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Some polls either got it backwards or completely missed the margins

Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012

* Democrat Ilya Sheyman’s loss to Brad Schneider in the 10th Congressional District was yet another big surprise last night. Politico’s take

[Sheyman’s] loss is a crushing blow to the organized professional left, which poured substantial resources into the primary, making it a national priority for the movement.

A poll by Public Policy Polling last week showed Sheyman with a double-digit lead, so the margin is one of most stunning outcomes of the night.

Yes, it is. And you can bet that the DCC is breathing a little easier today. Sheyman would’ve probably been too far to the left to win the moderate, ticket-splitting 10th CD against freshman Republican Bob Dold. Some analysis from the NRCC…

Dold’s challenger Brad Schneider, comes off a bruising Democrat primary where he didn’t break 50% over a 25-year-old. Endorsed by Nancy Pelosi, Schneider’s support for her national energy tax won’t bode well for Illinois families who are already paying record-high gas prices. During his primary, Schneider said that he wouldn’t join the Blue Dog Coalition, signaling that he will be another partisan rubber-stamp in Congress. In addition, Schneider is going to have a lot of ground to make up against Bob Dold’s fundraising prowess and retail campaign skills. Dold has a cash advantage of over $1 million compared to Schneider, a significant gap in what is sure to be a costly race.

* The polls weren’t off everywhere, but as I told you yesterday, Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger’s last tracker had him up by just three points over GOP Congressman Don Manzullo. The Kinzinger campaign was collectively biting its nails even after the AP had declared he’d won. But with 99 percent reporting, Kinzinger soundly defeated Manzullo 56-44.

KInzinger had a superior field operation and he’s a telegenic candidate. He also won the new part of the district

Both performed strongly in the parts of the district they’d previously represented, but Kinzinger won over the new part of the district by a solid margin.

* Tipping point?

TBut another key factor was the role played by the Campaign for Primary Accountability, which showered the district with $ 211,500 in TV and radio ads, robo-calls, and mailers in the last three weeks, slamming Mr. Manzullo for voting for spending proposals backed by Democrats.

The PAC is a small collection of about a dozen individuals, almost all of them conservative, Republican, Texan, or all three of the above. They helped unseat GOP incumbent Rep. Jean Schmidt of Ohio on super Tuesday, and since then, have made an impact in several other primaries in both parties.

* Nobody predicted this margin

Democratic U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. coasted to a big win against long-time foe Debbie Halvorson, a former congresswoman.

In the 2nd Congressional District contest, Jackson had 71.2 percent of the vote to Debbie Halvorson’s 28.8 percent with 99 percent of the unofficial vote counted.

That’s just jaw-dropping, if you ask me. Halvorson could very well be finished in this business. She has, for far too long, engaged in a war with Jackson over the third regional airport location. She demanded to be appointed Illinois Secretary of Transportation, but she was refused and then she turned down other cabinet positions to run against Jackson in an almost surely no-win race.

Sometimes, I really don’t understand people.

* Breakdown

Halvorson pulled in 2,686 votes in Will County to Jackson’s 1,709, and in Kankakee County, Halvorson brought in 2,395 to Jackson’s 1,182. Will County and Kankakee-area officials have never taken kindly to Jackson’s advocacy for a south suburban airport.

In Cook County, Jackson pulled in 31,847 votes to Halvorson’s 11,049. In the city of Chicago, Jackson posted 19,700 to Halvorson’s 5,721.

* Nor this one

In the 8th, former Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs Tammy Duckworth handily beat Raja Krishnamoorthi 67 percent to 33 percent.

“I am so proud to be standing here in front of you, ready to bring back common sense and practical solutions to Washington because that’s what the residents of the 8th district need. That’s what they deserve,” Duckworth told supporters in Homewood.

Duckworth goes on to compete against Joe Walsh.

Most of us figured she’d win big, but 67 percent is pretty darned huge for such a hotly contested primary.

