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Is the 10th District in play?

Friday, Jul 28, 2006

Cook and Rothenberg differ on the 10th District race between incumbent Mark Kirk and Democrat Dan Seals.

The Cook Political Report, a Washington-based non-partisan on-line analysis of congressional races across the country, now lists the 10th District race as one of 54 Republican seats nationwide that could be competitive in November. The seat is still listed as “likely Republican,” the least competitive of three categories identified in the report. It was previously considered a safe seat. […]

“We’re watching it,” said Nathan Gonzales, political editor of the Rothenberg Report. “We met with Seals and thought he was a good candidate but right now we don’t see the seat being in danger,”

Amy Walter, senior editor of the Cook Political Report, said “the reality is Mark Kirk is very difficult to beat one on one” during a normal election year and he’s still favored to win the race at this point. […]

[However] “It’s not really about Mark Kirk or Dan Seals,” she said. “It’s about the political climate.”

Read the whole thing. This is a very good political story from a suburban weekly. That’s not a common thing.

Also, take a look at a recent bipartisan poll of the 50 most hotly contested congressional races in the country, 40 of them which are Republican. [pdf file] It’s not great news for the nation’s majority party.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

53 Comments
  1. - bored now - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 6:35 am:

    the seals campaign has positioned itself so that it can be there if there’s a huge national wave. but it is hard to imagine how it will raise dan’s name recognition, especially in the last month of the election when you can expect the governor to be heavy on tv, giannoulias will be there, bean, mcsweeney, duckworth, roskam — i wonder how much traction seals can gain with all this noise in the background. i sure hope that adelstein-liston isn’t going to take a convention approach to this; seals will need to stand out — and with more than just an obama ad…


  2. - bored now - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 6:40 am:

    this was the part of the report on this poll yesterday that caught my eye (which certainly bodes well for seals):

    “We asked the question about a generic Democrat or Republican, then we plugged in the names of actual incumbents and challengers. The numbers didn’t change much and the voters seemed pretty firm about their choices.”


  3. - Lee - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 7:47 am:

    Want to see what Kirk is campaigning on? Take a look at this video http://www.atcenternetwork.com/?p=232


  4. - Anon - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 8:31 am:

    What is with all the Kool-aid drinking? Next thing you know, the Cook Report will be saying John Cox has a legitimate shot at winning Iowa or Peraica is the favorite in his race!!!

    Kirk has a 3-1 (1.8 to 500K) money adavantage, he has done a tremendous job of building an organization and Seals has the common Illinois Dem Congressional candidate problem of failing to even bother to move into the district he hopes to represent.

    Someone shoud pass that Kool-aid over to the Umholtz campaign….they could use a nice pick me up in these hot summer months!!!


  5. - bored now - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 8:58 am:

    so, anon 8:31 am: what are the generic ballot results in the tenth?

    more fun facts: for someone who likes to tout that “he’s one of the brightest members of the house, he’s got no influence, he’s in the bottom 50 of republicans in the power rankings, and he’s generally considered a shrill for donald rumsfeld, both inside and outside of washington, d.c. you can only laugh when you see his campaign slogan (thoughtful independent leadership)! he’s exhibited *none* of these characteristics…


  6. - Niles Township - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 9:18 am:

    Kirk has many supporters in and out of the district. This is a district that has a history of normally Dem voters punching for a liberal/moderate GOPer. I don’t see that changes in this cycle.


  7. - who cares - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 9:34 am:

    That district likes moderates and they seem to like Kirk. Just don’t see an overwhelming desire for change, which is an obvious requirement for defeating an incumbent. Here’s the latest ratings of Congress–looks like Kirk is just left of center. http://nationaljournal.com/voteratings/pdf/Centrists.pdf


  8. - Anon - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 9:56 am:

    Bored Now…what has the generic ballot been in that district for the last few cycles and how close did anyone come to beating him then?

    I am glad you people are so greedy and so overconfident…that is why GOPers will keep control of Congress and why Kirk will win by 10 points in the 10th.

