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Cook moves Bost race from “Toss Up” to “Lean R” as new poll shows growing lead

Tuesday, Oct 23, 2018

* Cook Political Report

St. Clair County prosecutor Brendan Kelly remains one of Democrats’ most prized recruits of the cycle. The Irish-Catholic Notre Dame graduate and Navy veteran has been called the “Conor Lamb of Downstate Illinois” and is exactly the type of moderate Democrat who has done well here in the past. But President Trump’s popularity in this coal and steel-heavy district looks like it might be too much for Kelly to overcome.

A new New York Times/Siena College poll shows Bost leading 48 percent to 39 percent (up from 44 percent to 43 percent a month ago). Trump, who carried the seat 54 percent to 40 percent four years after Barack Obama won it by two points, is coming to Bost’s hometown this Saturday for a rally, and they have a decent story to tell: U.S. Steel announced earlier this year it would add 800 jobs at its old Granite City works as a result of tariffs.

Moreover, the GOP-aligned Congressional Leadership Fund has been aggressive in attacking Kelly’s prosecutorial record, alleging more than 50 percent of county crimes were pled out. Kelly has said he won’t vote for Nancy Pelosi, but this is one place where Trump’s base appears to have reawakened in the past month. In addition, Bost just won the endorsement of a large teachers’ union. The race isn’t over, but it’s a Democratic frustration.

The Illinois Education Association endorsed Bost last week.

* Besides the 9-point Bost lead, that new NYT poll had other bad news for local Democrats

Do you approve or disapprove of the job Donald Trump is doing as president?

    Approve 50%
    Disapprove 43%
    Don’t know 7%

Would you prefer Republicans to retain control of the House of Representatives or would you prefer Democrats to take control?

    Reps. keep House 48%
    Dems. take House 43%
    Don’t know 8%

- Posted by Rich Miller        

53 Comments
  1. - slow down - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 12:03 pm:

    Kelly is a terrific candidate but he’s going to have to get his vote out to overcome those numbers.


  2. - Distracted posting - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 12:04 pm:

    Another case where the Green Party candidate will likely make the difference as a spoiler


  3. - Montrose - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 12:05 pm:

    Its polls like this that make me sick to my stomach. We see this time and time again. Folks flirt with the candidate from the other party, but come back to their party as the election gets closer. I am really scared this blue wave be a barely visible blue ripple.


  4. - Joey twoshoes - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 12:07 pm:

    Lolnothingmatters


  5. - Distracted posting - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 12:07 pm:

    @Montrose

    Of the 10 ratings changes Cook Political put out today, 8 of them were in favor of Dems.


  6. - Texas Red - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 12:07 pm:

    “Kelly is a terrific candidate but he’s going to have to”… move to another district


  7. - Annonin' - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 12:16 pm:

    The Trump approve is the lowest we have seen for Trump in this region. Maybe his rescue mission for BossToss is costin’ him. Wait till GovJunk drops in


  8. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 12:19 pm:

    It’s still too soon. However, I never accepted the idea of a blue wave. I haven’t accurately predicted an election since 2012 and have given up.

    I’m not sensing much beyond a Rauner loss.


  9. - Blue Dog Dem - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 12:19 pm:

    I still think its a 1% bost win. I just wonder how this effects JCII. Anyone seen polling data on this one?


  10. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 12:24 pm:

    We’ve seen how the extreme right-wing runs things.


  11. - illini - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 12:30 pm:

    @BDD - And what does JCII have to do with any of this?


  12. - Blue Dog Dem - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 12:32 pm:

    His district. Like Bosts’ appear to be growing more red.


  13. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 12:36 pm:

    –And what does JCII have to do with any of this?–

    Illini, bite if you want with this troll, but realize he’s just super-needy for attention to get through the day.


  14. - Blue Dog Dem - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 12:39 pm:

    Word. Sucess. Got an extra ticket for Saturday. We could bond.


