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Politico report: Enyart slipping fast, Callis dumped

Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014

* Politico’s Alex Isenstadt says Bill Enyart could be dumped soon

Despite the GOP’s troubles, Democrats remain anxious that the political environment could deteriorate still further before Election Day. They say two of their vulnerable incumbents, New Hampshire Rep. Carol Shea-Porter and Illinois Rep. Bill Enyart, may soon be lost causes and are scrambling to prevent that list from growing.

We’ll see. That’s certainly a tough district for Enyart in an off year with Pat Quinn’s numbers in the tank. But only one occupation polls lower than a sitting congressman: Illinois state legislator. Mike Bost has taken lots and lots of votes over the years.

* By the way, Bost is airing his first TV ad

* Back to the Politico article. Most of the chatter I heard over the weekend was about Ann Callis

Democrats have gradually narrowed their focus to protecting jeopardized incumbents and are likely to seriously invest in only the dozen or so candidates seen as realistic contenders for Republican-held seats. At the start of the cycle, for instance, national Democrats had been talking up the candidacies of Ann Callis, a former county judge running for an Illinois seat, and Amanda Renteria, a former Capitol Hill aide seeking a California seat. Neither candidate is now seen as likely to win, and neither is receiving as much attention.

The DCCC’s only evidence that they haven’t yet jettisoned Callis is their media buy reservations haven’t been canceled. Kinda thin soup.

* Meanwhile

Katie Prill, a spokeswoman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, said the GOP’s Illinois strategy has changed from defense to offense. The NRCC has spent a half million dollars on television ads to support Dold against Schneider, and a total of $1.4 million to support Mike Bost, who is facing the Democrat Enyart, and Davis in their races.

Prill singled out the Dold-Schneider race as a “huge pickup opportunity” for Republicans. Dold lost to Schneider in the independent-leaning district by about one percentage point in 2012.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has spent $800,000 on ads so far in the Dold-Schneider race, and about $3.5 million in the other two districts. U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi recently appeared in Chicago to rally with Callis and Schneider, and push the Democratic campaign themes of equal pay for women and raising the minimum wage.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

24 Comments
  1. - Big Debbie - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 12:08 pm:

    Ummm…, the DCCC has field offices throughout the 13th, including here in Champaign. Might that not also be further evidence?


  2. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 12:08 pm:

    Callis is sinking in the minds of those following this, but not sinking enough to see visible surrender yet.


  3. - train111 - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 12:26 pm:

    Callis was a no go from the beginning. No way the Dems were going to win in that district in an off year. DCCC is just starting to get around to reality.

    train111


  4. - Truth Squad - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 12:29 pm:

    Instead of asking to prove that something is not happening, we could have proof that it is happening?


  5. - Steven - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 12:41 pm:

    Davis has been doing what any moderately-conservative Republican should be doing in 13. He has run to the center on most issues and stayed conservative on abortion rights. The student centers in the district (Bloomington, Champaign, Edwardsville) are not coming out this year. Democratic support among young people is down thanks to Obama’s intelligence programs. That’s not to say young people are Republican suddenly, but it certainly doesn’t help the Democrats.


  6. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 12:42 pm:

    If the DCCC or other groups dump you at this stage, there is rarely a clear “breakup” moment. There is no long note, no dramatic fight, and no teary-eyed phone call.

    You may hear rumors, but that’s about it for now.

    The ad cancellation doesn’t come for another few weeks. After they have moved on.


  7. - Truth Squad - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 12:56 pm:

    I still see zero evidence of a “dumping.” I see one article that says she is not “seen” as winning, and is not getting as much “attention.” It definitely does not say the DCCC has pulled out from the race. It is pretty irresponsible to say that without pointing to any evidence. Without a poll or data or anything to point to, those are just unsupported opinions.


  8. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 1:04 pm:

    The “Politico” article contradicts itself.

    –Democrats have gradually narrowed their focus to protecting jeopardized incumbents..–

    It seems Enyart would qualify.

    “Politico” is more DC gossip sheet than journalism.


  9. - LincolnLounger - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 1:17 pm:

    Agree with Formerly. Staff will be quietly re-assigned by DCCC and ad time eventually canceled. It doesn’t help Callis that the gubernatorial ad buys are going to drive the prices up sky high.

    In the end, I don’t think this one will be particularly close.


  10. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 1:20 pm:

    They have been written off by Washington insiders, so they will need to win locally.

    It can be done, and when it happens those same Washington insiders marvel.


  11. - Winning with Sheen - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 1:21 pm:

    They will go all in at the end to save Enyart. Callis is done.


  12. - Truth Squad - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 1:24 pm:

    Evidence? Facts? This conversation is lacking in anything substantial to point to other than unsupported opinions of anonymous posters


  13. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 1:38 pm:

    Once they see Callis’ terrible teevee ad a few times, that should do it.


