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Irvin ad-switch coverage and react roundup

Thursday, Jun 9, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Greg Hinz

Irvin’s ad strategy: Finally, all sorts of political chatter Wednesday centered on why gubernatorial hopeful Richard Irvin has pulled down his Downstate TV ads with just two and a half weeks to go before the primary election.

He’s still up in Chicago. And candidates always shuffle their ad mix. But with the Irvin people loudly complaining that he’s been outspent by his opponents, Pritzker and the Democratic Governors’ Association—despite tens of millions of dollars in help from hedge fund mogul Ken Griffin—the move does suggest that whatever Irvin’s doing isn’t working and that he indeed may be trailing state Sen. Darren Bailey, as one recent poll suggested.

* Politico

“We are reassessing our ad strategy,” campaign spokeswoman Eleni Demertzis told Playbook, rejecting the idea that it’s a case of a campaign low on cash. (The Republican candidate’s campaign does have all that Ken Griffin money coming in after all.)

“Richard Irvin’s strong record as a tough-on-crime prosecutor, combat veteran and mayor has the Democrats running scared as Pritzker and his Democrat allies are on track to spend the most money in a Republican primary in the history of our nation,” Demertzis said in a statement to Playbook.

* Sen. Darren Bailey quoted by NBC 5’s Mary Ann Ahern

“It could be someone’s pulled the money from him. Sometimes we hear of elections doing hard restarts and switching their messaging. I think two weeks out is a little late for that.”

“We’ve been counting on southern and central Illinois winning the primary for us from day one. I would suggest he’s realizing that as well.”

It’s 19 days, but whatevs.

* Bailey’s quote in a Fox 32 story

“These people didn’t start off good at all. Look, whatever it is, I think it shows the weakness in their campaign.”

* Bailey also retweeted this…

* DGA…

In a stunning snub to downstate voters, Richard Irvin has stopped running ads outside of the Chicago media market. Time and time again, Irvin has made clear he wouldn’t be a governor for all of Illinois, and this latest move solidifies that.

Irvin’s campaign is in free fall, with polling showing him down to far-right conservative Darren Bailey. For weeks, Irvin has been scrambling to course-correct his disastrous campaign, but with Bruce Rauner’s advisors at the helm, his train wreck of a candidacy is likely beyond repair.

As Irvin courts the furthest right wing of the party, lauds President Trump’s policies, and tries to court Bailey voters, it’s clear that Irvin’s lack of conviction isn’t resonating. His numerous policy flip-flops, failure to be honest about his record, and decision to write off millions of voters are just the latest moves in a series of failures from the Rauner Reboot candidate.

Ken Griffin’s $50 million can only go so far, as it is hard to prop up a candidate that lacks a backbone to begin with.

“Richard Irvin’s decision to abandon downstate voters reaffirms that he isn’t running to represent all Illinoisans,” said DGA Communications Director David Turner. “This is just the latest in a long string of missteps proving the Irvin campaign is completely out-of-touch and falling apart as Darren Bailey surges in the polls. If this is how he campaigns, how will he govern?”

That “abandon downstate voters” line is something that Bailey and everyone else in the race will likely be picking up on if they’re smart. Sullivan has so far been silent.


  1. - Dankakee - Thursday, Jun 9, 22 @ 12:32 pm:

    Where does he expect to pick up the votes? Cook and the Collars? Seems strange to abandon the republican strongholds weeks before his election.

  2. - ArchPundit - Thursday, Jun 9, 22 @ 12:33 pm:

    Sullivan is rebooting too, just no one noticed /s

  3. - JS Mill - Thursday, Jun 9, 22 @ 12:36 pm:

    = has the Democrats running scared=

    Yeah, they don’t seem like they are the ones running scared.

    When was the last time JB felt the need to tell you what a tough guy he is?

    Accusation as a form of confession.

  4. - MisterJayEm - Thursday, Jun 9, 22 @ 12:40 pm:

    Greg Hinz can’t think of anything positive to say about Ken Griffin’s candidate?

    Irvin is in trouble.

    – MrJM

  5. - Big Dipper - Thursday, Jun 9, 22 @ 12:40 pm:

    ==combat veteran==

    What combat did he see again?

  6. - Bruce( no not him) - Thursday, Jun 9, 22 @ 12:41 pm:

    == Well, when your entire campaign is based around depending on the voters being stupid==
    I thought that was the entire republican strategy?

  7. - Real - Thursday, Jun 9, 22 @ 12:45 pm:

    Well, when your entire campaign is based around depending on the voters being stupid…reassessment is entirely appropriate.