  15. - the Patriot - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 12:39 pm:

    Trump Effect is Big. Jackson County is Bost territory, but the lone deep south blue county. Right now a lot of people who should be knocking on doors and working phone banks are organizing efforts to protest Trump.

    The reality is Obama was clear Democrats don’t care about this area. He said your jobs aren’t coming back as he put the last nails in the coffin of the Coal industry. Madigan and State level Democrats send crumbs as they please.

    Bost has again outworked his opponent.


  16. - Almost the weekend - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 12:45 pm:

    I’m shocked at these numbers. Kelly is a great candidate, who is working hard and has the resume for the district. A congressional district decimated by free trade, it’s no surprise this district’s constituents have gone Republican. If Democrats want to know why they lost rural voters this is a perfect case study.


  17. - Rusty Bridges - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 12:46 pm:

    The Trump Effect, pure and simple. Don’t know how many times lefties have to make fools of themselves trying to beat this President.


  18. - Downstate - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 1:00 pm:

    Kelly’s problem is that both parties have nationalized these elections. The Democrats have decided that 2018 is a referendum on Trump.

    the Patriot and Almost the weekend, above, summarize that impact in Southern Illinois perfectly.


  19. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 1:02 pm:

    –The Trump Effect, pure and simple. Don’t know how many times lefties have to make fools of themselves trying to beat this President.–

    The first general election since he took office hasn’t happened yet, Einstein.


  20. - Rusty Bridges - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 1:23 pm:

    wordslinger, many other battles have happened over past 2 yrs beyond those at polls. Maybe u would like to buy a vowel?


  21. - illini - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 1:26 pm:

    Thank you @Wordslinger - I realized after I hit “Say It” that I had made a mistake and fell into his trap. I knew better.


  22. - Blue Dog Dem - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 1:28 pm:

    Rusty. Trollslinger cant keep up with southern illinois politics. Save your fingers.


  23. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 1:32 pm:

    Another case of Republicans falling in line.


  24. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 1:37 pm:

    I’m honestly not sure about this poll. I think Kelly is s lot closer. All anecdotal but I’ve got a lot, the majority of my AFSCME’s in that district.
    1) The Trump rally had a some steel workers but the USW authorized a strike unanimously just after. They are super educated on Trumps perfidy and have been the HQ for the labor canvasses in the district. You also have to realize that although 800 is a lot. There are a heck of a lot more idled workers there. The drives for Christmas toys and food baskets is already underway as in years past.
    2) The huge population of minority voters is always under represented in polling. Communities of East St Louis etc are deep blue and will be out in force. My Local being majority African American is playing a big role in that. Not even mentioning the Belt juggernaut and St. Clair precinct committee people out the canvassing like crazy.
    Labor seriously has the best ground game going that they have ever had. And we started months ago.
    3) The Rauner effect. Folks hate Rauner with a passion down here. Rauner is driving people to the polls to vote him out.
    4) My union sister went to high school with Kelly. It was at a time when there weren’t a lot of black kids there in Belleville. They could all sit at one one lunch table. Kelly ran for class President. Kelly went over the first day of his campaign and asked for their vote. They gave it to him eagerly. I learned this story after I took pictures of my Labor sister and Kelly at the recent labor rally in Collinsville. They hadn’t seen each other in a long time. It was really touching.

    I know I know, Honeybear touchy feels stuff. But what I’m saying is the vibe is here for a Kelly win.
    Folks love Kelly.


  25. - supplied_demand - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 1:46 pm:

    Rusty Bridges, apparently you missed all the special elections that took place. Here’s a refresher, all 11 moved towards the Dems and the average swing was 13%.

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/what-mattered-most-in-ohio-kansas-and-tuesdays-other-elections/


  26. - AlfondoGonz - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 1:52 pm:

    It’s desperate to call a poster who has an award named after him for best poster a troll. LOL.


  27. - Nick - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 1:54 pm:

    I’d hope there are internals or something that Cook is relying on in conjunction with the NYT/Siena poll. Relying on one poll is never a smart idea.


