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Cook: Rodney Davis “remains the favorite,” but chances improve for Dem

Friday, Jul 13, 2018

* From the Betsy Dirksen Londrigan campaign…

Today, nonpartisan forecasters at Cook Political Report upgraded Betsy Dirksen Londrigan’s chances of winning in IL-13, shifting their rating of the race from Likely Republican to just Lean Republican. Cook Political Report’s Dave Wasserman specifically cited Londrigan’s strong candidacy and her focus on the issue of health care as reasons why the race is becoming more competitive.

“This confirms what we are already seeing on the ground here in central Illinois: Betsy is exciting voters and making this a race through her hard work and her focus on issues that matter to Illinois families every day, like protecting their access to affordable health care,” said Kate Martucci, Londrigan’s campaign manager.

Here’s what Dave Wasserman had to say about the IL-13 rating change:

    In 2011, Illinois Democrats tried to draw the 13th to elect one of their own by connecting the disparate college towns of Champaign-Urbana, Bloomington-Normal and Edwardsville with union-heavy cities like Decatur and the state capital of Springfield. But since 2012, GOP Rep. Rodney Davis has defied that creative cartography, winning reelection by comfortable margins.

    Davis has succeeded in part because he’s an affable, energetic member who eschews heated rhetoric, works diligently on the Agriculture Committee and chairs the moderate Republican Main Street Partnership. He’s also benefited from Downstate Illinois’s drift away from national Democrats: in 2008, the 13th CD gave Barak Obama 55 percent. In 2016, President Trump carried it by six points and Davis won it by 19.

    But, this is the kind of seat that could be problematic for Republicans in a wave, and Democrats have a credible candidate in Springfield fundraising consultant Betsy Dirksen Londrigan. Londrigan can’t definitively trace her ancestry to late Illinois GOP Sen. Everett Dirksen, but in March she defeated four primary opponents with 46 percent of the vote and has raised over $1 million to date.

    For a first-time candidate, Londrigan has spent an above-average amount of time around politics: she helped her husband ran (unsuccessfully) for state senate over a decade ago and she’s raised money professionally for Sen. Dick Durbin and the Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation. She’ll talk about her grandparents’ farm and opposition to tariffs to try to build appeal in the 13th CD’s soy-heavy rural counties.

    It won’t be easy for Democrats to portray Davis as a Trump lackey; he rescinded his support of Trump in October 2016 after Access Hollywood. But Londrigan says Davis’s 2017 vote to repeal the ACA is what motivated her to run against the “Trump/Davis agenda.” She’ll use the personal story of her son’s life threatening tick bite in 2009 to illustrate her commitment to affordable health coverage.

    To win, Democrats will need to convince voters that behind Davis’s likable demeanor lurks a voting record out of step with the district. And the more GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner looks doomed to defeat, the more plausible Londrigan’s path could become. Davis remains the favorite, but the race moves from Likely Republican to Lean Republican.

Londrigan’s campaign is gonna have to convince every possible African-American and college student to vote this November. And students, especially, don’t usually vote much during off-year cycles.

* In other Downstate congressional campaign news

Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to stop in O’Fallon next week for a fundraiser for U.S. Rep. Mike Bost.

The event is scheduled for 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Thursday at the O’Fallon Regency Conference Center, said Dustin Rhodes, the campaign manager for Bost, a Murphysboro Republican. The event is closed to the press.

…Adding… Oops. I forgot about this. Bost got pwned…

* Related…

* Election 2018: Story-lines emerging: Now the second-most-expensive congressional race in the state outside of Chicago, the fight between U.S. Rep. RODNEY DAVIS, R-Taylorville, and Democratic challenger BETSY LONDRIGAN has ballooned into a $2.6 million affair. Londrigan has spent about $557,000 of the $779,000 she has raised; Davis has spent $886,571 of $1.8 million.

* Rodney Davis: Keep politics out of Supreme Court confirmation process

* Getting NGA to abandon St. Louis site would require a ‘game-changer,’ expert says

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Amalia - Friday, Jul 13, 18 @ 12:42 pm:

    Today’s news of Republican Congressional Candidate asking for help from the Russians should play loudly in every race.

  2. - don the legend - Friday, Jul 13, 18 @ 12:43 pm:

    Ms. Kiehna’s tweet will leave a mark.

  3. - Ahoy! - Friday, Jul 13, 18 @ 12:54 pm:

    IL 13 will be a toss up by labor day. Rodney is a good republican candidate in this district, but he’s never had to win going against the political headwinds, they have always been at his back and he has not had to go up against a good general election candidate.

    Not saying he’s going to win or loose, just think it’s going to end up in the toss up category… which is not going out on a limb.

  4. - Red Rider - Friday, Jul 13, 18 @ 1:05 pm:

    If I were Mr. Davis I wouldn’t buy any large appliances.

  5. - Anonymous - Friday, Jul 13, 18 @ 1:15 pm:

    Assuming Ahoy has never talked to Londrigan. She comes off very elite and better than you. Not to say that it won’t end up toss up but don’t yet claim she’s better than Gill or Callis. TBD

  6. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, Jul 13, 18 @ 1:34 pm:

    Probably good advice for all elected officials. Don’t go around congratulating people (and reflecting in their glory) if they don’t want your congratulations. This also goes for the people who mass mailed my HS graduate, when we don’t even live in their district. If there’s no money with the letter, save the paper and postage.

  7. - Nick - Friday, Jul 13, 18 @ 1:52 pm:

    This district is already a toss-up, probably, it’s just taking national pundits sometime to figure it out. It shifted a lot less towards Trump than the 12th and places like Champaign and Bloomington aren’t just Democratic because of college kids anymore.

  8. - Exclamation Point Deleted - Friday, Jul 13, 18 @ 1:56 pm:

    I hate being this cynical and jaded but Mrs. Kiehna’s response almost seems to have been crafted by either the DCCC or Brendan Kelly’s people. It is way too stilted.

  9. - Anonymous - Friday, Jul 13, 18 @ 2:00 pm:

    Bost team waiting to come up with a comeback like “duh neh nuh nu nuh nuh nee neh duh neh nuh nuh neee nuh nuh nuh nu nuh”

  10. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, Jul 13, 18 @ 2:45 pm:

    Knew Rodney was in trouble when there was the recent headline stating that Rodney wouldn’t say whether he voted for Trump in 2016.

  11. - Arsenal - Friday, Jul 13, 18 @ 2:54 pm:

    == but he’s never had to win going against the political headwinds==

    2012? Maybe you consider that a “nuetral” year but it certainly wasn’t favoring Republicans in IL.

  12. - lollinois - Friday, Jul 13, 18 @ 3:08 pm:

    It will be easier to tie Davis to Trump than the article suggests unless he changes tactics in a hurry. Despite his rhetoric he votes with the Trump administration 96% of the time, including on the “conservative” immigration bill that was opposed by moderates in his own party. For someone who “rescinded his support” he could be doing a lot more to speak out against the President.

  13. - Deadbeat Conservative - Friday, Jul 13, 18 @ 3:57 pm:

    The plutocrats and good ole boys have had enough representation is this district. Not a big fan of the Dem establishment candidate, but something needs to be done about that awful House.

  14. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Friday, Jul 13, 18 @ 4:14 pm:

    ==The plutocrats and good ole boys have had enough representation is this district==

    That entire district was drawn for good ole boys and those that worship at the feet of plutocrats. Farmers don’t care that Davis won’t do anything to stand up to trump and his trade war nonsense. Unless dems come out in record numbers, Rodney will cruise to re-election.

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