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Trump becomes issue in Bost’s district as race may be heating up

Wednesday, Jun 8, 2016 - Posted by Rich Miller

* As we noted yesterday, Democratic U.S. House candidate CJ Baricevic called on GOP Congressman Mike Bost to denounce Donald Trump. He got his answer

“Maybe I should ask my opponent if he wants to support a socialist or a person who wants to close every coal mine in Illinois,” Bost said, referring to Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.

“If my opponent wants to play guilt by association, then he should take responsibility for Hillary Clinton’s promise to put Southern Illinois coal miners out of work,” Bost added.

* Baricevic shot back via press release today…

“Racism is not a policy issue. This is unbelievable that a sitting Congressman equates racism with differences in energy policy. While I disagree with Hillary Clinton’s position on coal and strongly support Illinois’ coal mining industry- these differences are to be discussed. There can be no discussion with regards to racism. The people of this district deserve better from their Congressman; Bost is truly lost.”

* You’d think Baricevic would lay off the Trump card because it’s a Downstate district with lots of rural turf. However, his campaign has some recent polling

Voters prefer Clinton over Trump by 47%-43% and prefer a Democrat over a Republican in Congress 47%-41%. 52% of voters have negative feelings towards GOP leaders in Congress; while Republican Governor Bruce Rauner has a 70% negative job rating. […]

For almost seventy years, the district has voted Democrat at the presidential and congressional level. In presidential years, the district has had a strong Democratic registration advantage. In 2012–when Democratic Congressman Bill Enyart beat Republican Jason Plummer by 52%- 43%–100,000 more voters were cast than in 2014. In 2014, with Republicans sweeping nationwide, including the Illinois governor candidate winning the district by 20 points, Bost won election to Congress beating Democratic Congressman Bill Enyart.

With a hotly contested U.S. Senate race, and with major races to protect Democratic majorities in the Illinois House and Senate, the 12th CD will be a battleground district in 2016. […]

[Congressman Bost has] voted for bad trade legislation, including fast-track authority for the Trans Pacific Partnership; voted to give tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas; voted against increasing college tuition assistance for middle- class families; opposes the Affordable Care Act; supports turning Medicare into a voucher system; has repeatedly voted against collective bargaining, and has opposed raising the minimum wage and equal pay legislation.

The polling and Baricevic’s fairly impressive first quarter fundraising have reportedly impressed the DCCC, which tried and failed to find a candidate to run against Baricevic during the primary.

* I’ve seen the entire Garin Hart Yang poll and it appears legit. They threw some very, very tough shots at their own candidate (including the issues that scared off the DCCC - mainly his criminal defense law practice) and still switched the results from the initial 50-37 Bost lead in the initial trial heat (without leaners of 2 points each) to Baricevic leading 48-40 after all the push questions. The poll was taken May 20-22 of 400 likely voters.

Don’t get me wrong here. I’m not saying that Baricevic is gonna win this. He has a long way to go and will need to raise a giant pile of money to get on St. Louis TV. Bost is also one heck of a campaigner, he’s been a responsive congressman and is always underestimated.

But the national and state trends may not be Bost’s good friends like they were two years ago. So, it’s worth keeping an eye on.


  1. - John Reynolds - Wednesday, Jun 8, 16 @ 1:03 pm:

    What should be most offensive to Republicans is Trumps threat to use the power of the Presidency to do something about Curiel, and not just the fact what he said was a textbook definition of racism.

    Conservatives wrap themselves in the Constitution, except now.

    The silence is deafening.

  2. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jun 8, 16 @ 1:04 pm:

    Mike Bost shot a dog and still got elected. He’s going to be very hard to beat.

  3. - Liberty - Wednesday, Jun 8, 16 @ 1:09 pm:

    Leftists freak out easily.

  4. - Ducky LaMoore - Wednesday, Jun 8, 16 @ 1:10 pm:

    Wow, a guy that obviously has a problem with his brain is more popular than our governor. I’m not making this up.

  5. - illini - Wednesday, Jun 8, 16 @ 1:10 pm:

    This race is just getting interesting - keep watching folks! Wishing I could participate in this election, but I live 12 miles outside the district.

    Just wishing I could be talking about the Shimkus “race” with as much enthusiasm!!!!

  6. - How Ironic - Wednesday, Jun 8, 16 @ 1:12 pm:

    @ Liberty-

    I wasn’t aware being against racism was just a ‘leftist’ ideal?

