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Mostly “ups” I think

Thursday, Dec 17, 2015

* Tribune

Former Democratic Congressman Brad Schneider of Deerfield, trying to regain his 10th District House seat, has been facing several ups and downs in his campaign for the March 15 primary nomination against Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering.

Already, former congressman, federal judge and White House counsel Abner Mikva has withdrawn his support for Schneider and moved to Rotering’s camp. So has former U.S. Sen. Adlai E. Stevenson III. In addition, U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, a member of the House Democratic leadership team, has pulled her endorsement of Schneider.

Schneider still has the backing of House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, as well as seven of the 10 Democratic members of the Illinois congressional delegation and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. And on Wednesday, his campaign announced it had been endorsed by the politically active Service Employees International Union Illinois State Council.

Schneider and Rotering are vying for the nomination to take on Republican U.S. Rep. Robert Dold of Kenilworth in the North Shore district. Dold won the seat in 2010, was ousted by Schneider in 2012, then defeated Schneider in 2014.

“Voters are ready for a strong, progressive leader with a principled track record of getting things done,” Rotering said in a statement, noting that the backing of Mikva and Stevenson came as a result of Schneider opposing the Iran nuclear deal backed by President Barack Obama.

Mikva and Stevenson’s withdrawal means almost next to nothing. I mean, how many Democratic primary voters are going to take their endorsements to heart? Schakowsky is different because in a Democratic primary she might carry a little bit of weight, particularly with liberals.

Rotering has done a very good job of publicizing her town’s efforts to enact an assault weapons ban ahead of a state deadline. That district is ground zero for gun control support, particularly in a Dem primary.

But independent-minded, somewhat hawkish Jewish voters are very influential in that district, so Schneider opposing the Iran nuke deal probably isn’t fatal and perhaps just the opposite. Then again, this is a primary race, not a general.

Schneider has the name rec and will have the money. Rotering is a fresh face and has a proven ability to get her name out there.

Am I missing anything? Your predictions?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - JackD - Thursday, Dec 17, 15 @ 11:24 am:

    Mikva’s endorsement is still helpful. Many progressives in the district think Schneider ran a poor campaign last time around. It’s close but I’m guessing Rotering.

  2. - Amalia - Thursday, Dec 17, 15 @ 11:29 am:

    Rotering. the recent win for Highland Park on the assault weapons ban was big for her with the progressives there active on the issue. also, she’s pleasant vs. Schneider not.

  3. - The Doc - Thursday, Dec 17, 15 @ 11:30 am:

    Justified or otherwise, Schneider has gained a reputation as a bit aloof. Perhaps more importantly, I’d argue that the district’s Jewish voters are relatively less hawkish about Israel as it has become a more partisan issue, and after witnessing Bibi’s unfortunate and poorly timed foray deep into the U.S. national political scene.

  4. - Almost the Weekend - Thursday, Dec 17, 15 @ 11:32 am:

    Rich has Emily’s List played a role in helping Rotering raise money? If so that might be able to help her. That was very beneficial for Bustos in 2012 from what I remember.

  5. - Anon - Thursday, Dec 17, 15 @ 11:45 am:

    I almost feel bad admitting this, but I thought Adlai Stevenson was dead… But he hasn’t held office in my life time, so there’s that, right?

  6. - A guy - Thursday, Dec 17, 15 @ 11:53 am:

    I agree a bit with JackD. Oddly, Mikva still has some pretty decent juice with a significant number of Jewish voters up there. I suspect, enough to tilt the balance.

  7. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Dec 17, 15 @ 12:00 pm:

    Schneider has an edge because of his recent incumbency and everything that comes with it, but it won’t be a blowout.

  8. - wordslinger - Thursday, Dec 17, 15 @ 12:09 pm:

    Polling has shown that American Jews are more supportive of the Iran nuke deal than the American population as a whole, and self-described Liberal Jews even more so than other Liberals.

    The fiction propagated by the neo-cons that American Jews monolithically support Likud on the Iran deal is just that. It’s fiction in Israel, as well, including within the military and intelligence establishment.

  9. - LC Anonymous - Thursday, Dec 17, 15 @ 12:24 pm:

    Even the “hawkish” Jews in that district are more in favor of the Iran Deal than against it. That will be a huge deal when it comes to voting in March. They have a choice between two Jewish candidates, one for the Iran Deal and one against it. One who stood with the President (who is still popular their), and one who didn’t. Advantage Rotering.

  10. - slow down - Thursday, Dec 17, 15 @ 12:27 pm:

    I think it’s a tough hill to climb for Rotering given Schneider’s incumbency like advantage but anyone who has watched her over the last few years should understand that she’s very smart, extremely well organized and a very effective campaigner. Neither Schneider nor Dold should underestimate her.