    This has been a trend for IL GOP campaigns. Rauner and now Irvin. They manufacture a candidate to repeat right wing buzz words,talking points, or wear costumes then get in and push a special interest agenda. IL GOP voters the ppl that are behind Irvin Rauner etc has the above opinion of you.

  8. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, Jun 9, 22 @ 12:48 pm:

    A really good campaign manager would have stated they are pulling the ads because they respect the voters of southern Illinois too much to flood their media watching with political ads.

    *but with Bruce Rauner’s advisors at the helm*

    But they don’t have one of those.

  9. - AC - Thursday, Jun 9, 22 @ 12:49 pm:

    If this strategy helps, I just don’t understand how Irvin hopes to compete with Schimpf who abandoned all the voters across the state, not just the ones downstate.

  10. - Because I said so.... - Thursday, Jun 9, 22 @ 12:52 pm:

    Even if Irvin manages to win the primary, he’s going to get slammed in the general for this move. He’s toast.

  11. - Lurker - Thursday, Jun 9, 22 @ 12:53 pm:

    Griffin candidates are good at abandonment. Rauner abandoned running to the point he was asking others to fill in. I hope Irvin can get the finish line for Ken.

  12. - northsider (the original) - Thursday, Jun 9, 22 @ 12:55 pm:

    If it looks like Bailey is winning he is much more likely to get Trump’s endorsement.

  13. - Real - Thursday, Jun 9, 22 @ 12:59 pm:

    Ken Griffin’s $50 million can only go so far, as it is hard to prop up a candidate that lacks a backbone to begin with.

    -Funniest political press release I ever read.

  14. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 9, 22 @ 12:59 pm:


    You have every available means to compete on any platform, anywhere, and you pull up stakes…

    … it’s easily framed as weakness and a losing cause.

    I’d expect Bailey to see that too, as he has, but with more gusto.

  15. - Fivegreenleaves - Thursday, Jun 9, 22 @ 1:00 pm:

    Praise God, I was tired of seeing them anyways.

  16. - Lib Crusher - Thursday, Jun 9, 22 @ 1:00 pm:

    Obviously this move speaks to very real and concerning problems with Irvin’s campaign, but its a little too early to bury it. Irvin was always going to pivot towards wary Republicans and disaffected Biden voters once the primary was over. That sort of messaging may hurt him downstate, but its a very real and large block of voters in Chicagoland. Dropping the “more right wing than Attila the Hun” messaging in exchange for a softer tone may be what he needs to build up a large enough suburban voting base to overcome the downstate washout.

  17. - Pundent - Thursday, Jun 9, 22 @ 1:04 pm:

    =Pritzker and his Democrat allies are on track to spend the most money in a Republican primary in the history of our nation,” Demertzis said in a statement to Playbook.=

    So it’s Pritzker’s fault that Irvin might lose to Bailey? Shouldn’t Richard Irvin be able to overcome that. I mean we are talking about Darren Bailey after all. And all of the criticism of Pritzker’s meddling only weakens Irvin’s chances come November. If you can’t put away Darren Bailey how can you possibly beat JB Pritzker?

  18. - JS Mill - Thursday, Jun 9, 22 @ 1:06 pm:

    Dear Mr. Crusher (ooohhh that sounds so tough) these are not new ads. They are his old ones. No change in the all important “tone”, same tone. Same fake tough guy, just like you. Crusher. Lol

  19. - Tax the Rich - Thursday, Jun 9, 22 @ 1:06 pm:

    What a pathetic bunch of quitters. If I ever ran for office, I would want a team that fights every second until the end, no matter how bleak our chances looked.

  20. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 9, 22 @ 1:06 pm:

    ===But they don’t have one of those==


    You seriously think that?

  21. - Dotnonymous - Thursday, Jun 9, 22 @ 1:09 pm:

    Political back braces available…ask for the Griffin discount…contact Dewey Cheatum & Howe for size based discount prices…no returns…re-assessments extra.

  22. - Nick - Thursday, Jun 9, 22 @ 1:11 pm:

    The irony is Pritzker’s ads have probably been the weakest against Irvin of the lot.

  23. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, Jun 9, 22 @ 1:17 pm:


    Yes, I seriously think Richard Irvin doesn’t have very good campaign managers.

  24. - thechampaignlife - Thursday, Jun 9, 22 @ 1:17 pm:

    So many are pulling for the most radical candidate, far removed from their own views. What a wretched system. It is Exhibit A in why we need to reform our plurality voting system in favor of approval voting.