  7. - Moe Berg - Wednesday, Jun 8, 16 @ 1:19 pm:

    Perhaps we’re getting an inkling of not just the negative effect that Trump may be having down ballot, but also Rauner. Lot of institutions in that district that are reliant on state funding. Two years into the rage and shakin’ it up with nothing to show for it, and voters growin’ impatient.

  8. - Winning - Wednesday, Jun 8, 16 @ 1:28 pm:

    Baricevic will beat Bost handily in the MetroEast. If Bost loses Jackson County, he can easily lose this seat. This seat will live and die by the SIUC college campus- which is funny because if SIUC doesn’t get Baricevic (an alumnus) elected; it will most likely close because of 20 years of Bost and 2 years of Rauner. Enough to kill any college.

  9. - Winning - Wednesday, Jun 8, 16 @ 1:30 pm:

    And did Bost really equate Racism to energy policy? Seriously? Those RNCC folks may think the 12th district is living in the 19th century, but it is not.

  10. - Blue dog dem - Wednesday, Jun 8, 16 @ 1:30 pm:

    The state Senate race featuring S. SIMON ,SHOULD be the most telling in the state. If, as OW says, labor and higher education what ya gonna do come November, fails to be a rallying cry. Then Rauner may in fact survive.

  11. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jun 8, 16 @ 1:33 pm:

    Plenty of Republicans have expressed disgust over Trump’s racism. A long-time GOP state senator in Iowa has quit the party over him.

    Given that, it’s not unreasonable to assume that Independents might be swayed by an anti-Trump message.

    And no, Rep. Bost, racism is not a policy difference.

  12. - The Captain - Wednesday, Jun 8, 16 @ 1:45 pm:

    If you’re looking for another state spending angle in this race don’t forget the Sparta World Shooting Complex.

  13. - AlfondoGonz - Wednesday, Jun 8, 16 @ 2:52 pm:

    Trump is a poo dollar, and anyone who picks him up will not be able to wash his or her hands of him.

  14. - Federalist - Wednesday, Jun 8, 16 @ 3:39 pm:

    If this district has been Democratic for 70 years at the national level and Clinton has only a 4 point lead over Trump, then Bost still must be feeling pretty good.

  15. - Apocalypse - Wednesday, Jun 8, 16 @ 3:49 pm:

    Maybe, Bost should ask Baricevic to denounce his father John Baricevic’s statement years ago, when he referred to a black Television reporter in St. Louis, as “Rufus”. The reporters name was Elliot Davis, a well respected journalist. Davis asked John Baricevic a question and John Baricevic got flustered and agitated and made the statement to Davis.

  16. - Old Shepherd - Wednesday, Jun 8, 16 @ 3:58 pm:

    Bost in 2014 got fewer votes than Plummer in 2012. That statistic alone proves that anything can happen in the 12th CD.

  17. - Biography - Wednesday, Jun 8, 16 @ 4:06 pm:

    ==There can be no discussion with regards (sic) to racism.==
    True totalitarian colors showing. This is what we want in a government official? Big Brother is this guy’s idol.

  18. - Pyrman - Wednesday, Jun 8, 16 @ 4:28 pm:

    Elliot Davis is well respected??? That’s a good one!!

  19. - downstater - Wednesday, Jun 8, 16 @ 4:36 pm:

    - Old Shepherd - Wednesday, Jun 8, 16 @ 3:58 pm:

    Bost in 2014 got fewer votes than Plummer in 2012. That statistic alone proves that anything can happen in the 12th CD.-

    Are you really comparing a midterm cycle to a presidential cycle?

  20. - downstater - Wednesday, Jun 8, 16 @ 4:37 pm:

    This is a non-issue for Bost, and forgive me if I’m not buying Baricevic’s internal polling info released without cross tabs.

  21. - Amalia - Wednesday, Jun 8, 16 @ 6:50 pm:

    jeez. Hillary is not against coal. she’s not promising to put miners out of work. she’s trying to figure out how to help them transition to other jobs as their industry faces extreme pressures to continue.

  22. - Rusty the Dawg - Wednesday, Jun 8, 16 @ 10:11 pm:

    #NeverForget that Mike Bost shot a defenseless beagle back in the 1980s. He should be a convicted felon instead of in Congress. Then again, felons fit right in in Congress. That’s probably why Bill Enyart stuck out like a sore thumb. His integrity.

  23. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 9, 16 @ 7:05 am:

    This racims charge is a bit warmed over. If I remember correctly, the left called Bush a racist, Romney a racist, any one who doesn’t embrace leftist ideology as racist… Why should anyone care Trump is called a racist. I think the left has called wolf a few too many times.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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