* Jim Dey interviews Kevin Artl of the Mark Kirk campaign…
Artl said he anticipates the turnout in Illinois to be “more similar to 2004,” when Democratic U.S. Sen. John Kerry was his party’s presidential candidate.
Although he lost the national election, Kerry handily carried Illinois, collecting almost 2.9 million votes against President George W. Bush.
That number, however, pales in comparison to Obama’s numbers four years later.
Obama collected 3.4 million votes in the 2008 presidential race, compared to 2 million for GOP candidate John McCain, boosting other Democrats on the ticket.
It’s hard to imagine any of the 2016 Democratic presidential candidates — Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders or Martin O’Malley — having that kind of emotional appeal to Illinois voters. […]
When Kerry carried 54 percent of the vote in 2004, then-U.S. Rep. Kirk attracted 64 percent of the vote in Illinois’ evenly balanced 10th congressional district.
When Obama carried 60 percent of the Illinois vote in 2008, Kirk carried nearly 53 percent in his district.
Do you know what else happened in 2004? The Republicans had to import Alan Keyes from Maryland because they had nobody else to run against state Sen. Barack Obama for US Senate.
So, 2004 wasn’t so great for the GOP, either.
And President Obama’s numbers were pretty Kerryish in 2012, when he ran for reelection.
Illinois is a tough nut to crack for Republicans in a presidential year. The last Republican to win a statewide office in a presidential year was… ?
* But, Kirk is very good at this sort of thing, as his congressional campaigns showed. And Morning Consult has a new poll out which shows he’s not doing too badly…
* Meanwhile, this story got zero attention…
David Applegate, a staff member for Rep. Tammy Duckworth’s (D-Ill.) Senate campaign, was walking around at the Columbus Day parade in Chicago when he was approached by a woman with a clipboard.
She asked him if he wanted to sign a petition. That was odd in itself, since Applegate was wearing a Duckworth campaign shirt, and the woman was wearing a campaign shirt for Sen. Mark Kirk (R), whom Duckworth is trying to unseat. It got weirder when she said the petition was about raising the minimum wage, an issue Kirk doesn’t even support.
Applegate, confused, said he worked for Duckworth, and the woman walked away. He saw her again later, standing with another woman who was also wearing a Kirk shirt and holding a clipboard. He got closer and looked over one of their shoulders. There were “raise the wage” stickers covering the tops of their petitions, but peeking out from underneath them was Mark Kirk’s printed name.
They weren’t collecting signatures for a wage campaign; there isn’t even an active wage campaign in Illinois right now. They were collecting signatures to put Kirk on the ballot for the March primary election.