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Poll: Kinzinger vs. Manzullo race now “too close to call”

Thursday, Mar 15, 2012

* We Ask America has a poll out that shows barely a difference in the 16th Congressional District Republican Primary race. The survey, taken March 11-12 has Congressman Don Manzullo at 42.64 percent and Congressman Kinzinger at 42.25 percent. From the pollster

Early on in the campaign, Kinzinger had all the momentum. At one point not too long ago, we polled Kinzinger up by as much as 13 percent. That support, as the old expression says, may have been “a mile wide and an inch deep.” Manzullo and his campaign team have ferociously fought back to the point that the race is a dead heat. […]

Logic dictates that Manzullo has the momentum leading into Illinois’ March 20 Primary, but Kinzinger continues to surprise and impress many with his abilities, and may have a better GOTV effort overall. As in any race, estimates concerning turnout vary greatly depending on who’s handicapping the contest.

At any rate, it may be a very late night for the folks in Illinois 16.

The polling firm’s last poll had Kinzinger up 47-34, so this is not good news for the Kinzinger camp.

* Meanwhile, Slate’s David Weigel looks at one of the ads Manzullo is running which claim Kinzinger isn’t conservative enough

The attack that leaps out at you: Kinzinger was “one of seven Republicans who voted to PAY FOR OBAMA’S APPOINTMENTS!” What does that mean? Just that Kinzinger opposed a summer 2011 amendment that would have denied a salary to anyone recess-appointed by Barack Obama. Really. That’s it. That’s the proof that he’s not conservative enough to represent a mostly-Republican district. It’ll be fascinating to see if this works.

* But a new political action committee that I’ve been telling subscribers about for a while now has jumped into this race on Kinzinger’s side. The Illinois Lunch Pail Republicans, created to back union-friendly Republicans, is reportedly doing a $100,000 independent expenditure on behalf of Kinzinger. Here’s the TV ad

Support by that group could become an issue.

* Related…

* ‘The one that made my wife weep’: The two Illinois GOP incumbents heading for a showdown Tuesday traded barbs in a contentious primary debate Tuesday night, where Don Manzullo accused Adam Kinzinger of producing a mail piece “that made my wife weep.”

* Manzullo, Kinzinger get testy over ads and conservative ratings, disagree on Afghanistan

* Congressmen clash over conservative title

* Illinois primary pits leaders vs. Tea Party

* Kinzinger ‘concerned’ but members think he’ll win: The belief on the Hill among Republican staffers and members tracking the 16th District contest is that while Manzullo has mounted a surprisingly sharp advertising blitz, Kinzinger’s response has been flat. Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s endorsement of Kinzinger Thursday was partly reflective of that sentiment.

* Press Release: Gun Owners of America Endorses Rep. Manzullo Over Rep. Kinzinger

* American Conservative Union backs Manzullo over Kinzinger

* Bill Brady endorses Manzullo

- Posted by Rich Miller        

16 Comments
  1. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 15, 12 @ 10:21 am:

    The Hill story is very interesting. GOP House leadership has gotten involved in a number of primary races. You better win those when you’re the boss.


  2. - ZC - Thursday, Mar 15, 12 @ 10:59 am:

    I’m chiefly curious about who the 16th primary voters are supporting for Prez. How did Dillard and Brady do in the newly reconstituted 16th? That’s probably the best tell. I expect low turnout on the 20th so anywhere there’s a competitive primary is likely to see a relative bump in participation.


  3. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Mar 15, 12 @ 11:03 am:

    The ILPR brings up some interesting questions. Operators 150 wants to support Kinzinger, but they do not want to do it directly? They organized in late Feb with $50k from the Operators, who will put in the other $50k? Also, the ILPR is a state PAC, how much spending on federal races would make them a federal PAC? And, does the NRA like Adam as well?


  4. - OneMan - Thursday, Mar 15, 12 @ 11:04 am:

    Have to say out near Sheradin and Mendota (on my way to curling) I see a lot more Manzullo signs on 52 than I do Kinzinger


  5. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Mar 15, 12 @ 11:07 am:

    ===Also, the ILPR is a state PAC===

    They have a federal PAC too.


  6. - Marcus Agrippa - Thursday, Mar 15, 12 @ 11:29 am:

    I wish Manzullo could play up the fact that the nasty mailers are coming from a bunch of rich Texans and that Eric Cantor has stuck his nose in it to boost his shot at Speaker. We’ve got enough problems without a bunch of outsiders telling us what to do.


  7. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Mar 15, 12 @ 11:53 am:

    ==They have a federal PAC too.==

    Thanks. I wondered about that. I went to the FEC page, but couldn’t find the PAC.


  8. - Beef_Eater - Thursday, Mar 15, 12 @ 1:13 pm:

    Kinzinger better ramp up here in a bit. He is probably leading with early voting as his organization has really been on top of this while Manzullo’s . . . not so much.


  9. - chad - Thursday, Mar 15, 12 @ 2:26 pm:

    If the tea partiers come out strongly for Santorum/Newt — and there are many in this new district — Manzullo will be the beneficiary. Don is always popular with these folks.


  10. - hisgirlfriday - Thursday, Mar 15, 12 @ 3:03 pm:

    ZC, here’s a link to the 2010 primary map by county.

    http://geognerd.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/repgov_ramp.jpg

    The only county that supported Dillard in IL-16 was Boone County. Brady won the band of the district furthest from Chicago while McKenna won the band of the district closest to Chicago.


  11. - Rail Rider - Thursday, Mar 15, 12 @ 4:53 pm:

    The big mo is definitely with Don.

    Adam’s inexperience is hurting him. On the WTTW debate Adam said that if he lost he’d leave the country, underscoring his lack of connection or roots in the 16th, or even his current 11th district.


  12. - RonThelurker - Thursday, Mar 15, 12 @ 5:19 pm:

    Really? Adam said hed deploy to afghanistan. If thats leaving the country, and If thats your hit, wow.


  13. - Citizen Soldier - Thursday, Mar 15, 12 @ 9:28 pm:

    Doesn’t Adam have a civilian employer to go back to? Every guardsman and reservist I know has one.

    It’s not my hit, but it does make you wonder what his community connection is, especially with us pulling out of Afghanistan next year.


  14. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Mar 15, 12 @ 11:34 pm:

    Interesting note about the Operating Engineers, Rich.

    I noticed the NRA did not endorse in the race, but gave both candidates A’s.


  15. - Rail Rider - Friday, Mar 16, 12 @ 6:37 am:

    Heard this morning that Cantor is doubling down and dropping $50K on Kinzinger on the eve of the primary. Evidence that at this late date they must think Kinzinger is losing.

    I spent some time in the guard myself. I wonder why Kinzinger constantly volunteers to leave his unit, the people he trains with, and do these short tours. Doesn’t this leave his unit in a lurch when the unit gets called up? The whole point of the national guard and reserve is that people know each other and have trained together for years. How many of these short tours has he done? Are his fellow unit members that glad to see him go?


  16. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 16, 12 @ 7:18 am:

    The recess appointments kinzinger voted to fund were actually not recess appointments they were illegal appointments made to the NLRB when Obama claimed congress was he recess. He was one of a small number of Republicans that voted to fund them. All his conservative colleagues voted against such funding.


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