    Enjoy the Kool-Aid


  9. - bored now - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 10:06 am:

    Just don’t see an overwhelming desire for change

    i suppose that depends on who you talk to. nonetheless, the dynamics for these kinds of seat (blue presidential, red congressional) have changed markedly over the last year, if the polling is to be believed. two questions to look at are a.) bush’s job performance numbers in the district, and b.) the generic ballot question. the fact that congress(wo)man in these districts are no longer polling significantly (above the MOE) above the general ballot results is indicative. i guess the one bright spot for kirk is that illinois really is different, it doesn’t necessarily follow the national trends. in november we will see…


  10. - p - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 10:33 am:

    My Congressman is shaking hands with puppies — what a faux falk craptacular song that is. Thanks for getting that stuck in my head. The female harmony part is one of the least sexy things I’ve ever heard. Just about brutal in every way.


  11. - Ed - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 10:44 am:

    “Want to see what Kirk is campaigning on? Take a look at this video http://www.atcenternetwork.com/?p=232″

    Oh look it’s Lee Goodman. For those of you who do not know, this is the joker who ran against Kirk in 2004 and got absolutely slaughtered 64% to 34%.

    I watched your video, Lee, and besides being appalling poorly made, it completely misses the point. He was at that event to show his support for the humane society’s campaign to end animal cruelty, specifically internet hunting. I’d say that is a worthy cause and many in the 10th district would agree with me.


  12. - Ed - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 10:49 am:

    To directly address the question, the 10th district is not in play. Mark Kirk is a very strong candidate and he has won the last two elections by huge margins, 69% in 2002 (http://www.opensecrets.org/races/summary.asp?ID=IL10&Cycle=2002) and 64% in 2002. (http://www.opensecrets.org/races/summary.asp?ID=IL10&Cycle=2004)

    In this current election cycle he leads Dan Seals almost 3 to 1 in terms of money raised, and his visibility is far superior.


  13. - bored now - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 12:10 pm:

    ed, thanks for your response. i was so happy to see you demolish the reasoning that those who actually pay attention to congressional races have for saying that it is. it’s almost like 1994 never happened!

    oh, wait. my bad. mark kirk is certainly running scared. his use of telephone townhall meetings is not only state-of-the-art but relatively expensive to boot! perhaps you should forward kirk your comments so he can be less afraid. one would hate to see the guy (who has more on his mind than most congressmen these days) fret over nothing…


  14. - Michael - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 12:20 pm:

    ‘Bored Now’ has highlighted two areas of significance in politics and then proceeded to base his opinions on no facts whatsoever. The truth is that Congressman Kirk has a tremendous influence in the House having served on the Appropriations Committee and as co-Chairman of the Republican Moderate Group Caucus. Kirk has been independent and effective on a range of issues including his support of the Stem Cell Research bill and legislation to clean up Lake Michigan. Congressman Kirk deals with the issues that matter most to the 10th district and that’s why he will win this election with an even greater margin than his 30 point win in 2004.


  15. - Lovie's Leather - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 12:30 pm:

    If Kirk loses, the dems will be in solid control of the house. I don’t see it happening… but it very well could… I guess….


  16. - bored now - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 12:39 pm:

    isn’t it interesting how i based my comment about kirk having no influence (and his power ranking) on actual third-party reports! i’m sorry, michael, that you don’t like those facts, but facts they remain (even if you wish to ignore them!)…


  17. - NW burbs - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 1:01 pm:

    For how often he votes to support the conservative philosophy of endless war, bottomless debt and ignoring reality… you could hardly call Kirk a “moderate”. Granted, he’s done a stellar job of massaging the media — hyping any ‘moderate’, feel-good story lines (medals to WWII vets, stem cell research) and downplaying any hard-line conservative votes (especially since the moderate votes never seem to do any good while the conservative votes are on bills that actually pass and get signed).

    Maybe his Air buddies can change his call sign from Rooster to “Moderate” since those things are based on jokes anyway.


  18. - The Facts of Life - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 1:09 pm:

    The race is definetely in play, Here’s why:

    1. This is a Democratic district that is only trending more Democratic. The 10th voted for a Democrat in the last three presidential elections. Since 2000, when Kirk barely beat a somewhat strong candidate (who self destructed, btw) more State Reps and Senators have been elected to in the 10th, and Dems are competing up there in races where people thought they never could win. Nobody can say that the Lake County GOP has outdone the Dems in the last few years, and Mark Kirk and his supporters know that.

