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A very bad case of whiplash

Wednesday, Jul 29, 2015

* 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?

    Approve 25%
    Disapprove 42%
    Not sure 33%

Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Tammy Duckworth?

    Favorable 34%
    Unfavorable 23%
    Not sure 42%

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.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

100 Comments
  1. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:14 am:

    Sanders is probably just “Generic Dem” to most respondents. I bet half don’t even know he self-IDs as a socialist.

    But, sure, it shows how risky 2016 is for the Republicans. But remember, they only have 2 statewide offices on the ballot.


  2. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:15 am:

    Also, real profile in courage from Gidwitz there.


  3. - Reality Check - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:16 am:

    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.

    It’s not skewed. Sanders is beating every Repub head-to-head in the early presidential primary states as well, per a new CNN poll.

    People are feeling the pain of income inequality, they’re sick of the plutocrats pretending to be on our side, and they’re ready to stand up against them.


  4. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:19 am:

    =Also, real profile in courage from Gidwitz there. =

    Priceless. Nothing like standing up for what you believe until Rauner walks into the room and tells you what you believe.


  5. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:20 am:

    C’mon, Gidwitz only said what everyone else was already thinking: Kirk is toast. Unfortunately he said it to Mike Sneed and Greg Hinz. Oops.


  6. - dawn - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:20 am:

    I just said that


  7. - Anon - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:20 am:

    Team Rauner showing some real loyalty to Senator Kirk. The Governor should be applauded for that. We should all stand by Kirk. Another candidate will need $10 million alone just to catch up to Kirk’s name ID. Little late in the game to switch nominees. Kirk has had tough races, he can get through this one. Instead of throwing rocks at Kirk, maybe they should give him the tools and resources he needs to success. Isn’t that a crazy thought?


  8. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:21 am:

    Well, we know who the “GOP stalwart” was dissing Kirk to Sneed.

    My guess the whiplash was a result of a call from the governor or his peeps reminding Gidwitz there’s a new sheriff in town.


  9. - The Captain - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:22 am:

    Kirk’s approve/disapprove is worse with men (27/46 (-19)) than it is with women (24/38 (-14)) and so in their head to head he’s losing among both men (39/40) and women (33/44). He’s running against a popular woman in what may be a big year for female candidates, he better be cleaning up with men and competing for women or it’s going to be unpleasant for him.


  10. - Bluefish - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:24 am:

    Is Joe Walsh still mulling taking a run at Kirk in the primary?


  11. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:27 am:

    ==He’s running against a popular woman ==

    “Popular” is a stange adjective to describe someone with 34% approval (with a scandal brewing most people don’t know about or pay attention to yet)


  12. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:27 am:

    A Joe Walsh primary would be the best thing that could happen to Kirk right now, going head to head with a far-right loon who says crazier things then he does.


  13. - Reality check - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:28 am:

    The fact that socialist Bernie Sanders is popular in Illinois is not surprising. After all….we have had 30 years of Madigan’s take from those that work and give to those that don’t.


  14. - Ethan Hawk - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:30 am:

    Gidwitz is “spot on” in his assessment of Mark Kirk’s chances. I applaud Gidwitz for pulling a Trump and saying (at least initially) what he truly felt to be a realistic appraisal of Kirk’s chances. I am a registered Republican who occasionally votes across party lines if I feel the Democrat candidate warrants my support. I received a call from Mark Kirk’s people a couple of nights ago asking (once again) for my financial support for Mark Kirk. I was honest with the lady who called me asking me for my continued financial and political support for Mark Kirk. I told her that I can not in good conscience continue to support Mark as I have done in the past. I told her that I believe Mark to be a very honorable man whose conservative beliefs have changed from my own over the past years. This time I will be supporting any conservative Republican candidate that challenges Mark in the next GOP primary. Mark has become the poster child of that which many Republican voters have come to abhor: a professional career politician.
    Ron Gidwitz has gotten it right. Let Rauner and Schneider see the folly in throwing good money after bad in this lost cause. Campaign cash is too scarce a commodity for the Illinois Republican Party to waste on lost causes.


