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The lesson for Newman’s supporters

Wednesday, Mar 21, 2018

* Tribune

With more than 90 percent of the vote counted, unofficial results showed Lipinski led with 51 percent of the vote to Newman’s 49 percent in race seen as a proxy fight between the progressive and more conservative wings of the Democratic Party.

* The Atlantic…a

Newman’s defeat was a disappointment for progressive groups and particularly for groups like NARAL Pro-Choice America and EMILY’s List, which had hoped to punish one of the last remaining anti-abortion Democrats in Congress and make a statement on the party’s commitment to a woman’s right to choose.


Newman, who told supporters Tuesday night that she was “not quite ready to make a decision” and that she wanted Lipinski to have a “very painful evening,” conceded the race in a statement on Wednesday.

* There’s an old saying in Chicago that if you’re running against the machine you’d better be up by more than 5 points going into election day. It’s not that they steal elections, mind you. They just work harder and know what it takes to get votes come crunch time.

Marie Newman won suburban Cook County by almost four percentage points. She lost the city 57-43.

Most of Lipinski’s victory margin came from just four city wards. Speaker Madigan’s 13th Ward carried Lipinski 64-36. The congressman won Ald. Ed Burke’s 14th Ward 57-43. The vote-rich 19th Ward carried Lip 58-42. And the congressman won his ancestral home ward, the 23rd, 60-40.

The machine will do anything to win. They’ll even portray, as they did here, a socially right-wing Democrat as a pro-Obama, pro-immigrant, pro-woman “moderate.” I’m not saying the left has to emulate that behavior, I’m just saying they have to be ready to effectively counter it.

But Newman basically got beat in the streets. Shout out to campaign manager Brian Oszakiewski for a remarkable job.

* And it’s not like this cannot be done by progressives. Look at Chuy Garcia’s victories. Garcia’s candidate came within 62 votes of beating Ald. Burke’s own brother, Rep. Dan Burke, in the 14th Ward. Aaron Ortiz won the race by 7 points.

Garcia’s candidate for county board Alma Anaya not only won big, but she won the 12th Ward by 642 votes, despite its committeeman, Sen. Tony Munoz, spending hundreds of thousands on Angela Sandoval’s race. Anaya also won the 13th Ward (with support from Speaker Madigan), and fell 56 votes shy in Burke’s 14th.

Then, of course, there’s Joe Berrios. There wasn’t much anyone could do for him at the doors, though. Frankly, he’s lucky he didn’t lose by more than 11.5 points, considering all the bad press he’s received over the years. A normal human without the party apparatus and with Berrios’ history woulda barely hit double digits.

* The lesson is, if you want to go up against these guys you have to pick your fights, make some allies on the side and take it to the other side on all levels. TV ads, press conferences and lit blitzes ain’t gonna do it. Chuy Garcia clearly understood this. Marie Newman did not.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Almost the Weekend - Wednesday, Mar 21, 18 @ 11:36 am:

    Her camp thought DC was the answer, unless you are a lobbyist,nothing in DC works.

    Bad day for Emily’s list in congressional primaries in Illinois.

  2. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 21, 18 @ 11:44 am:

    I am so happy that Pro-life Lipinski won. By the way being Pro-life doesn’t make a person not pro-woman. He is not anti-immigrant. The left did do everything to try to unseat him.

    There are approximately 25% pro-life Democrats. If the Democrats don’t want to lose them then they better be open to both groups in their party. I left the party of this issue and became an Independent. However, I did vote for Obama in all of his races and I will vote for Pritzker in November.

  3. - brooker - Wednesday, Mar 21, 18 @ 11:47 am:

    Marie Newman had many problems, the least of which is realizing how politics actually works. Her unkind words on election night give the public a glimpse of the person she really is. One of the real problem with progressives like Newman is the belief everyone has to think and feel as they do, and if you don’t, you’re somehow wrong.