    2. Dan Seals is a very strong candidate. Aside from being very photogenic, he’s polished, intelligent, witty, charming, and personally engaging. He’s got a very strong professional and public service background, and most importantly, he has a compelling message based on moving in a new direction, as opposed to the same old same old. He’s excited the base, without alientating moderates. He’s gotten support from many local Republicans, and he’s quietly raising enough money to be able to play on TV when it counts. Also, the Dems want it bad up there, and they are very well organized.

    3. Mark Kirk has his own problems. He’s done a phenomenal job of generating positive press on bread and butter congressional issues, and he’s managed to couch himself on issues like Choice and the Environment, but the problem with being a member of Congress, as John Kerry knows is that you have to take a lot of votes. Before Mark Kirk is an environmentalist, or a pro-choice, he’s a Republican, and he taken plenty of votes to move legislation that’s bad for choice, and bad for the environment, and he knows it. But Mark Kirk isn’t going to lose on not being pro-choice enough, he’s going to lose on the War, and on being complancent with the policies of the Bush Administration. He has been a staunch supporter of the adminstration since before we invaded Iraq, never questioning the policy. People in the 10th are smart, and they read the newspapers and watch TV. They know Bush, and Kirk’s buddy Rumsfeld messed Iraq bad.


  19. - The Facts of Life - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 1:11 pm:

    Also, if all you can say about Seals is that he lives out of the district, you guys are screwed.


  20. - Ed - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 1:19 pm:

    “oh, wait. my bad. mark kirk is certainly running scared. his use of telephone townhall meetings is not only state-of-the-art but relatively expensive to boot! perhaps you should forward kirk your comments so he can be less afraid. one would hate to see the guy (who has more on his mind than most congressmen these days) fret over nothing…”

    Well guess what, Kirk can afford to have those meetings because he has raised three times what Dan Seals has. A large part of it from individual contributors. That speaks volumes about his support in his district.

    Furthermore, I looked at your link, bored now, and Kirk is ranked 226 in terms of power in the House, hardly the lightweight you make him out to be. It also speaks volumes about his regard in the House that he was given a seat on the appropriations committee so quickly. The only reason he doesn’t rank much higher than he currently does is because by House standards he is still fairly junior.


  21. - Ed - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 1:30 pm:

    “3. Mark Kirk has his own problems. He’s done a phenomenal job of generating positive press on bread and butter congressional issues, and he’s managed to couch himself on issues like Choice and the Environment, but the problem with being a member of Congress, as John Kerry knows is that you have to take a lot of votes. Before Mark Kirk is an environmentalist, or a pro-choice, he’s a Republican, and he taken plenty of votes to move legislation that’s bad for choice, and bad for the environment, and he knows it. But Mark Kirk isn’t going to lose on not being pro-choice enough, he’s going to lose on the War, and on being complancent with the policies of the Bush Administration. He has been a staunch supporter of the adminstration since before we invaded Iraq, never questioning the policy. People in the 10th are smart, and they read the newspapers and watch TV. They know Bush, and Kirk’s buddy Rumsfeld messed Iraq bad.”

    You’re right, voters in the 10th are smart. They are well informed enough to see the Democrats’ flogging of the Iraq issue for what it is, a political smoke screen, an attempt to win by bashing the other guy rather than persuading the voters that you could do better. Furthermore, voters in the 10th district will realize that George Bush is not running in 2006.

    Voters in the 10th are also smart enough not to be single issue voters. They will look at Kirk’s phenomenal record on environmental issues (he was awarded the arctic medal of courage by the Alaska Coalition for his steadfast efforts to keep ANWR from being drilled), his constant efforts to improved education (He has been given an A+ by the NEA) and his staunchly pro-choice stance (he has been endorsed by Planned Parenthood).

    So thank God for smart voters in the 10th.


  22. - Ed - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 1:36 pm:

    “1. This is a Democratic district that is only trending more Democratic. The 10th voted for a Democrat in the last three presidential elections. Since 2000, when Kirk barely beat a somewhat strong candidate (who self destructed, btw) more State Reps and Senators have been elected to in the 10th, and Dems are competing up there in races where people thought they never could win. Nobody can say that the Lake County GOP has outdone the Dems in the last few years, and Mark Kirk and his supporters know that.”