  14. - Ahoy! - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 1:51 pm:

    Davis has just out worked Callis by such a large margin I can only assume that Callis doesn’t have the fire in the belly to run.

    I’m not as familiar with Enyart’s race, but if I remember correctly, he wont by much larger margins than he was polling and Boost not only has a lot votes, do people really want a paper throwing pre-madona over a National Guard general for congress? I definitely wouldn’t count Enyart out.


  15. - Proud - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 2:03 pm:

    The taxpayers have shelled out $350,000 salary and millions more for support staff and travel! Congressman Bill Enyart discussed his proudest moment since being elected in 2012. What was it? Being the only NO vote on a measure that would have allowed military chaplains to do their jobs during the government shutdown last year. So all we got was a NO vote against chaplains volunteering, to hold services. If you wonder why congress has such a low approval rating. This is one of the answers.


  16. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 2:09 pm:

    Ahoy - you do know that Mike Bost is a retired Marine and business owner, right?! He’s not just some “paper-throwing Prima donna”.


  17. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 2:11 pm:

    I never have understood Callis vacating her prime judicial spot to run for Congress. She would have been first in line to run for Supreme Court of Appellate Court when a true opening became available. Instead, she’s now (figurative) damaged goods going forward.


  18. - Yep - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 2:27 pm:

    The Enyart polling numbers tanking was foreseen for awhile. Until this calendar year he was MIA in the vast majority of his district so he did not build up sufficient goodwill district-wide to withstand a serious GOP challenger with GOP-affiliated PACs behind him. Plus, Enyart has probably been through at least 6 “campaign managers” in the last 12 months. Does this all mean that Enyart loses? Not yet, but if the current trends continue and the Democrats’ brand is so bad that Durbin has to eke out a victory against Oberweis, Enyart could have big trouble (as could Bustos and others I suppose).
    And if Durbin’s polling lead doesn’t improve markedly and soon it seems at least conceivable that some of those national GOP PAC’s could dump some money in IL against Durbin to see if they can pull an upset against Reid’s #2 or at least force the DSCC to dump money in IL rather than in some of the competitive U.S. Senate races elsewhere in the country. That could be fatal to Enyart, Bustos, and Schneider and could really hurt Dems up and down the ballot in Illinois as well as help deliver the US Senate to the GOP. The plot thickens.


  19. - Summerwind - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 2:55 pm:

    Before long, a poll will come out on Davis-Callis. If Davis is meaningfully over 50%, then the DNCC probably pulls back, not before.


  20. - Almost the Weekend - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 3:39 pm:

    With Callis I do wonder why she has not put her own money into the campaign. If the race was close, I’m sure she would have dumped $500K of her own money to solidify her media buys. I would love to see Pat Quinn’s number in the 13th, they have to be hovering around the high teens.

    Rodney Davis gets a second term, but I think 2016 he is KO’d. If Hillary runs, I can see Callis going back at it again. However, watch out for Manar, the guy is a relentless campaigner, and can raise some serious cash.


  21. - Ahoy! - Tuesday, Sep 2, 14 @ 4:04 pm:

    Team Sleep,

    No, like I said in the post, I’m not that familiar with that district, I’m going to guess that you know a lot more about it than I do. Also, It looks like he served 3 years in the Marine corp and according to his own website was honorably discharged, he did not retire as a Marine. Also, not entirely sure what kind of business he owns (although I think it’s a beauty salon), but neither of those things prevent someone from being a “paper-throwing Prima donna.” It’s America, you can be a lot of things and that’s a good thing.

    Like I said, I’m not familiar with the district or the candidates that much, but I’m going to go on a limb and say that video gets brought up quite a bit along with about 20 years of state voting records. I highly doubt the dems pull out of that district.


  22. - Johnny Justice - Wednesday, Sep 3, 14 @ 1:44 am:

    Don’t count Callis out. She is a great candidate. When you put their current TV ads side to side, there’s no question Callis wins that one. Who cares that Davis coaches his son’s football team?


  23. - T.J. - Wednesday, Sep 3, 14 @ 3:10 am:

    I live in IL-13 and have never heard of Manar anywhere but here, repeatedly. It’s cute but weird, like if a Leif Garrett fan club were still active.


  24. - Rolo Tomasi - Wednesday, Sep 3, 14 @ 2:58 pm:

    Still not sure why this is a tight race other than voter turn out. IL-12 would be downgrading from someone with 2 years as a politician compared to 20 years in Springfield.

    3 Year military career compared to Enyart with 35 years and rank as a 2 star.

    Did Bost attain a degree other than a certificate as a fireman? Enyart has 2 post graduate degrees, one from the War College in Pennsylvania and a J.D.

    “Beltway Bill” after two years. Give me a break.


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