  4. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 21, 18 @ 11:50 am:

    Lipinski won in spite of himself. It took the City’s remaining few strong Ward organizations to carry him over the finish line.

  5. - Could Of Had Me - Wednesday, Mar 21, 18 @ 11:52 am:

    I agree with brooker above. I know races can get down and dirty but beating up the Lipinski name definitely pushed some people back to him. Personally I think the guy should go. I understand his pro-life (along with the Catholic Church) but his anti gay stances were too much for me.
    Also, Newman should have been more out front about her former business partner who ended up being a felon. Do your own oppo research and get ahead of it and behind you.
    I ended up voting for neither

  6. - Saluki - Wednesday, Mar 21, 18 @ 11:54 am:

    Newman’s words on election night revealed something that wasn’t pleasant. Happy for Lipinski.

  7. - People Over Parties - Wednesday, Mar 21, 18 @ 11:55 am:

    ===everyone has to think and feel as they do, and if you don’t, you’re somehow wrong.===

    Political polarization at its finest. To me, Newman came off as a sore-loser last night, even though the margain must’ve made it that much harder to admit defeat.

  8. - PJ - Wednesday, Mar 21, 18 @ 11:55 am:

    I think a lot of you are reading too much into a 2 point win by an incumbent who had to pull out every stop to save himself.

    With increased name ID and anti-Trump furor, she would likely be favored to win this same race if she tries again in 2020.

  9. - DuPage Saint - Wednesday, Mar 21, 18 @ 11:56 am:

    What a sore loser Newman appears to be. I am sure it hurt but that sense of superiority and righteousness is off putting

  10. - bored now - Wednesday, Mar 21, 18 @ 11:58 am:

    one of the lessons out of this race is that progressives were divided — not in their desire to beat lipinski, but in how to divide their time for candidates they supported. the berrios race, etc, all attracted money, time and effort. national democrats may not have been divided, but i don’t think anyone came in from out of state on their side to work this race.

    i do think lipinski was farther down in priorities for chicago area progressives. but i also think that this was the best opportunity to turn back lipinski, so…

  11. - @misterjayem - Wednesday, Mar 21, 18 @ 11:58 am:

    “Chuy Garcia clearly understood this. Marie Newman did not.”

    Newman was a first-time candidate. Chuy was not.

    The learning curve for first-time candidates is steep and I suspect that Newman (and her supporters) learned many valuable lessons that will be applied with greater success the next time she’s on the ballot.

    – MrJM

  12. - Sacks Romana - Wednesday, Mar 21, 18 @ 12:01 pm:

    Another lesson here is that it’s very difficult to defeat an entrenched incumbent the very first time. If Newman or another candidate of similar caliber decides to run again in two years I’m guessing it would be a blowout in her favor.

  13. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 21, 18 @ 12:01 pm:

    === Newman’s words on election night revealed something that wasn’t pleasant. Happy for Lipinski. ===

    Agreed. Newman’s comments about wishing that Dan have a very painful evening were disgusting and not what we need more of in politics. It’s not surprising though considering every time I saw her she was in attack mode. She always seemed angry and had absolutely no charisma or charm.

    If Dan isn’t going to be the rep here much longer, I don’t think Newman is the answer. There are several other Dems in the district (even though you technically don’t have to live in the district) that would make much better candidates.

  14. - West Side the Best Side - Wednesday, Mar 21, 18 @ 12:03 pm:

    Newman could have said that in that close a race she wanted to make sure of all the votes before conceding and no one would have faulted her. Instead she wished Lipinski a painful evening. Guess the mailer that said her claim she set up an anti-bullying organization was bogus was right and she is just a liar. A lot of merit to Lipinski’s “tea party of the left” claim.

  15. - Dee Lay - Wednesday, Mar 21, 18 @ 12:04 pm:

    I do not get the kudos for Lipinski’s camp.

    They treated Newman as a non-threat, and relied on the baked-in incumbent advantage to slide in on a 1.5% victory.