  15. - All the answers - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:30 am:

    It’s just Griffin and Rauner. Every other GOP donor is playing in THEIR sandbox. Dicky Uihlein isn’t in their league. This is a window to the infighting that is really taking place behind the scenes. The desperate GOP donors that are left out are leaving some claw marks it seems.


  16. - The Captain - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:31 am:

    “Popular” is a stange adjective to describe someone with 34% approval (with a scandal brewing most people don’t know about or pay attention to yet)

    Popular is a subjective term but a net favorability of +11 probably qualifies. Also, things that “people don’t know about or pay attention to” do not affect favorability unless they know about them and pay attention to them.


  17. - All the answers - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:31 am:

    But Giddywitz was right about Kirk. Everyone knows it. He will drag the GOP in Illinois down.


  18. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:32 am:

    ==“Popular” is a stange adjective to describe someone with 34% approval (with a scandal brewing most people don’t know about or pay attention to yet)==

    She’s in net positive territory, and we’ll see if the “scandal” ever finishes cooking.


  19. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:33 am:

    ===Campaign cash is too scarce a commodity for the Illinois Republican Party===

    Um, not any more.


  20. - Downstate - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:35 am:

    On the national front - We could tax everyone in the US that earns over $250k/year at 100% and we would still have a national deficit.

    Does that tell you we have a serious spending problem? I’ve always wondered if the same would be true of Illinois’ situation.


  21. - Deep South - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:36 am:

    I really believe, given the way things are today, that 2016 will be a horrible year, perhaps the worst ever, for the Republican Party. I see nothing on the horizon that is gonna make a difference for them.


  22. - Hedley Lamarr - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:38 am:

    Maybe they can run Alan Keys again.


  23. - A guy - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:38 am:

    ===or the poll is badly skewed.===

    nuf said.


  24. - Reality Check - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:38 am:

    As stated on another thread, the troll using my handle here (at 11:28) is a fake.


  25. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:39 am:

    ==- Ethan Hawk - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:30 am:==

    A “registered Republican,” but not in Illinois.


  26. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:39 am:

    To the Poat,

    ===Apparently, Mr. Gidwitz isn’t the bigshot GOP leader that he and some others thought he was. ===

    Let’s clarify for Mr. Gidwitz where he stands.

    Nowhere.

    It’s over for you, sir. You had your chances. You had your own personal opportunities, and to be even more blunt, your personal vendetta against another candidate for Governor in 2014 made no impact except in your mind that you add a difference. Your time is over.

    Where do you stand, Mr. Gidwitz, sir, is you are an entry on a D-2, a reported donation on an A-1, not of your choosing sir, no, you are the “petty cash” drawer, the “have Gidwitz give him that.”. Your new initials should now be ATM, the quick cash dispener for the real movers and shakers in Illinois Republican politics.

    How you think you have the authentic “juice” to say that Sen. Kirk should step down? How do think you have the clout to not only ask Sen. Kirk to step down, but to have your remarks go through the succession… think about that, you allowed your remarks to go through the sucession choices of the sitting Republican Senator.

    What’s worse? What is worse than your inability to understand you aren’t who you think you are? Try this…

    ===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.”===

    “I’m having second thoughts”.

    No one asked you to have a first thought to undermine Senator Kirk.

    Having said all that. What kind of person, after the rehab, and the working, and the substantial efforts of Mark Kirk, the man, not the Senator, the politician, the man, has made, who are you to pull the rug out from under him? All the strides and support Mr. Kirk, the man, got from so, so many, you undermined with your callous remarks. Dismissing thise with personal physical challenges while, everyday overcoming obstacles you may not understand shows a lack of heart, especially as you described… “A second thought”.

    Let’s be clear on one point; Kirk’s “mouth” has nothing to do with anything. It was ongoing as a Congressman, so that crutch, doesn’t fly when attacking a man who uses a cane.

    Mr. Gidwitz, sir, you will be “informed” to do what you seem to do without any real dust-ups; write checks, smile, get told what will happen after its decided, and keep your lips closed.

    I’m with Senator Kirk. This is going to be the toughest campaign for him, and the toughest race for a senate seat in the country. I want a fighter who understands really tough times and overcoming them, no matter who feels the need to undermine him.


  27. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:40 am:

    ==- A guy - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:38 am:==

    Evidence other than your omnipotence?