  28. - illini - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 1:59 pm:

    @AlfondoGonz - Desperate people do desperate things.


  29. - d.p.gumby - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 2:10 pm:

    I’m fascinated by the fact that the more Trump lies and makes up BS the more it brings in his base. Fantasy Island.


  30. - sonny chiss - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 2:27 pm:

    Nationalizing of the race….Pelosi. I truly believe that effect in this district.


  31. - Downstate - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 2:31 pm:

    —–Communities of East St Louis etc are deep blue and will be out in force. My Local being majority African American.

    I don’t get this. Employment among minorities is at an all time high.


  32. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 2:35 pm:

    ===I don’t get this===

    Yes you do. C’mon.


  33. - Get it Solved - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 2:51 pm:

    I say Bost pulls out this election. Those 800 good paying steel mill jobs is big deal. This could also be trouble for Phelps Finnie.


  34. - A State Employee Guy - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 2:54 pm:

    Yes, a question for the IEA:

    Wut?


  35. - Downstate - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 2:57 pm:

    —–Yes you do. C’mon.

    I don’t understand what the Democrats have delivered for the African-American community that they retain their loyalty.

    Do African American’s in Chicago feel like they are doing well because of the Democrats control of that city’s (and county) government for more than six decades?

    It seems that the most identifiable prosperity that minorities can point to is overfull employment….courtesy of President Trump.


  36. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 2:58 pm:

    Downstate-
    1) employment doesn’t turn folks into republicans

    Especially when unemployment in the Metro East is almost double the national average

    And low wages of jobs mean people have to have two jobs to keep afloat.
    Wages not jobs are the life blood of a local community
    Look downstate, I enter job wages and hours with nearly every customer maintaining their food stamp and medical eligibility.
    It’s a horrible job situation here.
    I’m at the frontline of poverty
    The other factor that I didn’t mention is the voter registration which we solicit with every application and redetermination ( by statute) is off the chain. That new registration in box going to the county has been packed every day for 2 months. Previously it had been a measly few.


  37. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 3:05 pm:

    =Another case where the Green Party…will make a difference=

    That’s where “Holding out for something better” gets you, Rauner and Trump.


  38. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 3:06 pm:

    –..courtesy of President Trump.–

    Be patient. It might take a while for some to become mindless cultists. You’re just an overachiever.

    Can’t wait for that 10% tax cut this month the leader promised.


  39. - Downstate - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 3:14 pm:

    —And low wages of jobs mean people have to have two jobs to keep afloat.—-

    We are seeing the effective minimum wage in our area jump at $15/hour w/ benefits. For a couple, both working 40 hours per week, that works out to $60k year. That is above the average US household income.

    Manufacturers across a large swath of Southern Illinois are desperate for workers.


  40. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 3:17 pm:

    “I don’t understand what the Democrats have delivered for the African-American community that they retain their loyalty.”

    Much of the jobs gains happened during Obama’s presidency, but we have one of the most privileged people, Trump, taking credit away from Obama, who overcame a tremendous obstacle to become our first African-American president. Obama had a pretty remarkable presidency, in the way Republicans obstructed him and wanted him to totally fail.

    Plus, African-Americans very largely don’t vote the GOP way, for billionaires to get big tax cuts and less regulations, and to union-bust. Nor do they vote to take health insurance away from the poor while shoveling many billions of dollars to the rich.


  41. - illini - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 3:29 pm:

    I do fear that the vote for Randy Auxier may be the deciding factor in this race.