    One other point I’d make is that other than the Iran nuclear deal issue, there really is very little substantively to separate the two. My sense is that this helps Schneider given that he enjoys an incumbency like position in the 10th.

  11. - Louis G Atsaves - Thursday, Dec 17, 15 @ 1:08 pm:

    This race is happening in my back yard. Rotering is taking it to Schneider, but I believe he will edge her out in the primary. He has strong name recognition as compared to Rotering, who outside of Highland Park is working to get her name known.

    Schneider has some difficulty making a case for himself, which has plagued him in the past. Rotering to her credit has a more focused message.

  12. - Southside Markie - Thursday, Dec 17, 15 @ 1:27 pm:

    Mkiva’s nickname was “Landslide Abner” for a reason. He never carried that district himself by more than literally a few thousand votes, at most. Its not my backyard, but its hard to believe he has that much influence.

  13. - Just Observing - Thursday, Dec 17, 15 @ 1:37 pm:

    I agree with Rich — Mikva and Stevenson don’t mean much anymore, especially to the average Dem primary voter — maybe a bit more to the big money folks. Schakowsky is a bit more relevant. But I believe Schneider will beat Rotering by at least 10 points. She just doesn’t have the name ID, nor a compelling reason to choose her over Schneider. Plus, half the voters in the district probably think Schneider is still the current Congressman.

  14. - Orzo - Thursday, Dec 17, 15 @ 2:18 pm:

    Rotering has the advantage of being a fresh face with some momentum on the issues. Schneider has some name recognition, but has never been beloved. He’s the political equivalent of real estate’s “tired listing.” She’ll win the primary.

    I am shocked that some people believe Ab Mikva’s name is not still golden for any Democrat over 50 (a large portion of the district). The reference to his close races is uninformed–that was in the general, and the district was quite different then. Anyone running in this District would love to have Ab’s endorsement.

  15. - TenthDem - Thursday, Dec 17, 15 @ 2:20 pm:

    Nancy is trying very hard to win over the Ilya Sheyman wing of our party by saying she’s a strong progressive. Many are falling for it, but it’s clear that there’s little to no difference between Brad and Nancy and I very much prefer Brad’s style and odds at winning back the seat.

  16. - TenthDem - Thursday, Dec 17, 15 @ 2:21 pm:

    Also, while I love Ab Mikva, people need to recognize that he never represented half of this Tenth District.

  17. - Little Red Hen - Thursday, Dec 17, 15 @ 2:22 pm:

    Mikva is still huge up there. He would win himself if the election were held today. Goodbye, Schnieder.

  18. - ProduceGuy - Thursday, Dec 17, 15 @ 6:20 pm:

    Schneider is fundamentally a blue dog on economic issues - the Congressman from Mesirow Financial (his wife’s firm) who looked after Wall Street not main street and who advocated a 3-1 cut in spending over increasing revenue. He also is a lousy and inexperienced politician - his 2014 loss to Dold was an anomaly since Boustos, Duckworth and Foster got relected that year from less D+ districts. Nancy has work to do to get her name out. It would be foolish if the DCCC backs Schneider in the primary because of his two year nothing burger stint in the House. Looks like the Democratic nominee will win in 2016, but what about 2018?

  19. - Sue - Thursday, Dec 17, 15 @ 7:04 pm:

    There is going to be a very contentious referendum on the ballot seeing how the local school board just approved asking HP residents to spend 200 million on reconfiguring the K - 8 schools including the building of a single middle school to replace 3 smaller buildings. 200 million will be the largest school referendum in State history and the community is very split. Rotering’s predecessor, a well respected finance professional has come out against the referendum but Rotering has been silent, a knock on the issue of her so called leadership. The voting participation in HP will be huge and it’s hard to see how this referendum will pass given the impact on real estate taxes and because the school Board if successful will be bussing students on 45 minute commutes to the new middle school where thee now go to neighborhood facilities. Rotering is walking a tightrope not commenting on this issue and it is likely the issue will drive all the fiscally conservative voters to come out and vote, at least in HP this will help Brad S who is certainly not a liberal tax and spend typical Dem

  20. - Hockey Fan - Thursday, Dec 17, 15 @ 10:33 pm:

    Sue - that’s the oddest argument. While your facts may be right, that referendum will increase turnout in her hometown. It will help her - but not that much. It’s one small part of the Congressional district. Saying that a school referendum will hurt her is weak.

    Rotering has momentum and energy. Brad is slipping in my opinion

  21. - Zeke - Thursday, Dec 17, 15 @ 10:52 pm:

    There are still thousands of voters on the North Shore - perhaps mostly older - who would vote for anyone endorsed by Stevenson and Mikva, let alone Schakowsky.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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