  28. - anonymoose - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:40 am:

    Skewed a tiny bit DEM, I’d say. Overall, 45% hit the DEM button. 25% REP. 30% IND.

    I didn’t see any “R” contender in the poll over 37%. Granted, the “R” brand is not strong in Illinois.


  29. - The Muse - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:40 am:

    No poll with Hillary on it?

    If Bernie Sanders is polling that well in our state, with a lot of people undecided not even knowing who the guy is and what his beliefs are, one has to think that the GOP could be in for a tough one next year.


  30. - anon - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:43 am:

    Most people polled likely have no idea who Bernie Sanders is. I think this poll, if even remotely accurate, says more about the people in this state than the GOP candidates.

    Lord help us.


  31. - Downstate - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:44 am:

    Wasn’t Quinn leading in every poll to election day?


  32. - Wumpus - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:46 am:

    No disrespect to Bernie Sanders, but everyone probably reads his awesome quotes on facebook


  33. - A guy - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:47 am:

    And on the record, now, and an hour from now, and beyond that. Gidwitz is as soft as a bun. Pretty much always has been. I think Kirk is doing better today than Gidwitz is.


  34. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:49 am:

    When I was a kid, my family took a mini-vacation to St. Louis to visit Six Flags over Mid-America. We drove down in our station wagon and my brother, sister and I folded down the back seat and slept on blankets during the drive. This was in the early 70s, before seat belts, obviously.

    Well sure enough, at some point along the way, another driver cut off my old man and he slammed on the brakes. In an instant, the three of us were now in the front seat wondering what the heck just happened. So I know how Gidwitz feels.

    Buckle up people. It’s going to be a long 18 months.


  35. - a drop in - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:50 am:

    “Skewed a tiny bit DEM, I’d say. Overall, 45% hit the DEM button. 25% REP. 30% IND.”

    Gallup has country 31% Dem, 25% Rep and 42% Ind. Also stated that Illinois is the least Republican state. So it may not be that off.


  36. - A guy - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:51 am:

    +++ Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:40 am:

    ==- A guy - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:38 am:==

    Evidence other than your omnipotence?+++

    The only way to disprove a poll is election day. Until then, common sense will have to do. Why Bernie Sanders matched up against front runners on the other side? I’m not a pollster but I know a lot of them. This is counter-intuitive to say the least.

    But if I were you….I’d believe it.


  37. - Shark Sandwich - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:51 am:

    “Most people polled likely have no idea who Bernie Sanders is.”

    ‘He’s the guy with the 11 herbs and spices, right?’


  38. - Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:53 am:

    Nobody knows Bernie Sanders is a socialist or much about him. As to Kirk, watching the Gidwitz self-immolation was fun. I think Kirk will and should lose, but what Gidwitz did was pretty outrageous.


  39. - A guy - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:54 am:

    === Shark Sandwich - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:51 am:

    “Most people polled likely have no idea who Bernie Sanders is.”

    ‘He’s the guy with the 11 herbs and spices, right?’===

    This was funny Shark. It also made me think about the latest ads- is the new Colonel kind of creepy or what?


  40. - Dave Fako - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:54 am:

    PPP has a good track record, and I have No comment on accuracy or methodology, but high quality standards and reliability and disclosure are and always have been vital to me and our polling firm (Fako Research & Strategies). Below is the methodology statement from the poll which discloses the breakdown of partisanship by primary voting history and the mode - in this case 80% of interviews are via phone (presumably landline) and 20% via Internet among households without landlines.

    My only comment about the poll’s methodology is this: their methodology statement says the poll was conducted among 931 registered voters, which was made up of 409 Democratic Primary voters and 369 Republican Primary voters, leaving 153 non-primary voters in their sample. Is PPP saying only 16% of Illinois general election electorate is made up of non-primary voters (frequently IDed as “Independent”) on most Illinois voter files?

    In 2012 ~ 69% of all general election voters were NOT Democratic or GOP Primary voters.

    Public Policy Polling surveyed 931 registered voters, including 409 Democratic primary voters
    and 369 Republican primary voters, on July 20th and 21st. The margin of error for the overall
    survey is +/-3.2%, for the Democrats it’s +/-4.9%, and for the Republicans it’s +/-5.1%. 80% of
    participants responded via the phone, while 20% of respondents who did not have landlines
    conducted the survey over the internet.


