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Quinn and congressional Democrats

Thursday, Jul 10, 2014

* The Hill looks at Illinois congressional contests

At least four Illinois races this cycle are competitive, and Republicans are optimistic they can pick up at least one to two seats, especially with a robust GOP turnout operation backed by the wealthy Rauner.

One-term former GOP Reps. Bob Dold and Bobby Schilling are both in close rematches against Democratic Reps. Brad Schneider and Cheri Bustos, respectively. Republicans also hope to knock off freshman Rep. Bill Enyart (D) after unsuccessfully targeting the open downstate district in 2012, contending GOP state Rep. Mike Bost’s campaign is on the upswing.

* One reason why the national GOPs are optimistic is the unpopularity of Gov. Pat Quinn

The GOP-aligned American Action Network released an automated poll last week that showed Dold up 42 percent to 39 percent in the rematch [with Schneider]. But in the governor’s race, in a district Obama won by 17 points, Rauner was leading Quinn 49 percent to 37 percent. Republicans expect similar, or even worse numbers, in from their governor in other districts in the state. […]

“We can tie Quinn to every single congressional race,” said one national GOP strategist

That poll and the expectation of tying candidates to Quinn doesn’t surprise me at all. I’m not so sure that works well in Illinois, though. Republicans tried hard to tie Democrats to Rod Blagojevich without much success.

* More from the poll

President Barack Obama has a 44 percent job approval rating in the 10th district with 46 percent saying they disapprove and 10 percent not sure. […]

Schneider is vulnerable because in his second year as a House member, a large number of poll respondents—44 percent—have no opinion of how he is handling his job, with 28 percent approving and 28 percent disapproving. […]

* The candidate calls himself a moderate but then campaigns with Nancy Pelosi and the chair of the Democratic National Committee.

    More likely 32 percent

    Less likely 45 percent

    Not sure 23 percent

* The candidate claims to be independent but votes with party leadership 90 percent of the time.

    More likely 15 percent

    Less likely 43 percent

    Not sure 41 percent.

That district could easily wind up bouncing back and forth between the two parties for the rest of the remap cycle.

* Back to The Hill

Democrats’ one saving grace could be Sen. Dick Durbin (D). The Senate majority whip is up for reelection but faces only nominal GOP opposition for a fourth term. As a downstate native who hails from Springfield, he’s always had a good image around the state and is a valuable elder statesman and party fundraiser.

I just don’t think as of yet that Durbin’s coattails will be long enough.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


27 Comments
  1. - lake county democrat - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 10:08 am:

    I mentioned this before, but I love the irony of Quinn pressing Rauner on his tax returns when Schneider (10th Congressional District) refused to produce his. Schneider has been nearly invisible in the last two years with the exception of immigration reform - not an issue I’m personally in favor (at least the Gang of Eight bill) but one that might play well in pockets like Waukegan if they can get the vote out. I agree that tying Schneider to Quinn seems like a dubious strategy - I think a lot of voters who might go for Rauner would almost feel a push to split their ticket.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 10:11 am:

    All of this bodes very well for GOP wins, but I need more info to rule Enyart, today, is in trouble. Enyart might be a target , but not feeling that Enyart is in trouble.

    When things ramp up, it could change for me.


  3. - The Prince - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 10:12 am:

    I haven’t really seen a whole lot of coattails in Illinois. Too many ticket-splitters and vote skippers in some races.


  4. - train111 - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 10:14 am:

    I think that Durbin’s coattails will be zero.
    I believe Obie will do better than people give him credit for.
    That’s bad for Enyart in a district that has been shifting towards the GOP over the last 20 years.


  5. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 10:16 am:

    The elections while Blagojevich allowed Illinois to collapse didn’t seem to create any real electoral advantages for the GOP. I believe Illinois right now has become such a rock solid one-party state, it will take more than an unpopular Democratic state leader to move it from supporting a Democratic state to a bipartisan one.

    The congressional maps have hardened the partisanship within Illinois as well. Thanks to modern technologies, candidates choose who votes for them more effectively in many cases, than in the pre-tech days when voters chose between candidates. When we do see a surprising election result, it has been often during a primary. This is because the partisanship during the general election has been so minutely predetermined.

    The GOP has an edge in 2014 for many reasons, yet those edges have to overcome the severely partisan congressional boundaries which favor the party which drew up those boundaries. Additionally, incumbents have over a 90% reelection rate and a huge fiscal advantage. The average incumbent collects a half million dollars over their challengers, thanks to lobbyists who need to work with incumbents in order to do state business.

    George Ryan was the caboose regarding the IL GOP gubernatorial era from 1974-2002. The IL GOP freshness date expired by the time Edgar decided to step down allowing old man Ryan to finally get his chance. Illinois was ready for a political change when Blagojevich won. So the Democrats in the governor’s office is still seen as the change from the long running GOP era. So when Blagojevich went to jail, voters were still not ready for another long GOP gubernatorial run, giving Quinn an edge.

    Now that Quinn has been in, voters seem ready to consider a GOP governor again. But that doesn’t change their comfort with the Democratic incumbents safely ensconced within their Democratic gerrymandered districts.

    If Quinn goes down as it looks like he will, I don’t believe his losing campaign will drag down a Democratic US House incumbent too. The GOP candidates will need to earn their own ticket to DC, even in this off-year election.


  6. - walker - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 10:18 am:

    Kirk could directly help Dold more than Durbin’s coattails will help Schneider, if he can get after it. Kirk was unbeatable in that district.