    Oh really? Have you by chance looked at the poll results and compared the amounts of money raised in the 10th in the last two congressional elections? Mark Kirk and the GOP have absolutely destroyed the Democrats. If those last two elections were examples of the 10th district Democrats really trying then I would say that Kirk has nothing to fear.

    And the trend looks only to have continued this year. If the Democrats in 10th district are so much more motivated and impassioned than the Republicans, then why has Dan Seals only raised a third of the money Kirk has? I thought he was a strong candidate in a Democratic district that is trending even more Democratic. Shouldn’t his numbers and Kirk’s be reversed by your logic?


  23. - bored now - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 1:45 pm:

    somehow, arguing that kirk is near the top of the bottom 50% of members in congress doesn’t seem like an effective argument to me — especially when, as michael points out, he’s on the appropriations committee and chairs his own caucus! that’s the point i’m trying to make here. kirk *should* be a player in washington, but he’s not. no one takes the “boy king” seriously. he’s a lightweight…

    i agree that he’s well marketed. as to your point about money, kirk is raising money, no question. i’m sure he was hoping to spread some of that money around, in the attempt to be taken more seriously on the hill. instead, he’s got a real race on his hands, and he can’t be travelling around trying to help republicans, even moderate republicans, win.

    this race all comes down to: where’s the 10th in the generic ballot and how does president bush fare. kirk’s fate is tied to those factors, not how much money kirk or seals has. i got to say, though, kirk is probably the only person in congress who’s significantly helped by the israeli war. no doubt he’s praying dearly for its prolongation!


  24. - who cares - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 2:05 pm:

    Apparently today’s National Journal issued the most updated “Competitive House Races” list from Cook. 46 House Districts are in play, including the 8th and 6th Districts. The 10th District is not on the list. Let’s move on.


  25. - Jonah - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 2:13 pm:

    Who cares I agree. Kirk will win by 20%. Have we not learned our lesson from 2002 and 2004 folks? July polls are not serious and are very flawed. Go on vacation and do not worry about polling until after Labor Day. In July 2004 Kerry was going to Crush Bush and the Democrats would take back congress. Rich Miller will tell you that all these races will tighten in October, and Charlie Cook and other pollsters base there Summer findings on Generic polls.


  26. - The Facts of Life - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 2:15 pm:

    Ed,

    The voters of the 10th will hold Kirk accountable for his support of the War. This isn’t a political strategy, it’s reality. When a representative supports a policy that becomes unpopular, they have to answer for it back home. When a representative supports a an incredibly unpopular policy that’s going to have impacts on the US for generations, you better believe they will have to answer for it. As for Kirk’s support for Choice, he has not sponsored on important bill protecting women’s rights, Kirk voted to bring the partial birth abortion ban to he floor of the house, and Kirk has consistently voted to support and fund the administrations abstinence only sex ed programs. A real pro-choice candidate wouldn’t do that. He’s not as anti-choice as the 0% rating from Naral like some Republicans that Mark Kirk had donated to like Pete Sessions or Ernest Istook.

    As for the environment, where was Mark Kirk on the energy bill? Where has Mark Kirk been to influence other members of his party to take a stand on these issues. He’s never spoken out against the hard liners. He will get the endorsement of some groups, because they probably think he’s going to win, and most groups like to maintain the appearance of being bi-partisan, so Kirk can flog the Planned Parenthood endorsement as much as he wants, but I guarantee you someone is going to be sending out a post card showing the GOP Men of congress slobbering as they sign the so called “partial birth abortion ban,” reminding people how effective a pro-Choice “moderate” Republican is in a Congress dominated by the hard right.

    And Ed, come on. You probably aren’t that dumb, but I’ll take the bait. The last two opponents who ran against Kirk were not serious, by any stretch of the imagination. Nobody thought they were, Goodman didn’t even attempt to raise money or run a real campaign. The Seals campaign has been raising money like crazy, and they will continue to do so, even though the races in the 6th and the 8th are taking up a lot of oxygen.

    Come on Ed, this race is totally in play, why else would Kirk staff up and start spending money like the race is in play.