    The Lipinski name goes back 30+ years in those wards, how many 65-year-old minds are you going to change when they remember when good ol’ Bill Lipinksi?

    The Newman campaign should be proud they put up a helluva fight against a deeply entrenched incumbent.

  16. - West Side the Best Side - Wednesday, Mar 21, 18 @ 12:06 pm:

    If Newman’s ever on the ballot again her election night comments will let people know what type of person she really is.

  17. - Fax Machine - Wednesday, Mar 21, 18 @ 12:07 pm:

    Too bad Andrea Raila could not have run her campaign - in a year of the woman she could have made it a true 3 way race and potentially have come out on top.

  18. - Because I said so.... - Wednesday, Mar 21, 18 @ 12:07 pm:

    I was very turned off by Newman’s election night comments. It showed a total lack of class and people like me who voted for her will remember.

    From the get go, she didn’t reach out to locals but sought support outside of Illinois and outside the district. I think her eventual traction caught her off guard. Maybe this was just an effort to get her name out there but she blew it with her nasty election night comments.

    Either way, it’s time for Lipinski to go. Someone better equipped will take him out next time if he doesn’t decide to step down.

  19. - Flip357 - Wednesday, Mar 21, 18 @ 12:09 pm:

    Newman was touted by the Pod Save America crowd. They’ve done well in Virginia running against establishment Republican candidates, but the same strategy does not work when running against your cousin.

    And they are losing the after-party.

  20. - Lefty Lefty - Wednesday, Mar 21, 18 @ 12:11 pm:

    “Bad day for Emily’s List” –

    Robin Kelly — IL02
    Betsey Dirksen Londrigan — IL13
    Lauren Underwood — IL14

    Also in state:

    Bustos (uncontested) — IL17

    Ann Gillespie
    Kelly Cassidy
    Iris Martinez

  21. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 21, 18 @ 12:18 pm:

    On an unrelated note, has anyone else been having problems with the Chicago BOE site?

  22. - Thomas Paine - Wednesday, Mar 21, 18 @ 12:21 pm:

    === press conferences ===

    How many doors do you think David Axelrod knocked on on Election Day?

    How about the rest of The Score Settling Crew?

    Still remember that post, Rich, and had the same react as you.

  23. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Mar 21, 18 @ 12:25 pm:

    ===The learning curve for first-time candidates is steep===

    Two words: Aaron Ortiz.

  24. - Esther - Wednesday, Mar 21, 18 @ 12:31 pm:

    The Personal PAC support for Newman almost pulled it off, despite the machine.

  25. - Union thug - Wednesday, Mar 21, 18 @ 12:38 pm:

    What your seeing is the Democratic party doing the same as Republican. Way back under Reagan with the RINO thing the Republicans started going further and further right. Now you have to pass the test to be a republican. This is what drove so many votes against rauner. What this will do though is push the middle away same as it has done with most Republicans. May take years with Democrats as it did with republican but it will hurt them. Yes it did get Republicans in power but will cost them more.

  26. - old time golfer - Wednesday, Mar 21, 18 @ 12:43 pm:

    Her comments last night made me especially happy that she lost. She came across as being entitled and that isn’t what voters want or deserve.

  27. - NoGifts - Wednesday, Mar 21, 18 @ 12:55 pm:

    I was disappointed that she lost and I’m thankful I didn’t her speech. It’s got to be a hard evening for anyone, and if you can’t work up a feeling of remaining gracious you’ve got to at least pretend. That’s an important part of the job in politics.

  28. - Ron - Wednesday, Mar 21, 18 @ 1:06 pm:

    As the machine Dems continue to die off Lipinski has a very short future in Congress.

  29. - Ron - Wednesday, Mar 21, 18 @ 1:07 pm:

    Last night proved Lipinski is on borrowed time.

