Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Democrats Lament: Mark Kirk's Primary Lead "Nearly Insurmountable"

As we reported late Sunday, recent polling by the Chicago Tribune of 600 likely Republican primary voters showed Mark Kirk with a huge lead over the other GOP primary contenders in the U.S. Senate race -- Kirk with 41% compared to 13% for all other candidates combined. No one, not even Patrick Hughes (who has claimed to be the only candidate that can beat Kirk) broke more than 3%.

With less than two months left, and no appreciable resources among the other candidates, compared to Kirk's millions in campaign funds, most other news sources, even Democratic ones, seem to agree that this is pretty much over... probably to their dismay, as I think most on the left would have relished the opportunity to run against a political unknown with polarized political views, rather than the much more moderate and experienced Kirk. Daily Kos lamented that Mark Kirk's lead is "nearly insurmountable" over Patrick Hughes "the supposed darling of the tea-party right," while the Swing State Project blog said:

For the GOP, the most notable number may be that Patrick Hughes, who's gotten all the buzz as the guy behind whom all the right-wingers are coalescing, is actually getting nowhere at all. Hughes is at 3, tied with virtually unknown Kathleen Thomas (a former school board member from Springfield).

WGN News had a story on the race yesterday. The sound quality on this clip isn't the best, and when I first heard it, I thought the announcer said "5'2" Congressman Mark Kirk is miles in front of the primary Republican pack." I thought, Mark's not a tall man, but surely he's not just 5'2". Of course, the announcer actually said "five term" Congressman Mark Kirk, but that made me do an initial double-take. ;-)

Meanwhile, Pat Hughes and Mark Kirk both appeared in front of the Tribune editorial Board yesterday. The article, by Rick Pearson of the Tribune, was not overly detailed, but you could tell that Pat, it seems, came across as a very angry man, who is fighting a battle based on what he perceives as party purity. Kirk, on the other hand, seeks to be the best representative for the people of Illinois, even if that means (heresy!) reaching out to independents and some reasonable Democrats (after all, there must be some).

"Are we going to be the party of the principles of Ronald Reagan, which is limited government, low taxes and our traditional social values and a strong national defense? Or are we going to be the party of Arlen Specter and Olympia Snowe and the policies of Barack Obama?" Hughes said. Specter is a Pennsylvania Republican senator turned Democrat, and Snowe is a Republican senator from Maine who often votes with Democrats.

But Kirk maintained he would do a better job for the state by "building a coalition of Republicans, independents and some Democrats" concerned about debt, increasing taxes and regulation. Kirk said Republicans should want someone "who not just wins the primary ... (but) actually goes on and wins the general election" for the first time since Sen. Peter Fitzgerald in 1998.

Well, unfortunately here is another example of political inexperience at work. One way to definitely NOT get a favorable view from an editorial board (especially the Trib) is to come across as an angry party zealot who is more concerned with the doctrine of his political party than helping the citizens of Illinois. It's nice that Pat feels very passionately about his mission to help reform the Republican party into whatever he thinks it should be, but a newspaper board, much like the common citizen of Illinois, isn't going to give a rat's ass about how pure a party soldier you are. They want to know what you will DO to address issues like jobs, Iran, health care reform, nuclear weapons, etc., etc.

But if you want to talk about being a good Republican, I was thinking this morning about all of the work and support that Kirk has done over the years, which we have witnessed firsthand here in Lake County, in supporting other Republican candidates (yes, even very conservative ones like Dan Sugrue) and carrying the water for the elephant, as we like to say. As far as I know, Pat Hughes only recently discovered what he sees as an opportunity in politics, and did not spend the last 10 years knocking on doors, attending political rallies, fighting for just causes, and trying to make a positive difference for the people of the state. That would be Mark Kirk, my friends.


Badge of Honor said...

Hey - I'm a one of those reasonable dems! Of course it got me banned from Ellen. Thing is there are a lot more reasonable dems and smart independents who are happy to see you guys select a reasonable republican. We like a little balance and are waiting to vote for Kirk in the general

Anonymous said...

TA, your comments about Hughes on the Tribune editorial board meeting are grossly inaccurate--let me get the quote correct, “you could tell that Pat, it seems, came across as a very angry man.” I would ask that you direct your readers to the link and view the video for themselves (link: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ ).

Anyone who views this will see how calm and measured Hughes is and how completely he annihilates Kirk on Cap and Trade and other issues – any other conclusion is just wishful thinking by TA. I strongly encourage all primary voters to watch this. This will show why Hughes is getting endorsements across the state (including in Kirk’s back yard) and why Hughes can win – knowledge is power for Hughes, devastating for Kirk.

