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Cook moves Enyart district from “Lean D” to “Toss-up”

Friday, Aug 1, 2014

* The Cook Political report has shifted its projections to favor Republicans in 17 congressional districts and shifted ratings to favor Democrats in just four. Illinois’ 12th District has been shifted a notch away from the Democrats

Several polls show Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn well behind in this Downstate district, and that has Enyart backers worried. Democrats portray GOP state Rep. Mike Bost as “Meltdown Mike” for his infamous tirade on the state House floor, but Bost has worked hard to cast Enyart as “Beltway Bill” and actually outraised him in the second quarter of this year.

Some Democrats complain Enyart needs to work harder to raise his visibility in his district, otherwise Quinn could drag him down. Voter anxiety about the EPA could also play a role in a district where coal is a major industry. Private polling shows the race extremely tight, and Democrats may need to air footage of Bost’s meltdown to cast him as too hotheaded for Congress.

I’ll disagree with that last statement. If this develops into a truly anti-incumbent year (and it sure looks that way), then sending an angry hothead to Congress might be just what the voters want.

Your thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller        


31 Comments
  1. - Jerome Horwitz - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 9:29 am:

    Republicans are making gains throughout southern Illinois.


  2. - Gooner - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 9:33 am:

    I agree with Rich on the strategy.

    Voters seem to like crazy when it is in their own district. They want their Rep. to yell and scream. Adults are not valued.

    So no, I don’t think Bost’s rants would hurt Bost. Heck, Bost might want to consider getting ahead of the game and running ads showing his rant(s), tossing up whatever economic numbers help his case, and then close with “In times like these, who isn’t outraged?” Bost could claim the “justified outrage” turf.


  3. - CircularFiringSquad - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 9:38 am:

    We would use the Boss Toss footage with some fight scenes from the Indonesian Senate and say that’s who IL needs to send to IL.
    BTW Pizza Bobby is getting Speaker Boner to fundraise for him soon…that should be special


  4. - Apocolypse Now - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 9:48 am:

    More evidence of this being Republican year. Enyart can’t count on much, if any, support for any statewide Democrat in his district. Oh well, if Enyart loses, he and his wife will be able to collect their $275,000 year pensions. Got to wonder, if his heart is really in this race.


  5. - Jerry Hubbard - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 9:57 am:

    The GOP will pick up the Enyart and Schneider districts, at the very least.


  6. - Anonymous - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 10:00 am:

    ==Enyart can’t count on much, if any, support for any statewide Democrat in his district. ==

    Sheila Simon: “Hey, wait a minute…no, you’re probably right.”


  7. - Empty Suit - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 10:02 am:

    I say in his district it helps. If he were a state wide or national candidate might be a different story.


  8. - A guy... - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 10:05 am:

    Run the Bost Tape repeatedly down there. If I’m Bost, I call the stations and offer to pay to double the buy. An over the top passionate explosion matches the mood of many voters. They want a guy who cares and feels it. He’s known in those parts. People know him as a nice guy who’s capable of going nuclear “for his constituents”. Keep rolling it.


  9. - Dirty Red - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 10:20 am:

    Where is Costello? :)


  10. - yo - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 10:27 am:

    considering how far right the republican party has lurched, a republican wave this Fall is really going to be bad news. I hear Costa Rica is nice…


  11. - walker - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 10:30 am:

    If his high-pitched rants weren’t entirely rehearsed, and had some substance behind them, I’d feel better about them.

    The voters might like them. It’s just showmanship, and won’t be seen for what it is, for a while.


  12. - VanillaMan - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 10:46 am:

    Cook is only confirming reality here.


  13. - Watch the clown - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 10:56 am:

    19 years. That’s how long Moses has been in the House. Has to be plenty of Madigan landmines for Enyart to use.


  14. - Anonymous 88 - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 10:59 am:

    Have to say, I think you’re right, Rich. Bost’s ridiculous rant might just endear him to hothead voters, much in the same way that Ted Cruz’s petulant behavior seems to strengthen his bond with Tea Party folks. Can’t help but feel that Bost’s pension meltdown is a deleted scene from that great Tim Robin film, “Bob Roberts.”

    Bost’s website touts his “passionate leadership,” so that’s the vibe he’s going for: passionate as in mad-as-hell. As someone who has already held elected office, he will win votes that Jason Plummer couldn’t pull in (because even Repubs thought Jay Jay would just be ineffectual and brainless). Also, Bost’s website tackles Enyart for his supposed “attack against military chaplains” — which will likely pop up in a Bost ad sooner or later, if it hasn’t already. Unfortunately, such an ad will hurt Enyart in my neck of the woods. I doubt that Enyart can explain his vote as quickly as Bost can demonize it.


  15. - Illinois Calls It - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 11:09 am:

    Bost needs to go in the metroeast and run up his voter profile. Bost needs to go after Enyart being pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, and anti-gun. I mean half of Enyart’s Congressional Staff is gay and although us in Chicago do not care— it is not representive of the district. I mean the Chief of Staff is gay and Enyart plans to officiate his wedding. Boston will need to turn up the rhetoric to bring out the Conservatives and steal this seat.