  27. - The Facts of Life - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 2:19 pm:

    Jonah,

    You can’t compare the previous opponents with the current one. They didn’t run serious campaigns, and didn’t raise serious money. By any accounting, 500k is serious money. Most Kirk supporters I know are privately saying Kirk will win with 55%, which is not what they were saying last year. If Kirk ins’t defeated this year, he better try to run for Senate in 08, because he’s not going to be around forever.


  28. - Ed - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 2:31 pm:

    “Ed,

    The voters of the 10th will hold Kirk accountable for his support of the War. This isn’t a political strategy, it’s reality. When a representative supports a policy that becomes unpopular, they have to answer for it back home. When a representative supports a an incredibly unpopular policy that’s going to have impacts on the US for generations, you better believe they will have to answer for it.”

    So I assume the vast majority of Democrats who are up for reelection this year are gonna be facing tough races too? After all, they voted for the War in Iraq too.

    “And Ed, come on. You probably aren’t that dumb, but I’ll take the bait. The last two opponents who ran against Kirk were not serious, by any stretch of the imagination. Nobody thought they were, Goodman didn’t even attempt to raise money or run a real campaign. The Seals campaign has been raising money like crazy, and they will continue to do so, even though the races in the 6th and the 8th are taking up a lot of oxygen.”

    The last two races weren’t serious? I agree that Lee Goodman was and is a joke, but Hank Perritt raised almost $500,000. Don’t tell me he wasn’t trying.

    And while we’re talking about money, the fact remains that while Seals has raised more money than Mark Kirk’s previous opponents, his available funds are nothing compared to what Kirk has raised. That sends a clearer signal about how the race is going than anything else.


  29. - Jonah - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 2:35 pm:

    Facts, 55% to 45% is still a double digit win. Considering Kirk won his first term against Gish by 51 to 49, that is pretty good. Lauren Beth Gish was a strong candidate with big $$$$ in a Democratic leaning open seat. Kirk won because of Jon Porter’s endorsement. Seals is not a serious candidate sorry. He has no buzz or traction.


  30. - Jonah - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 2:42 pm:

    Kirk’s support of the war does not hurt him in the very Pro-Israel 10th district. He also is a pilot in the National Guard and expert on Military Matters. I was downtown when Mark Kirk spoke at the Pro Israel rally and was loudly cheered and respected.


  31. - bored now - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 2:43 pm:

    while Seals has raised more money than Mark Kirk’s previous opponents, his available funds are nothing compared to what Kirk has raised. That sends a clearer signal about how the race is going than anything else.

    that’s debatable. there is an argument out there that incumbents raise loads of money to intimidate challengers and their contributors, but that once challengers reach a certain threshold that enables them to get their message across to voters in their districts, the incumbent’s money advantage is thence irrelevant. while i don’t know if seals meets this standard (yet), i certainly buy into this argument. i’m guessing kirk does, too, since he’s working hard to win *this* election. yes, the 10th is in play, if you only look at kirk’s activity (and how much money he’s spent thus far)…


  32. - Just Observing - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 2:45 pm:

    Dan Seals has about a 5 percent chance of winning — his only shot is if the district is fed up with Bush and the GOP and overwhelmingly vote Democratic — but one on one Seals is toast.


  33. - The Facts of Life - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 2:48 pm:

    Perrit raised less than 500K total, Seals has raised close to 800k, and Seals had a primary. It’s not going to be easy for him to close the gap, but luckily for all of us, the winner of campaign isn’t always the one with the most money, otherwise we’d be stuck with Blair Hull and Jim Oberweis.

    Seals has consistently been raising money, and will continue to do so. Why is it so hard for you to admit that Kirk is going to have to campaign? If I was a die hard Kirk supporter, I wouldn’t want him to have to defend his record either.


  34. - Jonah - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 3:10 pm:

    Kirk’s 2000 opponent Lauren Beth Gash raised over 2 Million , and was a local state Senator with strong Support from Emily’s list. She was a strong DEM CANDIDATE in a Dem Leaning Open Seat district and still lost to Mark Kirk. Seals has never held elective office. He is toast.


  35. - Ed - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 3:11 pm:

    “Seals has consistently been raising money, and will continue to do so. Why is it so hard for you to admit that Kirk is going to have to campaign? If I was a die hard Kirk supporter, I wouldn’t want him to have to defend his record either.”