Related to the poll, Hughes noted that a separate poll was run by the Hughes campaign after the Tribune poll and after a mail piece sent out by the Hughes campaign to approximately 300,000 primary voters (a comparison piece between Hughes and Kirk – because I received one). The results are stunning and decisive – as people learn of Hughes’ and his positions, and as people learn of Kirk’s record, they move to Hughes. The Tribune poll showed, as you note, 41% in favor of Kirk and 3% in favor of Hughes, however, after the mail piece was sent the positions shifted to 28% for Kirk and 5% for Hughes, with over 60% still undecided. Further, as voters receive complete information on Hughes and Kirk’s record the support shifts in favor of Hughes 44% to only 17% for Kirk.

The fact that a 5-time Congressman does not have a majority at this point can only mean people are waiting for a better candidate, they have one in Hughes, and when the primary voters begin to learn more and more, Hughes will continue to gain traction--the polling information shows this.

Anonymous said...

You have "Badge of Honor", a democrat, waiting to vote for Kirk in the general??? That has to tell you something about Kirk - and its not good for Republicans...

Team America said...

===The fact that a 5-time Congressman does not have a majority at this point can only mean people are waiting for a better candidate===

Anon 10:17, what that means is that Illinois is a big state, and a Congressman from the North Shore has to do some campaigning to reach downstate voters who do not know his record of accomplishment, opposition to ObamaCare, record of military service, and I could go on and on and on. But they key is that Kirk has the funds to tell his story to these voters, and will be doing so. Hughes doesn't. Pretty much end of story. Pat would make a great state rep. Let's see if his conviction to serve the GOP outlasts his opportunistic strike at the very top spot available. Ya gotta crawl before you can walk--even Obama was a state senator before his meteoric rise.

Anonymous said...

Terrific response TA - could not have said it better.

I heard Pat Hughes speak and he sounds angry - when I went to his web site a couple months ago, the focus was to beat up Kirk.

When someone runs for office, especially US Senate, they should have an agenda - Pat has failed miserably and the polls back it up.

He can continue to beat up Kirk, but when he does so, he will reinforce his opportunistic jump in this race and any credibility as being a future leader for the GOP.

Anonymous said...

Mark Kirk campaigning down state?? Are you kidding?? They would destroy him down state - he has no support there and won't do much campaigning there (actually he will likely avoid it - more republicans know of him, the less they like). Sorry, but that is true.

Keep trying TA...

Team America said...

Um, if Kirk is so unpopular with the grassroots, why is he crushing Hughes with township endorsements?

Downstate campaigning with only a month to go after Christmas will consist of direct voter outreach- mail, radio, TV. Pat can only dream of having enough dough to cut a commerical and go up on network TV in Cairo and Carbondale. All Kirk's commercials have to do is mention his military service, opposition to ObamaCare, killing the bridge to nowhere, etc., etc. It's a done deal, as Pat simply doesn't have the resources to counter that kind of carpet-bomb of the airwaves.

When you are talking about a statewide primary, sending out 175,000 mailers is a drop in the bucket. Plus the fact that Hughes' message is 100% negative.

But you go right on believing Pat has a chance.

Anonymous said...

You just keep saying its over and it maybe it will happen...not a good strategy. You have no idea what Hughes will have as far as contributions in January, so to assume something you have no knowledge of is fairly dumb. But it is good to know that you understand that if Hughes gets the $, Kirk goes down.

Your right that a mailer is a drop in the bucket and that drop had pretty large ripples...just wait until the deluge...

Anonymous said...

"Um, if Kirk is so unpopular with the grassroots, why is he crushing Hughes with township endorsements?" - TA.

Please list the township endorsements Hughes has won versus Kirk (truthfully now)? I believe, when you actually put the facts next to your comment, it will not look so clever.

Anonymous said...

Hughes had his 5 minutes. THey are over. He is done.

Bob dold is the worlds biggest flip flopper. He told the tribune he was pro-choice and now gets a pro-life endorsement.

This guy is dan quayle all over again. Not ready for prime time.



Anonymous said...

What pro-life endorsement did Dold get?

Teresa's Daughter said...

anonymous dude,

your guy is bragging that he's getting 5% of the vote. i looked at the video and hughes' generic talking points and cap and trade carping didn't come close to annihilating anyone.

The fact that you think having a democrat is willing to vote for Kirk is a bad thing shows just how delusional you are.

There are not enough self-identifting republicans in Illinois to win a state-wide election. You should be courting and encouraging a new age of "reagan democrats" instead of driving even moderate republicans out with the rantings of the purist republican right.

Team America said...


- 40th Ward Republicans

- 46th Ward Republicans

- Addison Township Republicans

- Barrington Township Republicans

- Cuba Twp. Republicans

- DuPage Township Republicans

- Elk Grove Township Republicans

- Evanston Township Republicans

- Libertyville Township Republicans

- Maine Township Republicans

- Milton Township Straw Poll Winner

- New Trier Township Republicans

- Northfield Township Republicans

- Schaumburg Township Republicans


- Lyons Township Republicans

- Niles Township Republicans

- Vernon Township Republicans

- Wauconda Township Republicans

Anonymous said...

apparently mark has brought on susan kuczka who used to write all those great stories about him for the tribune. She's a heckuva gal and it's too bad she can't print his press releases in the paper anymore.

