* 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?
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%