  41. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:54 am:

    ==- A guy - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:51 am:==

    In other words, “none.”


  42. - All the answers - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:54 am:

    ===Campaign cash is too scarce a commodity for the Illinois Republican Party===

    ===Um, not any more.===

    Only for the people Rauner knights, Rich. Otherwise, it is a wasteland.


  43. - Streator Curmudgeon - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:54 am:

    ==Maybe they can run Alan Keys again.==

    Hedley, the best laugh so far today!


  44. - Fireman - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:54 am:

    A lot of blood in the water around Kirk right now. Chances increasing that a conservative outside the mainstream stands up to Rauner and runs.


  45. - Mittuns - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:59 am:

    Bernie Sanders speaks to the real issues that a vast plurality of voters care about. I know that is tough for a lot of corporate Democratic backers like to hear, but it is reality. To dismiss him because of the socialist label is disingenuous and plays on the widespread lack of understanding of the term itself.


  46. - anon - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:59 am:

    Hey Bernie, make that 2 buckets of the extra crispy. And you can count on my vote and the Mrs, you make a mean chicken leg!!


  47. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 12:00 pm:

    “As stated on another thread, the troll using my handle here (at 11:28) is a fake.”

    Of course the troll’s a fake, and spouting the same boring troll tripe.

    I just saw a recent CNN poll showing that Sanders was basically tied with Bush, leading Walker and crushing Trump. These results aree buried deep in the poll, which focuses on the Republican presidential primary. I take these early polls with a grain of salt, but they could portend bad things for the GOP, especially if Trump continues to be among the leaders.


  48. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 12:01 pm:

    Kirk is a goner if his reelection staff keeps thinking they can sandbag Duckworth and win.

    Kirk must tell us why he earned reelection.

    So far, he isn’t. Gidwitz is right.


  49. - Skeptic - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 12:08 pm:

    “Most people polled likely have no idea who Bernie Sanders is.” One take would be that it doesn’t matter, only that he’s not a Republican and he’s not a Clinton.


  50. - All the answers - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 12:08 pm:

    ==Kirk must tell us why he earned reelection.==

    Yes, it isn’t enough to say you overcame a stroke. Hundreds of thousands of people have.


  51. - The Velour Nail - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 12:09 pm:

    Kirk is going to roll Duckworth. Kirk’s recent “crazy” comments only help him in the areas he needs strong turn out to win. Couple that with Biss driving turnout in a large part of the state that makes up the 10th CD with his candidacy for Comptroller and Zopp’s supporters staying home after she loses the primary — Kirk easily rolls. Looks like a Laughing Dog for Duckworth.


  52. - Skirmisher - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 12:09 pm:

    Formerly a loyal Republican, but if I had the chance I would give my vote in 2016 to Elizabeth Warren, and to me that epiphany speaks volumes. Still likely to vote Republican in state office races, as it is my only shot at Madigan, Inc.


  53. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 12:15 pm:

    –”Biss driving turnout…. Zopp supporters staying home….”

    Speaking of crazy mouth…..


  54. - Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 12:15 pm:

    Mittuns,

    Politics is about perception and the perception around the term Socialist in the US is very bad which is why GOPers have accused practically every Democrat of being one. The Democratic Party will not nominate and the US will not elect a self-described socialist. You’re dreaming if you think we will.


  55. - slow down - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 12:29 pm:

    “Kirk is going to roll Duckworth”? Velour Nail, is that a serious post or just an attempt at humor?

    No Republican, much less a sputtering Kirk, is rolling any Dems statewide in this election. Gidwitz knows it and is worried about it. No point deluding yourself.


  56. - A Jack - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 12:29 pm:

    Recent gaffes? His whole term as Senator has been one continuous gaffe. From his embellishing his service record onward.


  57. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 12:35 pm:

    ==Why Bernie Sanders matched up against front runners on the other side?==

    Because it’s a perfectly rational trial heat to poll.


  58. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 12:35 pm:

    Man, if you’re counting on Daniel Biss’ campaign for State Comptroller to be your turnout engine, you’re doing it wrong.