  42. - gdubya - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 3:32 pm:

    ===I don’t get this===
    The democratic elected officials look a lot more like them than the republican elected officials


  43. - Texas Red - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 3:46 pm:

    “I do fear that the vote for Randy Auxier ”

    We all should fear those votes …”He holds that culture is not defined by any single source, such as language, but from multiple sources of experience that are continuous with the animal world, and even the “worlds” of plants”


  44. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 3:50 pm:

    Downstate- president trump had nothing to do with the jobs in the Metro East. Even the steel ones. Granite city makes oil pipeline steel which has been in greater demand as rich has pointed out. USW unanimously voted to authorize a strike at all USW plants. USSteal has really screwed this community.
    And in the Metro East it’s the corporations and manufacturing that have wholesale abandoned and discriminated against the black community. The DEMS have worked hard to do the best they can. I am very close to several black precinct committee people in St Clair. Poverty and need are complex issues. But what is plain and simple to see and understand is how Republicans are continually making life hard for them. You can’t destroy, no obliterate, the private social service network in a minority community and not arouse incredible animus.
    Every person of color in this region knows whom is to blame for the closings of social services. Rauner
    and Trump Coming is a Total gift
    Bost will be seen with the racist Trump
    You don’t think that will motivate
    Voters of color?

    To 15$ wages and not enough workers
    Yeah, right whatever lol
    That is not my experience
    What large swathe of Illinois are you talking about?
    Certainly not here
    I only enter minimum wage temp jobs employed by a Tyson plant. Every now and then minimum wage temp service employees that work at Amazons
    Downstate I wager you’re living in one comfy privilege bubble.


  45. - Chicagonk - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 4:09 pm:

    Trump did deliver for the US steel industry and a week ago, US Steel and the USW reached a tentative agreement which will likely be agreed to by members.


  46. - Blue Dog Dem - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 4:30 pm:

    Honey. Keep up your effort. From a steel person, I gotta give Trump some credit. Not Bost. My point, which I know you understand because you get southern Illinois politics, is how it’s going to effect JerryII. I don’t have to explain to you his loyalty to unions. But a big Bost turnout is gonna hurt him. When it come to Kelley v. Bost, I am lukewarm to both.


  47. - Blue Dog Dem - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 4:48 pm:

    Anybody check out the specifics on that USW contact that was signed? Nice.


  48. - Downstate - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 4:55 pm:

    I keep pointing to the 5th Appellate race (Barberis vs. Bleyer) of 2016 as an indication of party direction for the 12th congressional district race. (And Dems had a 4-1 spending advantage in that race).

    The Republican candidate won in every county of the 12th congressional district except for St. Clair. But the combination of either Jefferson and Monroe or Jackson and Randolph counties offset that deficit.

    So, to win this congressional seat back, the Democrats will a have to increase voter turnout (in an off-year election), while finding 45,000 votes that they were short in the last race against Bost.


  49. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 5:03 pm:

    =give Trump some credit=
    For turning out the racist vote.


  50. - Galena Guy - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 5:27 pm:

    I hope Wordslinger is right buy having lived down there for decade and having both my parents born down there (and leaving as soon as the could), I am always astonished at how many people will vote against their own best interests.


  51. - Way Down Here - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 6:39 pm:

    As a long-time voter in this congressional district and a supporter of JC2 and his father when he was Congressman, this poll (including the parts about Trump and the generic ballot) is bad news for JC2 if it’s accurate. JC2 is being hammered with ads tying him to MJM who is very unpopular here.
    If Dems cannot beat Bost this year with Kelly as our candidate, then Bost–like the elder Costello–will be our Congressman for a long time.
    And if Dems cannot win a race like this in a district like this I doubt the “Blue Wave” nationwide will be anywhere near as high and wide as previously thought.
    With GOPers being able to hammer Dem congressional candidates as future supporters of Nancy Pelosi, Dems probably won’t be winning districts like this. The only person who might be more unpopular than MJM down here is Pelosi.


  52. - Blue Dog Dem - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 7:48 pm:

    Way Down There. I long for the days of senior. Paul Simon. JcII great as well. Folks who really understood the working folks.politicians who not only talked a good game but lived it as well.


  53. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 23, 18 @ 8:39 pm:

    Now, we have politicians like Skillicorn.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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