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House Democratic leadership tries to put a scare into members

Tuesday, Mar 22, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Subscribers received a full run-down on this yesterday morning. Here’s Politico

There was a scared-straight incident in a private House Democratic Caucus meeting the other day.

A poll was floated showing Gov. JB Pritzker facing suburban headwinds — even trailing Republican governor candidates Richard Irvin and Darren Bailey.

Problem is there was no explanation about which suburb was polled. A source familiar with the data tells Playbook that the burb wasn’t Cook County but conservative and swing-district areas where House Dems are trying to gain traction. That didn’t prevent the gulp some lawmakers had.

The poll, which was first reported by Capitol Fax blog, was conducted by Tulchin Research — the same group that has polled for Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and New York Mayor Eric Adams. The poll also addressed issues of concern — the top item being crime, surprising anyone.

Others familiar with the poll say House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch was trying to light a fire under Democrats to get them on the campaign trail by showing that no contest can be taken for granted. He asked his caucus to keep the numbers private, which didn’t go so well. (Hey, they were scared.) A House Democrats spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

The poll’s data created such a kerfuffle that a separate, unrelated survey was made public to show folks that Pritzker is doing just fine in the northern suburbs.

In that poll conducted by Personal PAC, respondents from Lake, Kendall, Kane, DeKalb, McHenry counties were asked a range of questions, including whether they approved of President Joe Biden — 47 percent said yes and 45 percent said no; and whether they approved of Pritzker — 48 percent said yes and 42 percent said no. It’s polling that might offer Dems some momentary relief. Though don’t count on it.

The top item was not crime. The crime and violence issue was tied for 4th place with the price of gas and the cost of living, and 6th place if you look at those who were “extremely concerned,” similar to that Senate poll we talked about a while ago. The crime numbers were still very high, however. But, again, this poll was designed to frighten members, not to enlighten them about what’s actually going on in most of their districts.

I also went over Personal PAC’s poll with subscribers yesterday. The poll was sent to me not long after I started poking around over the weekend. It’s worth a read.


  1. - Give Us Barabbas - Tuesday, Mar 22, 22 @ 9:24 am:

    “Crime” is a standard GOP racist dog whistle. You can throw stats at it all day but to meager effect because it’s a message targeted at the amygdala.

  2. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Mar 22, 22 @ 9:26 am:

    If it’s fated that electoral loss will happen, like with national waves, there’s not much that can be done about it. Just go down with boots on and not in fear, especially after enacting/accomplishing so much: capital bill, green energy, healthy budgets/financial improvement, marijuana legalization, etc. They will probably enact inflation relief. Fight for these things, expletive (GD) with exclamation point.

  3. - LC Illini - Tuesday, Mar 22, 22 @ 9:28 am:

    The poll shows that respondents voted for Biden 52-38. How do these results line up with the actual 2020 results in these counties/the district?

    Looks like it will be quite the race.

  4. - Almost the Weekend - Tuesday, Mar 22, 22 @ 9:33 am:

    You don’t even need polling data, just show them the political career of David Olsen. If you don’t work, you lose.

  5. - Fav Human - Tuesday, Mar 22, 22 @ 9:54 am:

    In that poll conducted by Personal PAC

    Which was surprisingly objective. It seems they wanted to see how things really were, not just generate headlines.

    But the Q about being on the board of PP was cute. I guess they felt, since they are spending money, lets see how people feel about us.

    And I wonder which candidate took a homestead exemption on more than one house?

    I’d think most Gov Candidates would have pro’s do their taxes who would not make such mistakes.

  6. - Suburbs - Tuesday, Mar 22, 22 @ 9:57 am:

    Hopefully many Dems will continue to think that crime is not that big of an issue. Obviously financial matters are the top concern but this crime issue is hot. All one needs to do is talk with some suburban neighbors to know that.

  7. - Donnie Elgin - Tuesday, Mar 22, 22 @ 10:00 am:

    Businessman Willie Wilson’s high-profile free fill-ups will keep the high gas prices in the political spotlight.