  59. - phocion - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 12:38 pm:

    Wouldn’t put too much stock in Bernie Sanders. His campaign - and its adherents - reminds me of McGovern’s disastrous presidential campaign. Hunter S. Thompson summed it up nicely in “Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, 72.” Thompson starts out absolutely convinced that the collection of freaks, youth, and minorities can overwhelm the Nixon machine. In the end he knows he was wrong, has a pretty good idea of why, and never again put much stock in the radicals to form electoral powerhouses. Here’s this gem of a post-mortem:

    “After months of quasi-public brooding on the Whys and Wherefores of the disastrous beating he absorbed last November, McGovern seems finally to have bought the Conventional Wisdom—that his campaign was doomed from the start: conceived in a fit of hubris, born in a momentary power-vacuum that was always more mirage than reality, borne along on a tide of frustration churned up by liberal lintheads and elitist malcontents in the Eastern Media Establishment.”

    So, Illinois voters actually giving a majority to Bernie in the polling place? Not gonna happen.


  60. - LincolnLounger - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 12:40 pm:

    If there’s a more insufferable, megalomaniac in Illinois politics than Ron Gidwitz, I’d hate to meet that person.

    If only I could have been there when he received the Rauner call of rebuke.


  61. - Under Further Review - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 12:45 pm:

    Kirk has problems and he certainly did not need some negative comments from Gidwitz. Gidwitz is a major contributor with a big ego to match, but he did articulate Kirk’s potential vulnerability.


  62. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 12:45 pm:

    Really a remarkably clueless play by Gidwitz.

    Obviously, he wants the spot and has been the Sneed Whisperer.

    But how did he think he could make this move without clearing it with the boss first? Very strange.

    Good thing he inherited his money.


  63. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 12:47 pm:

    Mark it down: the Kirk-Duckworth race will cost over $50 million combined.


  64. - Mittuns - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 12:48 pm:

    And that perception about the term is wrong. To embrace and perpetuate that meaning may be politically smart by the GOP, but some honesty in the coverage of Sanders would be welcomed.


  65. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 12:49 pm:

    ==- Team Sleep - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 12:47 pm:==

    That low? We had races in far less expensive states closing in on twice that last year.


  66. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 12:49 pm:

    ===Mark it down: the Kirk-Duckworth race will cost over $50 million combined.===

    Combined?

    I’ll take the “over”…


  67. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 12:57 pm:

    TS, $50 million for starters.

    But it will be interesting to watch Kirk’s national fundraising.

    Rubio puts a Florida seat in play, and the GOP expects serious challenges to incumbents in PA, Ohio, NH, NC and Wisconsin, as well.

    That’s a lot to defend in a presidential year.


  68. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 1:07 pm:

    PC and OW - I’m not talking about untrackable dark money or outside, “uncoordinated” spending. I’m talking about straight up cash raised by the candidate only.

    According to the FEC - and using just cash raised by the candidate him or herself - the most expensive race in 2014 was McConnell vs. Grimes at around $46.5 million.


  69. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 1:13 pm:

    - Team Sleep -,

    I’ll still take the “over”.

    Illinois media markets are far more expensive than Kentucky media markets. Monies directly/PAC raised will reflect that. Dark money will blow the lid clear off $50 million.


  70. - Not it - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 1:13 pm:

    If there was a primary the ultra-conservative wing would almost surely win it, and the next Senator would be Duckworth for sure.


  71. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 1:19 pm:

    Willy - if you throw in “dark” money, I bet the Kirk-Duckworth race could top $150 million. NC’s and Colorado’s elections last year topped $100 million after outside cash was included.

    Not It - maybe, but who? The conservative wing of the GOP had a chance in 2010 and flubbed it terribly.


  72. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 1:25 pm:

    ===… if you throw in “dark” money, I bet the Kirk-Duckworth race could top $150 million. NC’s and Colorado’s elections last year topped $100 million after outside cash was included.===

    That $150 million is a “good” number, probably get fair action both ways on it.

    I’d have to see where I’d go after the first round of media buys.


