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Raoul heads into home stretch with new negative spot

Monday, Oct 22, 2018

* This narrative has been building behind the scenes for the past couple of weeks…

* Greg Hinz

There’s another race on the ballot that is almost as important. And if political insiders are to be believed, it has gotten much closer than most people realize, with an upset being within the realm of possibility. This is the contest for Illinois attorney general between state Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago, and the GOP nominee, Erika Harold, an attorney from Champaign.

* It’s not easy to “define” a young African-American woman as hard-right on social issues because it seems so counter-intuitive to average voters. And Raoul’s Downstate TV ads have been no different than his Chicago TV ads, so he’s talking about LGBTQ issues, abortion rights and “Obamacare.” I’m assured that everything in those ads has tested well, but if that’s the case then these constant rumors about a tightening race might undermine that testing

Can Harold win? The “wave” environment would suggest not, but if voters are looking for a check on JB Pritzker and Speaker Madigan and they can’t bring themselves to vote for Gov. Rauner, she might be a realistic option. At least, that’s what the Republicans are hoping for. It’s probably too bad she can’t just come right out and say that in an ad, but much of her money is coming from Rauner, so it’s unlikely that she can or will.

* Press release…

Today, Democratic candidate for attorney general Kwame Raoul released a new ad - “Scared” - featuring two Illinois voters who speak candidly about their preexisting conditions and fear that Republican Erika Harold will take their healthcare coverage away.

* The ad

* Script

Courtney: I have been living with endometriosis for 20 years.

Linda: I was healthy, except for the MS. Scared to death with the MS.

Courtney: I was having to make choices between groceries or the medication I needed. When people like Erika Harold threaten Obamacare, I can’t believe how little she values people like me with preexisting conditions.

Linda: The threat of Obamacare being taken away is one of those sort of bad dreams. So when I hear that politicians like Erika Harold wanting to repeal Obamacare, I get angry, and honestly get scared.

Courtney: I can’t vote for Erika Harold.

Linda: Absolutely not.


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Arsenal - Monday, Oct 22, 18 @ 12:21 pm:

    ==if voters are looking for a check on JB Pritzker and Speaker Madigan and they can’t bring themselves to vote for Gov. Rauner, she might be a realistic option==

    That would be a really effective argument for her. It probably helps even if she can’t be explicit about it.

    That being said, if JB wins by anything around 10 points, I have a hard time seeing Kwame being that far behind.

  2. - Fax Machine - Monday, Oct 22, 18 @ 12:22 pm:

    No let up in the $ from Griffin & Uihlein so the polls they look at must tell them there’s a chancenfor an upset.

  3. - west wing - Monday, Oct 22, 18 @ 12:27 pm:

    I think the last poll showed something like 50% downstate don’t know either candidate and remain undecided. That’s a gigantic number to swing one way or the other.

    Kwame has done a good job of lining up the establishment, while Harold is carving out some downstate territory as an independent. The Rock Island Argus and Moline daily endorsed Harold over the weekend for what they call her independence.

    My money’s on Kwame, but she’s making it interesting.

  4. - titan - Monday, Oct 22, 18 @ 12:32 pm:

    What decisions does a state AG make about health insurance covering preexisting conditions?

  5. - Anonymous - Monday, Oct 22, 18 @ 12:36 pm:

    I think the threat of coverage for preexisting conditions narrative is effective. I do question using the term, “Obamacare.” That word can be toxic in some circles who might have supported Raoul. Take that out and I think they’d be more effective.

  6. - Rich Miller - Monday, Oct 22, 18 @ 12:39 pm:

    ===What decisions does a state AG make about health insurance covering preexisting conditions?===

    Try thinking just a second before you post on this blog. Attorneys general in several states are currently suing to declare the entire ACA unconstitutional

  7. - wordslinger - Monday, Oct 22, 18 @ 12:42 pm:

    Are there polls showing a nail-biter? If not, sounds like reporters looking for a decent horse race.

  8. - 100 miles west - Monday, Oct 22, 18 @ 12:43 pm:

    In the very back of my head, in WABAC Machine territory, I keep thinking Mark Fairchild, and Janice Hart.

