant to the parameters of the Fitzgerald race, both in Primary and General Election contests, versus Jim Oberweis and Sen. Durbin going toe to toe, with the baggage that is Jim Oberweis.

    Jim Oberweis’ window to move up is not now, and by forcing, or breaking the glass of that window to stroke the ego of Jim Oberweis will bring down all that can be good for My Party this cycle to move forward and be an alternative to the voters. As the “Purist” primary the likes of Sandack and Pihos, and the “Purist” divide My Party in the Primary, the stain of what Jim Oberweis has done, especially in the last year, coupled with “Purity Primaries” makes this run at Sen. Durbin horrible news for My Party, and those thinking a new day is possible.

    Feed the ego, Sen. Oberweis, but as you feed it, remember, it may lead to bigger loses, as you get painted far worse than Bill Brady, and you have no one to thank for that than yourself.

    Don’t ruin our chnaces, Jim Oberweis. You got a good poll result, but Durbin is at 50%. Don’t drag My Party down with you.

    You are not helping with this run, you very well may be hurting, and hurting deep in the Veto-Proofed General Assembly Caucuses too.

    It’s not your time.

  39. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 8:42 pm:

    Sorry. That obviously should have read “…I’m wondering whether someone like Jim would be happy or frustrated in such a role because of his PRIVATE sector experience and again, “ability to get things done” within that context.

  40. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 8:55 pm:

    But then again, I’ll add that sometimes the best approach to “organizational change management” (assuming those concepts can even apply to the Senate)is to “drop” someone in who has the tenacity to keep at it, thus affecting change from within.

    From that perspective, putting Jim (and others like him)in might enable them to pull it off and eventually deal with more of the *true* constraints that are imposed upon them within the environment.

  41. - Madison - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 10:02 pm:

    The Oberfieldmarshal may be the break we been looking for…a way to increase turnout with obamacare looming. It was gonna be a disaster. Im gonna eat a lot of ice cream watching this unfold.. God is a Democrat. Praise the lord and pass the ice cream!

  42. - Just The Way It Is One - Tuesday, Sep 24, 13 @ 10:55 pm:

    It’s a free country, and who knows, but Dick Durbin is like an Institution now in this State. As such, I just don’t at ALL see ALL of those Undecideds swinging over to Oberweis’ side, if he ran, to make it some kind of a cliffhanger and somehow miraculously put him over the top; sorry, state Sen., nothing’s impossible, but I just don’t believe in my gut that such a Long-shot, at best, is likely, and, whoa, he’d have to REALLY find somehow and/or devote a TON of his OWN money (again) and it just doesn’t seem worth it against a mightly well-liked, still-popular, teflon-like kind of sitting Senior U.S Senator like Dick Durbin…!

  43. - Left Leaner - Wednesday, Sep 25, 13 @ 9:09 am:

    Oberweis again!?

  44. - Logic not emotion - Wednesday, Sep 25, 13 @ 9:32 am:

    I don’t think Oberweis has a shot; but I would love for some candidate such as Erika Harold to run against him. It’d set in play some interesting dynamics. I’ve only met Durbin a few times so I’ll refrain from comments about him as a person; but there are a lot of people who strongly disagree with virtually everything he says or supports. I’d personally would love to see him replaced by a republican or at least a more moderate / less liberal democrat.

  45. - votecounter - Wednesday, Sep 25, 13 @ 11:51 am:

    You think it would be better to have NOBODY run? The African American community is PO’d about the immigration amnesty thing. Unemployment in Englewood, Lawndale or Austin among young black men is approaching 90% How can Durbin run in these communities? I know Oberweis will and can run there and be welcomed! If Oberweis can peel away only a few percentage points from the black community Durbin will be beaten. Durbin can no longer count on downstate voters helping him the map will be much like the last Governors election, Oberweis has to get 500,000 votes out of Cook county and he win’s by 3-5%. That in an off year election is very doable.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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