  8. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 22, 22 @ 10:00 am:

    ===The top item was not crime. The crime and violence issue was tied for 4th place with the price of gas and the cost of living, and 6th place if you look at those who were “extremely concerned,”===

    It’s the racist dog-whistling that makes “crime” so appealing to the old, angry, and white… the want to remind Dems about “crime” is the fear that motivated “angry” voters, in the suburbs, are going to push things, in an off-year, that triggers and enhances the tide against the party in the White House… and it so happens that “crime” in Illinois can have traction, but will it be fools’ gold to the overall reason?

    This poll, other polls, I’m not discounting in the least. Not one bit, data is critical.

    I’m holding off for two really important factors not in the mix;

    Whom the GOP here in Illinois have as the Gubernatorial Nominee.

    What are the rulings on abortion are come the summer.

    “Now give be a poll”

    It’s a critical snapshot and important to digest here, and even the pushback to polling meanings here and others there… but not putting “someone” to the head to head for governor… and what will abortion rulings mean… those things might change some calculus? Might change some calculus in state house races too?

    “We’ll see”

  9. - Get Back - Tuesday, Mar 22, 22 @ 10:08 am:

    Crime is a hot button issue, with Dems, in the City and the burbs.

    Any conversation with Chicagoland Dems reveals this almost immediately. It is human nature. When the shell casing show up on your corner and in front of your building, it becomes a really big deal. When your personal friends are carjacked - big deal.

    Chicago Mayor will almost certainly go down to defeat. Suburban Dems in for a shellacking this Fall.

  10. - Amalia - Tuesday, Mar 22, 22 @ 10:10 am:

    so they are polling for a Supreme Court race. interesting answers.

  11. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 22, 22 @ 10:13 am:

    ===Chicago Mayor ===

    Slow down, Speed Racer. One race at a time. That’s not the race in November.

    ===Suburban Dems in for a shellacking this Fall.===

    How can Dems be so worried and then Dems get shellacked, are they voting for Michael Flynn endorsed Rabine?

    You think suburban women, after abortion cases are ruled where rights are restricted, they’re going to vote for pro-life Republican state house candidates?

    How you are looking at Dems, I dunno if you’re grasping what could be at play, also while looking at February 2023.

  12. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Mar 22, 22 @ 10:56 am:

    =“Crime” is a standard GOP racist dog whistle.=

    Not sure I would lean on that concept too hard if I am running. It was fourth highest in the polling. Not confronting it would be a mistake.

  13. - left of what - Tuesday, Mar 22, 22 @ 10:57 am:

    == the burb wasn’t Cook County but conservative and swing-district areas==

    want to add, that if you poll a conservative leaning area and get results showing the conservative candidates winning, is this really unexpected

  14. - Get Back - Tuesday, Mar 22, 22 @ 11:21 am:

    If Irvin is the candidate, GOP picks up 5-12 seats in IL House. Most from the suburbs.

    All bets are off, of course, if Bailey is at the top of the ticket. Then an unmitigated disaster ensues for GOP.

  15. - Torco Sign - Tuesday, Mar 22, 22 @ 11:26 am:

    @FavHuman Rotering = Planned Parenthood. Rochford = homestead exemption.

  16. - BWA - Tuesday, Mar 22, 22 @ 11:28 am:

    “If Irvin is the candidate, GOP picks up 5-12 seats in IL House“

    What evidence of that is there?

  17. - Steve - Tuesday, Mar 22, 22 @ 12:00 pm:

    -It’s the racist dog-whistling that makes “crime” so appealing to the old, angry, and white-

    Many individuals are concerned about “urban redistribution” on Michigan Avenue.

  18. - JJJJJJJJJJ - Tuesday, Mar 22, 22 @ 12:01 pm:

    Journalistic malpractice. How can you report something that is patently false?

    We see this time and time again with crime reporting. Things reported as truth and taken for granted with no underlying proof whatsoever. It muddies the water for those serious about having conversations about preventing crime. It’s infuriating.

  19. - Torco Sign - Tuesday, Mar 22, 22 @ 12:09 pm:

    It seems like people are misinterpreting the numbers. Since 2016, Trump ran way behind other Republicans. Lots of Republicans/independents split their tickets. Democrats flipped seats by narrow margins. Trump isn’t there + Democrats are the incumbents = massive losses for Dems in the suburbs.