  30. - Touré's Latte - Wednesday, Mar 21, 18 @ 1:09 pm:

    “One of the real problem with progressives like Newman is the belief everyone has to think and feel as they do, and if you don’t, you’re somehow wrong.”

    Or bad. Old school Lipinski is not bad. Imagine what Paul Douglas would have been in for.

  31. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 21, 18 @ 1:30 pm:

    progressives rely too much on assumptions. Which explains the lit drops and working train stations over being in the actual precincts. You can’t hope that your voters will come to you. You need to go to them.

    I think this teaching moment for them and Lipinski better be ready in 2 years, because this district is changing and it is doing so quickly. If he doesn’t adjust, this could be his last term.

  32. - Soothsayer - Wednesday, Mar 21, 18 @ 1:33 pm:

    Newman made some mistakes. Phone bankers called seniors to talk about her position on LGBTQ matters and while Newman had strong canvassing in the ‘burbs, which she won, there was little door knocking in the city. Chuy and his crew know better. We will likely see a different city council come 2019. How will those wards vote when Burke and Zalewski are no longer their alderman? Lipinski should be ripe for the picking in 2020. He might want to consider hanging it up.

  33. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Mar 21, 18 @ 2:50 pm:

    She didn’t win, so it’s everyone else’s fault for not being intelligent enough to vote for her.

    Yeah, we need a whole lot less of that attitude, right?

  34. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Mar 21, 18 @ 2:59 pm:

    The spinning for Lipinski in these comments is insane. After 7 terms in office, it took an ultra right-wing group of anti-abortion Republicans, the state party chair and state house speaker, and the most powerful alderman in the city to bail him out…in the Democratic primary. His won in spite of himself. Talk to the staff and consultants. They’re the heroes of his victory.

    Let’s also not forget that the earliest backers of Newman were Kos and NARAL. Planned Parenthood and Emily’s list didn’t back her until last month. That’ll definitely be a bone of contention for some progressives.

  35. - NorthsideNoMore - Wednesday, Mar 21, 18 @ 3:35 pm:

    Newman showing the progressive arrogance in full bloom, she better go find a safe place politics ain’t it. Bring more than that.

  36. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 21, 18 @ 3:47 pm:

    Lipinski will likely be gone next time as the district continuea to move away from old style conservative machine Dems.

  37. - Tony - Wednesday, Mar 21, 18 @ 4:02 pm:

    The old-guard, city ward organization bailed Lipinski out. But while he rolled up nice percentages there, the 11th, 13th, 14th, and 23rd Ward Dems don’t turn out the raw numbers they used to thanks to the influx of non-voting Latinos. And the 19th Ward, which does still crank out big numbers, is now almost half in Rush’s district.

    That’s why this race was so close. Lipinski’s core base is shrinking. His future is very much in doubt.

  38. - Illinois Resident - Wednesday, Mar 21, 18 @ 4:46 pm:

    Newman just barely lost. What we learned is that if she runs again in 2020 she will win.

  39. - Ron - Wednesday, Mar 21, 18 @ 5:06 pm:

    I bet he retires after this term. He knows it’s over

  40. - @misterjayem - Wednesday, Mar 21, 18 @ 5:25 pm:

    I’ll bet Aaron Ortiz also learned a whole lot during this race.

    – MrJM

  41. - Contract disputin’ - Wednesday, Mar 21, 18 @ 7:12 pm:

    If I had been called a nun-jailer in anonymous text messages I might have been a bit peeved as well. I though my Newman did a pretty good job of staying under the radar and bringing in the cavalry late enough to catch Lip flat footed I think that strategy worked, but obviously in hindsight a better ground game could have helped. But hats off to 13 14 and 23 even if they couldn’t help Danny B and Berrios enough. Consolation prize.

  42. - @misterjayem - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 8:52 am:

    “Newman just barely lost. What we learned is that if she runs again in 2020 she will win.”

    She certainly won’t get another head-to-head, two candidate race in 2020.

    – MrJM

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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