* 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.