  20. - Hannibal Lecter - Tuesday, Mar 22, 22 @ 12:24 pm:

    All this is designed to do is make the members go out and work harder. Not sure this tactic will do the trick. With this said, the biggest factor that will affect these elections will be the national headwinds.

    There haven’t been Republican headwinds this strong in Illinois since 2010. That year, MJM pulled out all the stops to ensure that he didn’t lose the House. Mom on a mission Mussman won for the first time that year, and the House Dems were able to hold on to enough seats to keep the majority.

    I do not know what will happen this year, but if the Democrats want to stave off suburban losses, the candidates will have a lot of work to do. That campaign apparatus from 2010 no longer exists and it will take a lot of door-to-door canvassing to alleviate voters’ concerns about the issues of the day. Time will tell.

  21. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 22, 22 @ 12:32 pm:

    ===Republican headwinds===

    Republican headwinds? They will only exist if the GOP nominee for governor is anyone but Irvin.

    It’s the midterm of a president whom nationally isn’t polling all that great, inflation, higher interest rates, and “4th on the list” crime not helping incumbent Dems.

    Time will tell, after the GOP for governor is minted and the two abortion cases are ruled on, where headwinds exist, but the Dems have real headwinds by history of midterms

  22. - Hannibal Lecter - Tuesday, Mar 22, 22 @ 12:38 pm:


    I might have used the wrong terminology. By Republican headwinds, I meant that, generically speaking, there will be more people that will vote Republican than in previous years. I don’t think this will be as much related to the Gubernatorial nominee so much as what is happening on the national level. So far, it does not appear things are trending well for Democrats at the national level.

  23. - Unconventional wisdom - Tuesday, Mar 22, 22 @ 1:03 pm:

    The DEM base is quite strong in Illinois. Seemingly growing weaker downstate (declining population), but actually increasing somewhat in the suburbs, and dominant in Chicago.

    In the final say, it will take something very bad and unforeseen for Priztker to lose. But it won’t be a cakewalk like he had against Rauner.

  24. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 22, 22 @ 1:08 pm:

    - Hannibal Lecter -


  25. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Tuesday, Mar 22, 22 @ 1:12 pm:

    I agree with the Speaker giving the members a little dose of realism. 2022 would be a bad year for Dems anyway and inflation is a big negative too. Illinois can be more of a swing state when the Republicans can contain themselves too, and Madigan isn’t around anymore. It is a challenging cycle.

  26. - Publius - Tuesday, Mar 22, 22 @ 1:24 pm:

    The problem is people want their cake and eat it too. “Crime” is a problem. Go hire a bunch of cops and with their pensions along with support to courts to prosecute you need more $$$. Everone is coming out of the pandemic and wants to spend $$$. This causes higher demand and higher $$$$. Also, still a lack of products because no one wants to do manual work anymore. Then everyone wants a Soviet style planned economy with price controls with free market Republicans leading the charge.

  27. - Hannibal Lecter - Tuesday, Mar 22, 22 @ 1:30 pm:

    === “Tailwinds” ===

    My bad.

  28. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 22, 22 @ 2:09 pm:

    ===My bad.===

    Meh, think nothing of it. All good.

    If I had a nickel each time I searched for a word.

    The tailwinds are real, the “fickle friend, the summer wind” of abortion rulings and a gubernatorial nominee might be of a different fragrance than the smell of victory too.

    “We’ll see”

  29. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 22, 22 @ 4:03 pm:

    ===Trump isn’t there===

    You aren’t paying attention at all.

    Trumpkins are not only around, Trump is too. And if Rabine or Bailey win the primary…

    It’s a wish, “Trump isn’t there”, a fantasy too.

  30. - Suburban Mom - Tuesday, Mar 22, 22 @ 6:09 pm:

    My one crime concern is my catalytic converter, since I do not have a garage, and thefts are way up locally. I’m sort-of shruggo about it, though — nobody’s going to shoot me for it, and there’s not much I can do to prevent it beyond what I’ve already done, so I’m just sort-of pre-emptively annoyed that if it gets stolen, I’m going to have an annoying and expensive week.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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