    Four years ago, the key messages that seemed to drive GOP turnout were “anti-Obamacare” and “the economy is in the toilet.” Both of those remain concerns, but aren’t as powerful drivers as they were then. Rauner will pull some extra folks out on the North shore, and NW suburbs. who will vote for Dold.

    And in general, incumbents won’t do well.

    Bost would be a trip in the Big House in DC.


  7. - Bill White - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 10:18 am:

    Interesting that Foster-Senger isn’t on that list


  8. - Downstate MM - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 10:21 am:

    Durbin’s number in Southern Illinois are break even at best, and that is with the metro-east.


  9. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 10:28 am:

    ===Interesting that Foster-Senger isn’t on that list===

    I don’t see that race in play. There is a great deal of noise and bluster, but Foster is in the driver’s seat, it his to lose.


  10. - Mittuns - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 10:32 am:

    I think it is more likely Callis wins than any of those seats going GOP.


  11. - Norseman - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 10:35 am:

    Way to make an impression Oberweis.


  12. - Federalist - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 10:42 am:

    Still believe Quinn will win.

    It will take a more attractive personality than Rauner has to win in this Blue state.

    Great overview Vanillaman!


  13. - steve schnorf - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 10:50 am:

    Generally, the national GOP has virtually zero understanding of Illinois politics. Look around. When the landslide rolls across the rest of the country, it doesn’t even raise much dust here in Illinois. They don’t get it, and given the results of the past few cycles, they don’t even know they don’t get it.


  14. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 10:55 am:

    ===They (the national GOP) don’t get it, and given the results of the past few cycles, they don’t even know they don’t get it.===

    Best insight of the failures of the ILGOP and the national GOP here in IL and why both fail.

    Good stuff there.


  15. - Carolyn P - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 10:58 am:

    [This commenter has been banned for life.]


  16. - walker - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 11:13 am:

    Carolyn P: Harsh and unfair language about a personal religious choice. Doesn’t belong as part of a dialogue about political choices.


  17. - Louis G. Atsaves - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 11:37 am:

    Rauner threw Christ under the bus? I nominate that comment as the most insanely disgusting and crass political comment of the year!


  18. - a drop in - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 11:41 am:

    meh. 3% lead in a republican push poll doesn’t impress me.


  19. - The Captain - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 11:43 am:

    When the map was first drawn I thought each of the 8th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th and 17th would wind up in the hands of each party at some point during the 5 cycles under this map. The political popularity of Duckworth may be strong enough to prove me wrong in the 8th, but otherwise these seats should be competitive each cycle. This is why I find some of the Fair Map people hyperbolic, I’m not sure a computer could come up with a way to draw the map that would do much better than have 6 true tossup seats here.

    One interesting footnote about the 12th: there’s no Senate race in Missouri this cycle. In cycles where there’s a competitive race in Missouri (President, US Senate) the Dems in IL-12 often get the benefit of of the national efforts to turn out base voters in St. Louis with some of that media spilling over into the base voters in IL-12 but this cycle they’re on their own.


  20. - D.P.Gumby - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 11:59 am:

    Don’t think Schilling has the movement to re-gain. Foster seems to be more vulnerable.


  21. - Carl Nyberg - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 12:28 pm:

    Incumbents in Congress don’t deserve to be re-elected.

    But Republicans don’t deserve to be elected to Congress either.

    There’s a contest to determine who the voters despise more.

    That’s democracy in USA in 2014. Love it or leave it.

    Remember, voting for someone else is not an option.


  22. - A guy... - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 12:54 pm:

    Good comments here. What will really matter is how truly intolerant the voters are with the perception of continuing corruption from Governors. That will remain to be seen, but I’m picking up a vibe that folks are sick of being on the national news and late night shows for the infamy of corruption and violence. Their attention is piqued.

    While many of those Congressional seats look like tossups now, at least four of them used to be reasonably reliable GOP seats. Fair map; you decide.

    All of the highlighted Congress candidates have a good shot (including Senger) with lackluster campaigners on the Dem side. Foster’s a snore. Bustos runs afraid. Schnieder is aloof and Enyart is not multi-dimensional; only a little more exciting than Foster. All of those GOPers are pretty good to excellent campaigners. With Obama, Quinn, and the entire Congress a drag on them, they’ve got a lot to overcome. It will be interesting. Hard work and “enough” money will win 3 or 4 of these races. Rauner will be a plus in all of them.


  23. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 12:56 pm:

    Schilling hasn’t been raising the money you’d expect if he was really in the ballgame. Time’s getting short.


  24. - Just Observing - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 1:47 pm:

    === That district could easily wind up bouncing back and forth between the two parties for the rest of the remap cycle. ===

    I think whoever wins this time, holds the seat for a while.


  25. - Just Observing - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 1:49 pm:

    === I love the irony of Quinn pressing Rauner on his tax returns when Schneider (10th Congressional District) refused to produce his. ===

    I think it’s only ironic if Quinn is asked about it and Quinn doesn’t think Shhneider’s non-disclosure is an issue. Otherwise, the 10th is is not Quinn’s race — he is not responsible for every Dem below him on the ballot.


  26. - A guy... - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 2:15 pm:

    ===Otherwise, the 10th is is not Quinn’s race — he is not responsible for every Dem below him on the ballot.====

    He could be by November.


  27. - WootBaseball - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 3:48 pm:

    IL-10 will be the closest because of the strength of Dold, but in the end it will be a Republican net gain of 0.

    In fact, I’ll go out on a limb and say R -1, as Rodney Davis will lose to Ann Callis.


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