  9. - DarkHorse - Monday, Oct 22, 18 @ 12:50 pm:

    Raoul’s ad says “Scared” - but I think he’s the one that’s unnerved. His previous ads haven’t put Harold away, and there’s general anxiety among Democrats that the GOP position is firming up a bit.

    I could see Harold outperforming Rauner by 8 points. Bruce could conceivably close the gap to 8. Harold has no chance to win by 4, but could she win by 1or 2? If she gets more help from Rauner and Griffin, I think yes.

  10. - DuPage Saint - Monday, Oct 22, 18 @ 12:54 pm:

    100 Miles West hit nail on the head. Might have been last century but Kwame ain’t Ibama and he is not ruining against Allen Keyes for his first state wide race

  11. - Quimby'sSash - Monday, Oct 22, 18 @ 12:59 pm:

    Raul took this race for granted and now he may be paying the price…

  12. - Pundent - Monday, Oct 22, 18 @ 1:07 pm:

    I suppose that Harold could overcome the blue wave. But if the downstate race between Pritzker and Rauner remains a dead heat that seems like a heavy lift.

  13. - Responsa - Monday, Oct 22, 18 @ 1:21 pm:

    I think the Trump rally will help Erica in terms of introduction, increased media recognition, and GOTV among R voters. Kwame has definitely not put this race away yet.

  14. - Not Close - Monday, Oct 22, 18 @ 2:35 pm:

    The race is not close. Kwame will win by close to ten points. It’s the media and Harold campaign pushing the story plus Kwame’s fundraiser so he can raise more money.

  15. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, Oct 22, 18 @ 2:37 pm:

    “Are there polls showing a nail-biter? If not, sounds like reporters looking for a decent horse race.”

    Yes, several.

    I don’t understand why they produced an ad calling it Obamacare. There are still a ton of people, even in Illinois, for whom that is a bogeyman. Most Democrats running in general elections talk about the Affordable Care Act. Must be some interesting polling.

  16. - Practical Politics - Monday, Oct 22, 18 @ 3:21 pm:

    “I don’t understand why they produced an ad calling it Obamacare.”

    Kwame Raoul has made a career out of being perceived as Obama’s chosen successor. Not that it is necessarily true: Raoul was appointed to Obama’s State Senate seat by the ward committeemen, but he wasn’t Obama’s preferred choice. Raoul using Obama’s name to defend the president’s signature accomplishment makes perfect sense.

  17. - DarkHorse - Monday, Oct 22, 18 @ 3:31 pm:

    Dear Chicago Cynic,

    Is there even one poll that’s been made public - that’s been taken since Labor Day - that shows Harold closer than 10 points out?


  18. - Rich Miller - Monday, Oct 22, 18 @ 3:34 pm:

    ===one poll that’s been made public===

    Nope. Just a whole lot of persistent whispering on both sides.

  19. - DarkHorse - Monday, Oct 22, 18 @ 4:18 pm:

    While I don’t doubt Harold will finish the race closer than 10pts, it’s in both her interest and Raoul’s to make it seem “close”. Close enables Harold to raise $ and gin up the GOP faithful that they can win somewhere statewide. And Raoul’s most likely path to defeat is to be complacent, a la Hillary Clinton. He wants all the Dem activist groups - and Madigan - riled up by the prospect of a Harold win.

  20. - Last Bull Moose - Monday, Oct 22, 18 @ 4:18 pm:

    The Republican Party needs to purge itself of Raunerites and far right people who think it is 1968, not 2018.

    Much as I would like a check on Pritzker, Harold is not acceptable.

  21. - dislike both - Monday, Oct 22, 18 @ 5:02 pm:

    Did anyone see their responses to a Violence Against Women survey? (

    Talk about him taking this race for granted.

  22. - Lynn S. - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 1:50 am:

    I live in Champaign-Urbana, and if you drive around through town, you see a crap ton of Kwame Raoul signs, and not many Erica Harold signs.

    If she can’t gin up support in a town where she grew up in, and where the local newspaper supports her (tv reporters seem disinterested in her), I can’t see how she beats him.

    She’s too conservative for a fair chunk of Cook and the collar counties. Give her credit for trying to run a whisper campaign, though.

  23. - Mike - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 2:39 am:

    It’s interesting that Raoul’s campaign is now starting to tack on “Republican” in front of Harold’s name in television advertising to drive down her numbers.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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