    As absurd as a Bailey administration seems, so too did a Trump administration. As a Dem, I am pulling for Irvin in the primary. He is the more acceptable victor if there is an upset, and I will take a moderate over an extremist even if that moderate is more likely to win against my preferred candidate.

  25. - Flapdoodle - Thursday, Jun 9, 22 @ 1:28 pm:

    @ Big Dipper 12:40

    ==What combat did he see again?==

    Same question I have — the Irvin campaign continues to conflate service in a combat zone with service in combat. Irvin served, yes, but not in combat.

  26. - Red Ranger - Thursday, Jun 9, 22 @ 1:28 pm:

    I can’t believe I’m typing this, but Whilhour isn’t wrong. Team Irvin based their whole thesis on ILGOP primary voters being dumb. Did they really think people would believe Bailey is a closet Democrat? That may have worked with Sullivan; hes a new-comer that no one knows and has no record. Bailey has years upon years of being crazy. Its his whole ethos.

  27. - Real - Thursday, Jun 9, 22 @ 1:32 pm:

    Its a constant trend for them to run on IL Gop voters being dumb. Rauner did it and got elected and so Irvin is trying it to. Time for IL Gop to require more than a simple buzz word and talking point to get your vote.

  28. - B Team - Thursday, Jun 9, 22 @ 1:42 pm:

    The ILGOP had to take a chance with Mayor Irvin, and Griffin didn’t want JB to get a free pass. Appears this candidate and plan has failed and the ILGOP will have very, very unelectable candidates a top the ticket this fall.

  29. - So_Ill - Thursday, Jun 9, 22 @ 1:46 pm:

    ==Yes, I seriously think Richard Irvin doesn’t have very good campaign managers.==

    Agreed. Beating Pat Quinn in a republican tidal wave election year with a candidate with zero political/government record to scrutinize didn’t impress me much either.

  30. - Nick - Thursday, Jun 9, 22 @ 1:48 pm:

    The thing that gets me most with accusing Bailey of being a closet Democrat is the irony of it, given Irvin’s record and past statements.

    Maybe that’s why you do it, to try and neutralize it as an issue, but between the text messages and everything else I feel like it probably backfired more than anything.

  31. - Blake - Thursday, Jun 9, 22 @ 2:06 pm:

    Avery Bourne should have been the candidate for governor

  32. - En Err Gee - Thursday, Jun 9, 22 @ 2:42 pm:

    JB is definitely a Governor for all of Illinois. Except for those Ameren customers of course.

  33. - JS Mill - Thursday, Jun 9, 22 @ 2:57 pm:

    =Avery Bourne should have been the candidate for governor=

    Yeah, cuz her grandpappy’s grandpappy’s grandpappy was a farmer. And she lives in Illinois.

  34. - SammyG - Thursday, Jun 9, 22 @ 3:27 pm:

    Now that Irvin’s behind, will Pritzker start running real ads against Bailey?

    The Democrats should want to stretch out the fight as long as they can.

  35. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 9, 22 @ 3:31 pm:

    ===Now that Irvin’s behind, will Pritzker start running real ads against Bailey?===

    Bailey winning is an end game Pritzker wouldn’t mind.

    The “intro” ads to Bailey can keep rolling thru November, first helping Bailey, finally helping to sink Bailey (if he wins)

    (Hashtag) Genius

  36. - Skeptic - Thursday, Jun 9, 22 @ 3:51 pm:

    *but with Bruce Rauner’s advisors at the helm* I wonder if one of them started a sentence with “As a white male…”

  37. - Pundent - Thursday, Jun 9, 22 @ 4:29 pm:

    Questioning and spending money on Bailey’s Trump bona fides was a tactical mistake on the part of Irvin. And it only served to bring more attention to his prior comments and text. He could have easily used those resources to establish himself as a thoughtful, electable leader. After all it’s more than a foregone conclusion that Darren Bailey will never win statewide and at worst could sink the entire ticket.

    With the money advantage Irvin enjoyed it’s a travesty that he finds himself in this position and it’s largely self-inflicted. He may very well be the nominee but he will be wounded as a result of this primary. And he’ll need every GOP vote he can get to make a race of the general.

  38. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Jun 9, 22 @ 5:39 pm:

    === Questioning and spending money on Bailey’s Trump bona fides was a tactical mistake on the part of Irvin. ===

    This was the smallest of all the mistakes the campaign made, I can think of four off the top of my head.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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