    Kirk would campaign no matter what. Hell, he campaigned when Lee Goodman was running against him. It’s only prudent. But the fact that Kirk is and will continue to campaign does not change the fact that he is hugely popular in the 10th district.

    So let’s just run down the checklist here. In Kirk’s favor we have:

    Massive money advantage
    Massive name recognition advantage
    Incumbency
    A voting record that is largely in line with the feelings in the district
    More endorsements than you can count

    In Dan Seal’s favor we have:……..ummmm…..wait wait, i’m getting something….OH YEAH, some people might confuse Mark Kirk with George Bush.

    Yeah, i’m really worried about Kirk’s prospects.


  36. - lurker - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 3:22 pm:

    I have a question for the Seal’s fans out there. If Dan Seal’s is so competitive and Mark Kirk is so weak, then why hasn’t the Democratic Congressional Committee listed the 10th as one of their targeted “Red to Blue” campaigns? And it’s not like they’re trying to keep the list small or something
    https://www2.dccc.org/contribute/red2blue/


  37. - bored now - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 3:28 pm:

    lurker, you’re right, that’s the next step. if seals can’t get listed there, then he can’t count on dccc help in the fall. there are metrics that every dem campaign must meet, and — so far — seals has worked his way through his checklist. the red-to-blue designation is an important one to watch…


  38. - The Facts of Life - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 3:45 pm:

    Ed,

    I’m glad your so confident, if that’s the official line, it will make Kirk that much easeir to beat. And it’s not that voters will confuse Kirk for Bush, they will punush Kirk who being pro-Bush. Has Kirk ever criticized the adminstration? When it comes down to it, his money advantage will be neutralized, he’ll be recognized as a Republican, the anti-incumbency mood across the country is huge right now, especially if you happen to be Republican, a voting record that cynically attempts to take moderate votes while kotowing the unmoderate adminstration and leadership, and a few endorsements that typically would have gone to a Dem. He’s definetley got an advantage, but then again, so did Phil Crane. As for Red to Blue, just wait and see.


  39. - Jonah - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 3:54 pm:

    Facts of Life, it is obvious that you are a staffer or volunteer for Seals, which is fine. But pipe dreams about defeating Mark Kirk are not going to happen. We heard this spin about Goodman in 2004, and it was just a phony war. Kirk is a moderate pro choice Republican who will keep the seat for 20 years like his GOP mentor John Porter. Good luck to you.


  40. - anonymous 2 - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 6:36 pm:

    i support seals but that kirk with the dogs video is lame and may hurt the cause.
    and didn’t goodman have a “pets for goodman” on his campaign web page?
    kirk’s a chameleon, which means in this congress he’s been no moderate, and his choice record sux ~ but perception is all and the man on the street still thinks he’s moderate. how DOES he do it? by only calling on people from arlington heights in his town-a-thons?


  41. - Another country heard from - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 6:59 pm:

    Dan Seals can definitely win if he can educate the voters of the tenth- Kirk’s rating with the LCV is 39%; NOW rates him 50%; amd the National Parent-Teacher Assoc, 8 %. His so called suburban agenda is a smokescreen and diversion from his record on federal issues. Kissing puppies and phoning it in instead of holding Townhall meetings is not going to fool the tenth. He has more money on hand because he started out with over a million in the bank and because the incumbent can get out his message on taxpayers’ dollars. (How do you like those nauseating four color brochures now?) I’d guess he didn’t have to pay for his townhall phone call; he can pretend that it’s part of his job, in much the same way as he did ‘business’ at a synagogue. He doesn’t have to spend the money he’s gotten from the likes of Tom DeLay, Abramoff and Duke Cunningham.


  42. - dylan - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 7:52 pm:

    Has Kirk visited a local VA hospital, and explained to the patients why he voted to slash veterans’ benefits and pensions? And he’s a Navy vet. Shame on him.

    Has he visited a seniors’ facility and explained why he voted for a drug plan that has made their necessary medicine financially beyond their means, to the overwhelming benefit of the multi-billion-dollar pharmaceutical industry?

    Can he explain how he can call himself a moderate, when he has voted 85% of the time with the most conservative legislators in Congress, like Tom DeLay?