  16. - Dirty Red - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 11:16 am:

    The farther south knows Bost and that he is “passionate.” That’s his base and they eat up that video. However I would be surprised if his “passionate leadership” resonates with voters in Metro east. Bost not being from the ME only makes winning over those voters a bit more difficult.

    More importantly, Camp Bost needs stability. Too many leadership changes. Enyart has outplayed Bost thus far. The levee bill trick was unreal. One would hope retaining campaign leadership would at least help solve that problem. Having Ron, who knows the area, down there is a good start.


  17. - Distance - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 11:26 am:

    I can’t say either candidate is a good choice. But Enyart has been in Congress for two years and what has he done? Enyart is the only vote in congress attacking Military chaplains and he is a former General. He has Town hall PHONE meetings with prearranged questions. His main concern seems to be Photo ops with Veterans on the VA crisis. What about all the problems of his district and the US. Haven’t heard anything on the Boarder crisis or the Coal industries being destroyed. He now has a FIVE week paid vacation. It looks like in the next five weeks he personally could get around his district and have some PUBLIC town hall meeting. Not the invited political leader photo Op meeting. If he wants to distance himself from the people who elect him, he doesn’t need to be in Congress!!!!


  18. - Downstate Illinois - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 11:33 am:

    Enyart’s votes and positions against religious freedom hurt him - he’s actually to the left of Nancy Pelosi. Costello was pro-life, at least until Obamacare. Even Costello has pointed out Enyart’s radical positions of support for all forms of abortion.

    Enyart just looks mild-mannered. As expected from someone with the character and ethics to support Rod Blagojevich in exchange for a cabinet position, he will do and say anything to appease the radical left. If he has any principles they certainly aren’t a match for the 12th District.


  19. - Apocolypse Now - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 11:34 am:

    =Where is Costello? :) =
    Costello is a registered federal lobbyist. He is out of the campaigning business.


  20. - Rich Miller - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 11:36 am:

    ===he’s actually to the left of Nancy Pelosi===

    You need to go take a nap and rest your goofy head. Seriously.


  21. - Madison - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 11:39 am:

    This year? I believe the “let my people go” speech is pure gold. Obama is despised by older middle class white Democrats in his district, and congress? Well if you have”nt been pounding the pavement I can’t describe the terms used i would be banned for life here.


  22. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 11:49 am:

    ==He now has a FIVE week paid vacation.==

    Hey dope, so do the 434 other House members. If you want to complain, call John Boehner.


  23. - Anon - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 11:50 am:

    Dirty Red, not sure where you’re getting your information. As far as I know, Team Bost has only had one change in leadership. And when that manager left, no one else left with him. The number 2 moved to the top and they brought on some new people and things have been working fine since then. Seems like a pretty stable operation to me.


  24. - Mittuns - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 12:45 pm:

    Bost would fit in well with the House GOP. Between he, Kay, and McCarter, Southern Illinois is well represented with Know-Nothings and Do-Nothings.


  25. - Dirty Red - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 1:12 pm:

    Anon, it is my understanding there was a change before that. Granted it may have been early on in the campaign’s life that come November it will not have mattered, but it might have impacted Bost’s tactics in the early spring.

    Apocolypse, that is good to know. It will be interesting to see if that ever changes. Although I suppose he could retain his status and let his organization make its impact be felt? Not sure. I’m not as familiar with federal lobbying laws.


  26. - Frustrated Voter - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 1:19 pm:

    The Costellos are privately supporting Bost behind the scenes. They want Enyart to go down to clear the path for Jerry Jr. to run against Bost in 2016. Jerry Costello on the ballot in a presidential year? Fuggedaboutit.


  27. - Dirty Red - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 1:36 pm:

    Frustrated Voter is hitting on exactly what I have been hearing.


  28. - steve schnorf - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 2:33 pm:

    Enyart backers are worried because Quinn is not polling well in the district. They could have more simply gone to the Board of Elections website and seen how Governor Quin ran in the district last time. Jeez. If Governor Quinn polling well in a downstate district is going to be the prognosticator of choice for this year there won’t be many D victories outside Cook County, will there? This ins’t a criticism of Quinn, it is a reality that he already knows he’s facing, and it makes Enyart’s backers sound like dunces.


  29. - Responsa - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 2:35 pm:

    What some people view as “crazy”, other people see as “passion”. That’s why elections are fun.


  30. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 3:40 pm:

    To the Post,

    This is more of a reflection of IL Dems, starting with Quinn, than anything else.

    The financials put the seat in a scrimmage, but Enyart and Bost is going to hinge on National issues within the scope of District needs come Election Day, 90 plus days away.


  31. - The Truth - Sunday, Aug 3, 14 @ 2:25 am:

    Ok, is this the same political report that had this race a toss up on election day two years ago and Enyart won by 10 pts? …. Oh it is. Enyart wins, polls don’t work in East St. Louis and they don’t account for St. Clair Dem machine votes. Bost is going to have to have a 10 point lead going into election day to pull this off and he won’t.


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