Have at it.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

13 Comments
  1. - Shore - Wednesday, Mar 21, 12 @ 11:30 am:

    My first thought from last night is that after a lot of political turmoil over the last 4 cycles driven in part by the iraq war failure and the troubled economy we’re starting to return to politics as normal. People just aren’t as pissed anymore and willing to go against the grain. Romney won, moveon was beaten back in the north suburbs, duckworth and jackson cruised, plummer won. Perhaps I am wrong, but that was my big takeaway.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 21, 12 @ 11:33 am:

    ===* Nobody predicted this margin… ===

    I did! …lol

    I got MORE than a few wrong too, but I said 70-30 J-Trips …

    (keeping it light, Rich, j/k)


  3. - so.... - Wednesday, Mar 21, 12 @ 11:39 am:

    With regard to Halvorson, that crushing defeat couldn’t have happened to a more deserving person.


  4. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Mar 21, 12 @ 11:40 am:

    Judging by turnout, apathy was running rampant. That’ll mess up your polls.


  5. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, Mar 21, 12 @ 11:41 am:

    I’m not at all surprised about the Halvorson margin. I am surprised at the Duckworth/Krishnamoorthi margin–I would have had a problem choosing between the two of them if I lived in that district.


  6. - Bill - Wednesday, Mar 21, 12 @ 11:43 am:

    The polls were pretty accurate early in the Duckworth race. They had her up by 35-40. This race was hotly contested only in Raja’s mind. My advice to him stays the same. Start out trying for state rep or county board. Leave statewide and federal to the pros for now. Work your way up. Learn as you go.


  7. - clark st. - Wednesday, Mar 21, 12 @ 11:53 am:

    ” My advice to him stays the same. Start out trying for state rep or county board. Leave statewide and federal to the pros for now. Work your way up. Learn as you go.”

    Agreed. I’ll never understand why he insisted on staying in this primary after Tammy got in. Sometimes working hard against all odds crosses the line into stubbornness. I think that’s what happened here.


  8. - Glory Days - Wednesday, Mar 21, 12 @ 12:28 pm:

    I’d want my money back if I were the PCCC and MoveOn; I’d be even more upset if I contributed to Ilya based on that poll. Heck, even the campaign put out a press release yesterday that had Sheyman looking past Schneider and onto Dold.

    If you apply the 45-27% Sheyman/Schneider poll to the election, the erroneous poll overestimated Sheyman’s tally by 2100 votes and underestimated Schneider’s by over 6500 votes. Wow. Just ridiculous.


  9. - Ace Matson - Wednesday, Mar 21, 12 @ 12:40 pm:

    Sheyman is to the Dems what Santorum is to the GOP: a fanatical true believer who is unelectable in the fall before a centrist electorate.


  10. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 21, 12 @ 1:21 pm:

    Duckworth won big and all the best to her, but that’s a paltry number of votes (25-26,000 total) for a high-profile primary. Looks like she’ll need a lot of help and Obama’s coattails to be competitive against Walsh.


  11. - Scott Cisek - Wednesday, Mar 21, 12 @ 3:20 pm:

    If Ilya Sheyman’s “progressive” supporters in the city of Chicago had not wasted so much time, effort, and treasure trying to take out Toni Berrios, a pro-choice, pro LGBT progressive Latina, with one of their rich white college buddies from out of town, Sheyman might have been able to pull it off. As a big progressive myself, watching the “organized professional left” makes me think of Voltaire’s comment on the Holy Roman Empire. They are neither organized, nor professional, nor supportive of leftys outside of their clique. Sad.


  12. - Retired Non-Union Guy - Wednesday, Mar 21, 12 @ 3:28 pm:

    Some of us are just refusing to talk to the pollsters and robo-callers … or if we do, we lie outrageously …


  13. - mark walker - Wednesday, Mar 21, 12 @ 3:45 pm:

    Even in the 8th and 10th, turnout was very light. Apathy was the clear winner in this primary, for both sides. Hard to say what that means.


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