    And no, Ed, I’m not a staffer; I’m a concerned citizen in the Tenth District who is ready for a representative in Congress who truly & fairly represents all the constituents in our district with dignity, honesty, & respect. I’ve lived here long enough to see that Kirk is NOT that kind of representative.


  43. - Lucky Mom - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 8:54 pm:

    Mark Kirk is who he is — he is the assistant majority whip. He’s a great staffer for the republican right — he’s just voted twice this week to oppose raising the minimum wage. Now, the Republicans want to get cute by offering a raise in the minimum wage but only if there is a further tax cut (which America cannot afford).

    Kirk is a talented politician, but he is a terrible governor. Just like the rest of the party. The Republicans get what makes folk tick — fear, fear of terrorists, fear of pedophiles, fear of governments taking one’s hard earned money — but they are so focused on reaping the benefits of power that they just can’t get it together to fight a war, to help the victims of disaster, to prepare for future natural or other disasters.

    Throw ‘em out and get some grownups. I am tired of listening to pretty words and seeing the world fall to pieces.


  44. - Morris - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 9:58 pm:

    Kirk is no moderate. Just a neo-con with a Madison Avenue happy talk campaign. He counts on voters believing the surface cliche punditry and not taking the time to look at the real substance of his votes and activism. Kirk’s problem now is that there is a spotlight on him because of his early, consistent and unquestioning support for the Iraq War and now loud activism for a very difficult road in Lebanon. Parents in this family-oriented and educated district, the bulk of them relatively wealthy, but not wealthy enough to avoid all of real life, do not want to send their sons to war, and have perked up and started to pay attention. Kirk is in trouble unless there is a huge success in Lebanon for eventual Middle East peace which is unlikely in the short term before the election.


  45. - Michael - Saturday, Jul 29, 06 @ 12:49 am:

    dylan’s distortions are quite amusing. Obviously, if dylan did his homework he would have learned that as a member of the Appropriations Committee Kirk helped secure $43 million to expand a veterans hospital in North Chicago and upgrade a Great Lakes Naval Training Center. These actions coincide with Kirk’s devotion to improving the business communities of both Waukegan and North Chicago. This information is available from the Chicago Tribune and any concerned and educated citizen from the 10th district would have discovered it by now.

    And as usual this blog continues the distortions on Iraq. BOTH houses of Congress, BOTH Republicans AND Democrats, overwhelming authorized Bush’s use of military force in Iraq based on intelligence that even Bill Clinton had used when he bombed Iraq in 1998. But this is again, besides the point. After Persian Gulf I, Hussein was kept in power only on the condition that he would be forthright and honest with weapons inspectors. 17 UN resolutions later he still wasn’t honest with the inspectors even though the burden of proof was on him–by his own agreement in 1991! Bush had to take action and the majority of the country and Congress supported him. Even if you were against the war then and now, don’t you think we need to win this war today to prevent Iraq from becoming an Al Qaeda base tomorrow? Shouldn’t we try to finish the job and help the Iraqi people who were oppressed for so many years? All the Dem’s can do is point fingers and advocate withdrawal. Some plan! Instead of working constructively to help the Iraqi people and the region in general, the Dem’s are playing the familiar blame game. I think 10th District voters will be smart enough to expose this sham for what it really is. If we don’t stand united in this War on Terror, we risk a future not even worth contemplating.


  46. - Vote Counter - Saturday, Jul 29, 06 @ 2:44 am:

    All elections depend on who comes out to vote, and looking the situation of this election indicates that any number of “long-shot” candidates could make an unexpected win in November.

    The important thing is to remember what other names are going to be on the ballot. In Illinois the only other race that matters much at all to most people is the Governor’s race. I think it’s more than likely there won’t be a governor’s race by October–if Blagojevich is not indicted he will crush Topinka. Further, even under competetive circumstances, Topinka certainly isn’t one who inspires Republicans to go to the polls.

    So who’s going to show up to vote November 7th? Well, some people show up pretty much always, but the vast majority only go when they have some interest in what or who is being voted on. With the wave of anti-congress and anti-Republican sentiment that seems to be ongoing, there is little to motivate conservative voters to the polls in Illinois, while many liberals and independents may go to the polls looking to change the current power structure. A significant voter push in Waukegan and other Democratic areas may be all it takes to topple Kirk. The mentality of peopel such as “Ed” may be the best thing that Seals has going for him–much like what happened to Phil Crane in 2004, Kirk may be rudely surprised when an unexpected mix of voters goes to the polls.