  73. - The Velour Nail - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 1:25 pm:

    Perhaps roll is a bit of a euphemism. I see Kirk winning by five points — 52.5% to 47.5%. Duckworth is a flawed candidate who cannot win statewide. Kirk will run well downstate and north of the city. Without a native son to help drive turnout in the city, soft-D turnout may be lower in 2016 than in 2008 and 2012, how does Duckworth win? I see how can Kirk can beat Duckworth and the coalitions that may come together from around the state to make that happen but have trouble understanding how Duckworth plans to win. Outside the beltway, I know of no one who is excited about Duckworth’s senate candidacy. That spells trouble. I understand why Durbin, Schakowsky and other party brass in Washington would like to trot Duckworth out on the Sunday morning shows. Poor reason to anoint a candidate. There are many D’s who could beat Kirk, just not Duckworth. You do not fight fire with fire. The average voter will be unable to differentiate b/t Duckworth’s distinguished military record and Kirk’s (no adjective about Kirk’s service in accordance with the new house rules). Her service thus becomes a wash with a new R ground game as demonstrated in 2014. I stand by Kirk beating Duckworth walking away.


  74. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 1:31 pm:

    OW - my hope is that Buzzfeed has one its top writers come up some inane “what can you buy with $150 million?!” article. Top option: an MLS team.


  75. - Norseman - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 1:31 pm:

    Giddy, you got what you asked for. Now you’re a servant not a player. Dillard must be laughing his head off right now. Karma is a ….


  76. - Michael Westen - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 1:36 pm:

    “If there’s a more insufferable, megalomaniac in Illinois politics than Ron Gidwitz”

    There is-his name is Mark Kirk.


  77. - dawn - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 1:38 pm:

    velour nail- there is a native son, her name is Hillary. Duckworth does have a more distinguishable military record, combat and she is a woman running in a state that likes to elect women (cook county). I think right now its a draw, but Kirk has met his match and the national GOP should be worried.


  78. - A guy - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 1:52 pm:

    +++Arsenal - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 12:35 pm:

    ==Why Bernie Sanders matched up against front runners on the other side?==

    Because it’s a perfectly rational trial heat to poll.++++

    That’s just silly talk. But a poll like this does offer an opportunity to raise some more money for Bernie from some out of touch dupes.


  79. - Slide - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 1:59 pm:

    ~~~ Gidwitz is as soft as a bun. Pretty much always has been. I think Kirk is doing better today than Gidwitz is. ~~~

    Wow…bad day for Kirk, indeed.


  80. - The Velour Nail - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:07 pm:

    Ah, the politics of gender. There has been much written on the political relationship between a candidate’s gender and the electorate, to which I am afraid that I cannot much add. Kirk and his moderate record has run well with female voters in prior elections, particularly suburban females. I am not sure why that would change. Also, Hillary may have been born in Illinois and lived here for approximately the first eighteen years of her life but she is hardly a native son. She will not drive Cook County turnout like President Obama did in 2008 and 2012. The more I think about this Kirk wins by a country mile if Duckworth wins the primary (which she unfortunately will).


  81. - Rod - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:08 pm:

    The Velour Nail I suspect your guess on the vote outcome is correct. Rep Duckworth has not exhibited much deep thinking even on foreign policy which one would expect given her military background. A good example was when she and Joe Walsh debated she exhibited no great knowledge in relation to Iraq or the situation in the middle east. In fact she agreed with Walsh on many foreign policy issues, I suspect out of fear of looking foolish.


  82. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:12 pm:

    ===She will not drive Cook County turnout like President Obama did in 2008 and 2012===

    Barack Obama 2012: 1,488,537 votes.

    John Kerry 2004: 1,439,724 votes.


  83. - A guy - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:16 pm:

    That begs the question Obama numbers in 2008? That was really the more emotional year for the youngsters.


  84. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:18 pm:

    - The Velour Nail -,

    Gotta be able to back up the numbers…

    - Team Sleep -, I need to check that Buzzfeed article out. Who know, you may be right and may do it again.


  85. - The Captain - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:24 pm:

    The Velour Nail, if you want to wager that Kirk will win the 2016 general election for US Senate from Illinois by a certified vote total of 5 percentage points or more I’ll give you 2 to 1 on your money and you can put down as much as you’d like.