A very good staff move.


Anonymous said...

FOKLAEAS is pushing Coulson's untruthful talking points? Whats' next a FOKLAEAS/Obama flier in my mailbox?!!

HAHA j/k big guy. :-)

Crazy4glf said...

Sure, let's have a Member of Congress who was in favor of ear-marks before he was against them run for higher office.

Please, please, please, can we have a Member of Congress blame his constituents for how he voted?

Please, please please, lets elect Kirk so he can show us how tort reform will insure 45+ million Americans including thousands if not millions in Illinois?

Please, please please lets have someone who reads entire pieces of legislation, votes, and plays down the importance of the vote.

Please, please, please lets have someone who is not an environmentalist or in favor of equal rights for women (environmental and women's groups are FINALLY seeing past his brochures).

If we don't elect Kirk, who will join Peter Roskam in telling us and the rest of the world what's wrong with the country and come up with flimsy ways to fix them.

Bring it, Mr. Kirk. I know, you have to change your mind, tweet and find someone to complain to and blame, first.

Indecisive, partisan, and one who likes following (i.e. not thoughtful, independent leadership).

Anonymous said...

==If we don't elect Kirk, who will join Peter Roskam in telling us and the rest of the world what's wrong with the country and come up with flimsy ways to fix them.==

I thought Obama, Pelosi, Reid and Durbin were already doing that! They tell us what is wrong with the country, apologize for our actions and way of life, scold us for it and throw tons of money at every problem they see.

They claimed that they "saved" and "created" so many jobs using strange math with a national unemployment rate of over 10% that they (with no shame and a straight face) are now hosting job summits to "save" and "create" jobs.

They remind me of the new little puppy we have at home. She just loves chasing her tail and spends hours doing it. Who knew I would end up with a Democratic dog?

Louis G. Atsaves

Anonymous said...

sarah palin is backing mark kirk accoridng to her twitter page. Pat Hughes time to get out now before you get lee goodman-ed or alan keyes-ed and become a laughing stock. You are still a young guy, there can still be a place for you perhaps on a party advisory platform or small business taskforce.

Mr. Brady needs to have a sit down with "pat" and tell him that going nuclear on Mark and potentially costing the party the chance to win the seat will remove him from any sort of future in anything. This is what big boy party chiefs do.

Go to it.


Anonymous said...

I am not a part of team coulson because I am not a democrat party hack. After watching the tribune op-ed thing I am convinced mr. dold is not prime time material. He smells right but sits wrong. He is this years version of steve greenburg/dave mcsweeney/jay footlik/andy hochberg, wealthy young fast talker without any sort of policy guts. If you watch the tape, you get beyond his flimsy talking points and all you see is a guy who wants to be congressman but hasn't really thought about why or what he should do. If cadigan had gotten it together he could have been the kind of gung ho go get em type we want up here.

We believed in mark 10 years ago because the guy is a dog fighter with ideas, experiences, political scars, a tenacity that porter had, dold has some political experience, but isn't really a fighter and certainly lacks depth. I need someone that is going to match and if possible even go beyond the diehard efforts of louis or team or mrs. team or consrevative vet or baxters mom.


Anonymous said...

It's obviouos that Crazy is now more crazy after seeing how Congressman Kirk's numbers are,indeed, light years ahead of all the others on the Republican side. Of course Crazy is rooting for a Democrat, ANY Democrat, but can't deal with the fact that Mr. Kirk's RECORD over the past 10 years has earned him many strong friends and supporters. Let's, however, talk about those earmarks. Yes, in the past, Mr. Kirk did ask for federal funding for the soon to be new VA Hospital, the now fully functioning Prentice Women's Hospital, many projects benefitting the Latino community in Waukegan and North Chicago and so many other, easily substantiated, quality programs for our District and the region. Let's not confuse fact with fiction, Crazy, as you are suggesting. Mr. Kirk has never changed his position on that touchy subject of a woman's right to choose. Since the beginning of his congressional term he has always maintained the same position and has always been against federal funding. It's just pointless to go point by point because Crazy is simply CRAZY and not able to deal with Mr. Kirk's success. Get over it and understand that Mr. Kirk has more than earned him the "promotion" to Senator from IL.

Anonymous said...

Supporting a Liberal like Mark Kirk is exactly why the republican party is loosing everything. Kirk does NOT have republican values. He is much closer to Obama than Regan! If Republicans want to get control of our country again they better wake up and start supporting candidates that believe in our traditional conservative values!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12/16 3:51pm:

Would Hughes have voted FOR or AGAINST HR 2892?


Anonymous said...

Speaking of "tweets", Crazy4glf, any info on this Twitter account?