    This analysis also hints at other Republican vulnerabilities in the state. If Republicans don’t motivate their voters (it’s been pretty tough for us in Illinois) then Democratic victories may happen not only in the 8th, 6th, and 10th, but in some other longshot congressional races, such as IL-11 and IL-15. Time after time I have heard fellow Republicans unenthusiastic about their elections, and absent being given some enthusiasm by the lackluster Kirk (or Johnson, or Weller) or Topinka, then I fear there may be many Republican casualties in Illinois this November.


  47. - Ed - Saturday, Jul 29, 06 @ 9:24 am:

    “Has Kirk visited a local VA hospital, and explained to the patients why he voted to slash veterans’ benefits and pensions? And he’s a Navy vet. Shame on him.

    Has he visited a seniors’ facility and explained why he voted for a drug plan that has made their necessary medicine financially beyond their means, to the overwhelming benefit of the multi-billion-dollar pharmaceutical industry?

    Can he explain how he can call himself a moderate, when he has voted 85% of the time with the most conservative legislators in Congress, like Tom DeLay?

    And no, Ed, I’m not a staffer; I’m a concerned citizen in the Tenth District who is ready for a representative in Congress who truly & fairly represents all the constituents in our district with dignity, honesty, & respect. I’ve lived here long enough to see that Kirk is NOT that kind of representative. ”

    Do you think the people in planned parenthood and all the other moderate/liberal organizations are stupid? That they would be fooled by this so-called smokescreen? They are focused on their single issue and they will know if a candidate says one thing and does another. The fact that Mark Kirk has won these endorsements goes to show that he means what he says.


  48. - Cap - Saturday, Jul 29, 06 @ 9:26 am:

    I’ve noticed that all the anti Mark Kirk people are long on rhetoric and short on facts. Can you back up any of what you are saying with some actual evidence?


  49. - Ed - Saturday, Jul 29, 06 @ 9:34 am:

    “Has Kirk visited a local VA hospital, and explained to the patients why he voted to slash veterans’ benefits and pensions? And he’s a Navy vet. Shame on him.”

    He could go visit the North Chicago VA Medical Center and explain how he kept it from being closed down.


  50. - Publius - Saturday, Jul 29, 06 @ 2:54 pm:

    dylan’s distortions are quite amusing. the truth is that Congressman Kirk’s membership on the Appropriations Committee enabled him to secure $43 million to open up a North Chicago veterans hospital and improve the Great Lakes Naval Training Center. These facts show Kirk’s committment to improving the business communities of Waukegan and North Chicago. Any concerned and educated citizen who has access to the Chicago Tribune would have discovered this information by now.


  51. - Highland Park observer - Saturday, Jul 29, 06 @ 7:27 pm:

    Seals has no shot at all…the man’s clawing for every vote here in his home base of highland park. there are a lot of ‘democrats for kirk’ around here–and any traction Seals may have gotten has dissipated over the last few days because of some comments he made in Buffalo Grove that called for an immediate ceasefire in Israel and an examination of the “underlying causes” of the conflict. add to that Kirk’s endorsements by Planned Parenthood, Human Rights Campaign, Brady Campaign and a 100% rating from NARAL, Seals will be trying to convince Democrats to vote for him through November.


  52. - NorthShoreDad - Sunday, Sep 24, 06 @ 3:00 pm:

    Let’s review … Kirk is endorsed by lefties at Planned Parenthood, the lefties at the National Education Association, the anti-2nd amendment Brady Campaign. Kirk wants to prohibit drilling in ANWR for a new source for domestic oil. In fact, it’s darn hard to find a domestic issue where he doesn’t sound like a leftie himself. Now why on earth would anyone thing that someone much farther to the left has a chance against Kirk?


  53. - Liberal in 10th - Saturday, Sep 30, 06 @ 3:05 pm:

    I know this thread is old, but I stumbled upon it while doing some research. If anyone is still looking, check out http://www.kirkfacts.com/ to see how much farther left Mark Kirk could go. And due to the very glossy flyers I have been getting in the mail that I didn’t get two or four years ago, I think this race is in play.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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