10th District Congressman Mark Kirk won't be caught sleeping this time around. And, thus, even though Dan Seals gave Kirk a bit of a scare in Nov. 2006 by pulling within 6 points late in the election cycle, Kirk is determined not to let Seals have a shot at getting even that close this November.
As a new poll released by Team Kirk shows, Kirk still leads Seals by about 22 points, less than 60 days to the election. Even more impressive, according to Politico.com, Kirk polls as more popular even than Barack Obama in IL-10, which pretty much torpedoes Seals' master plan of riding into victory by simply clinging onto Obama's coattails.
Probably by no coincidence, the Kirk-Seals poll was released by Team Kirk just as the DCCC finally came to town in the form of a long-anticipated shower of negative mailers to the 10th District, along with a "rubber-stamped" themed TV ad (Team Seals also offers an ad of his own, where Seals directly attacks Kirk with a little speech, which is somewhat unusual... a mark of desperation, perhaps?) . Seals clearly knows he's got to drive down Kirk's favorable ratings to have a chance. But, considering Kirk's fabulous 'favorable' numbers (63%), Kirk has the luxury of being able to give some ground here, while Seals must make up an enormous deficit in name recognition and credibility. Simply put, it appears that in three years of virtually non-stop campaigning, Seals simply can't seem to find a reason for people to vote for him that resonates in the 10th District, a legendarily quirky and "independent" bunch of folks.
In any event, whether the big media buy made by the DCCC starts to move Seals' numbers in any significant way remains to be seen. They might even work against Seals, however, as Kirk has ALREADY hit back with a "Mr. Independent" (so says the Daily Herald) TV ad, a detailed debunking of the "rubber-stamp" ad with an Internet video, and a detailed "Fact Check" section on Kirk's website. If the 10th District gets the impression that Seals is smearing Kirk and distorting his record, Seals is toast. The one thing 10th District voters hate more than being told how to vote by people in Washington is being lied to...
The other nagging question is, if Seals was within striking distance of Kirk in Nov. 2006, and Seals has been campaigning steadily ever since, why in the world has Seals lost all that ground, and essentially seems to be starting from scratch less than 60 days out? Did Seals simply peak in 2006? Or do the voters just know Seals better now and don't see him as a viable alternative to Kirk... that is, if IL-10 voters are even looking for an alternative, which at least 63% of them may not be...
ALSO- TEAM OBAMA SEEKS TO STIFLE POLITICAL DISCOURSE... AGAIN: Our friends at Team Obama ('protectors of free speech for everyone, as long as you agree with us') by organizing another call-in protest of WGN for hosting author Milt Rosenberg. Flying Debris has the scoop.
UPDATED: IS RANGEL FACING DEM PRESSURE TO STEP ASIDE? Looks like Dan Seals' #1 contributor, NY Congressman Charlie Rangel, may be asked to step aside soon from his Chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee by members of his own party as a result of multiple tax scandals. Politico.com has the update.