  86. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:30 pm:

    ==That’s just silly talk.==

    Funny how you don’t back up that conclusion…

    A whole bunch of pollsters doing GE trial heats are throwing Sanders in there right now. CNN/OR is doing it. Quinnipiac is doing it. This really isn’t at all a question, “They included a question I wouldn’t have included” isn’t evidence that a poll is skewed to one party, no matter how much you wish it were.


  87. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:32 pm:

    ==Kirk and his moderate record has run well with female voters in prior elections, particularly suburban females. I am not sure why that would change.==

    Yeah, why would suburban women move away from Kirk in favor of the woman from the suburbs? Can’t think of a single reason.


  88. - Down the Middle - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:44 pm:

    I think Gidwitz did EXACTLY what he set out to do. He told the world the Emperor has not clothes and retracted it when he got the heat from DC know that you can’t unring the bell.


  89. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:51 pm:

    VN, you realize that you’ve already written that significant factors in this race would be “Biss driving turnout” and “Zopp voters staying home.”

    You can’t top that, cousin. A good comic knows to end the show on the biggest laughs.


  90. - slow down - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:11 pm:

    It’s also worth pointing out that Kirk’s ability to appeal to female voters has never been tested against a female opponent. The idea that the guy who says things like “bro with no ho” would appeal to female voters over a working mom who lost limbs serving the country doesn’t seem realistic to me.


  91. - Federalist - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:55 pm:

    Sanders vs. Trump!

    That would be interesting.

    And fun!!!

    Odds are very high, in my opinion, that neither will get the nomination.

    Voter frustration with ‘name’ candidates is very high. That is the reason Sanders and Trump are doing so well- at least for now.


  92. - walker - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:59 pm:

    Rod: We might be surprised with what Duckworth comes up with on foreign policy. She has an advanced degree in International Relations. Why she keeps that a secret is beyond me.


  93. - Federalist - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 4:12 pm:

    walker - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:59 pm:

    Rod: We might be surprised with what Duckworth comes up with on foreign policy. She has an advanced degree in International Relations. Why she keeps that a secret is beyond me.

    If she can come up with something that has at lest the appearance of credibility and independent thought she could do really well and in this Blue state win rather easily.

    Not counting on it!


  94. - too obvious - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 4:53 pm:

    Ron Gitwitz was 100% right about Mark Kirk, before he wasn’t.

    How can a guy with so much money come across as having to little self respect. Beyond embarrassing.


  95. - Under Further Review - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 6:24 pm:

    I really thought it was funny during Gidwitz’s reign as the Republican Committeeman of the 43rd Ward that he referred to himself and his wife and the “First” Couple of the Ward in printed materials. He also seemed to relish his stint as the appointed Chair of the City Colleges of Chicago Board of Trustees (the sole appointed community college board in Illinois). CCC employees called him Nitwitz.


  96. - Anon - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 8:51 pm:

    Senator Kirk has served his country well and deserves respect, but he really needs to step out of his high-pressure position and heal. It seems that the “editor” part of his frontal lobe was damaged from his unfortunate stroke and needs focused therapy. His courage and dedication is inspiring, but he needs to take a break. He will be tightly controlled and protected by Schmidt, McCracken and his other handlers. A debate will be much too scary, so I doubt they would ever allow it.


  97. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 9:41 pm:

    Rick Pearson has a story that the NRSC game plan is to put a muzzle on Kirk and keep him out of media except in tightly controlled availabilities.

    Good luck with that.

    It’s not realistic, anyway. He’s not up three scores and can run out the clock. He’ll need to score and hope for turnovers.


  98. - Arsenal - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 8:49 am:

    An Illinois Senate campaign tightly controlled by Washington Republicans! That’ll help Kirk’s biggest problem (The “R” next to his name on the ballot).


  99. - JB13 - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 11:33 am:

    In Illinois, I automatically assume every Democrat *is* safe and every Republican *is not* safe, no matter what either one did or did not do.


  100. - Anonymous Redux - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 2:09 pm:

    if you want to wager that Kirk will win the 2016 general election for US Senate from Illinois by a certified vote total of 5 percentage points or more I’ll give you 2 to 1 on your money and you can put down as much as you’d like. The Captain

    @Velour…I’ll make the same bet and give you 3 to 1 odds.

    I’m pleased to see a H.S.T. reference above…made me smile…and cough.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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