* Giddy clearly got out way too far over his skis…
One of the Illinois GOP’s premiere fundraisers has called on U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., to abandon his re-election race, saying it likely is unwinnable. The statement is spurring a flurry of phone calls and activity among worried Republicans.
In a development that could help determine which party will control the U.S. Senate after the 2016 elections, veteran GOP fundraiser Ron Gidwitz said in an interview today that though Kirk is “a patriot and an accomplished public servant,” he will be hobbled by a series of recent verbal gaffes that have undermined public confidence in his ability to serve.
“His misstatements put him and the Illinois Republican Party in too much of a defensive position” in what remains a predominantly Democratic state, Gidwitz told me in a phone interview. “I do not believe he will be a U.S. senator in 2017 and, as top of the ticket, he could cause collateral damage (to other Republican candidates). I call on him to step aside and allow other Republicans to seek his seat.”
After I called Kirk’s office for a response, Gidwitz called me back and said he’d like to “retract” the statement. “I’m having second thoughts.” But he confirmed that “I said it. I said it thoughtfully,” and he acknowledged he’d received “quite a number” of high-level phone calls in just an hour. “I don’t want to take the heat I’ll get.”
Apparently, Mr. Gidwitz isn’t the bigshot GOP leader that he and some others thought he was. It used to be that he could use his fundraising base to impact politics. But his money network now looks almost quaint in our current Rauner-Griffin-Uihlein era.
Subscribers know my take on this, so I’ll just leave it at that for now.
* Meanwhile, back to that PPP poll…
Do you approve or disapprove of Senator Mark Kirk’s job performance?
Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Tammy Duckworth?
If the candidates for US Senate next year were Republican Mark Kirk and Democrat Tammy Duckworth, who would you vote for?
Mark Kirk 36%
Tammy Duckworth 42%
Not sure 22%
Lots of undecideds, but oof.
* And check this out…
If the candidates for President next time were Democrat Bernie Sanders and Republican Jeb Bush, who would you vote for?
Bernie Sanders 42%
Jeb Bush 37%
Not sure 21%
If the candidates for President next time were Democrat Bernie Sanders and Republican Scott Walker, who would you vote for?
Bernie Sanders 40%
Scott Walker 36%
Not sure 24%
When even Bernie Socialist Sanders is beating every polled GOP contender, you gotta figure no statewide Republican is safe here - or the poll is badly skewed.