Tuesday, February 2, 2010

It's Off to the Polls In Illinois: Predictions (and Surprises?)

It's primary election day in Illinois, and we have a dusting of snow in Chicago -- at least on the far north side where Team America HQ is. Not too cold for February, though, so it's nothing that should not keep people from the polls. But everyone seems to be predicting a low turnout since the GA never moved the primary back to something rational after they jiggered it to benefit Barack Obama's presidential bid (which they weren't even ashamed about).

The election in Illinois is getting a lot of national attention thanks in part to the fact that it's the first primary of 2010, and everyone is looking for a clue as to how the 2010 midterm elections are going to pan out, and what that may mean to the Dems stranglehold on power in Washington. Especially the U.S. Senate election, where people have now woken up to the fact that a likely win on the GOP side by the popular and experienced candidate Congressman Mark Kirk, the White House top aides are panicking that the story going into November 2010 is that Barack Obama's 'old seat' is going to be lost to the GOP for the first time in 12 years.

The Hill reported:

Should [Democrat Alexi] Giannoulias hang on for the win, observers will look closely at his margin of victory for hints as to how strong a general-election candidate he will be against the presumptive GOP nominee, Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.). The good news for Giannoulias is that even if he doesn’t come out of Tuesday looking strong, he has nine months to put together the kind of campaign Democrats hoped for from the young former basketball buddy of President Barack Obama. The bad news is, he’s got plenty more of what’s happened in the past week ahead of him.

Kirk is a heavy favorite on the GOP side, despite some early questions about just how much the GOP base would support someone with a centrist record in the House. Developer Patrick Hughes hasn’t been able to put together the kind of funds needed to give Kirk a real scare, and a crowded field should benefit the congressman on Tuesday. Kirk doesn’t appear terribly concerned with the primary, as he had $3.2 million in unspent campaign funds in the bank as of Jan. 13.

Politico had this to say:

For all the talk about a challenge from the right to Rep. Mark Kirk’s Republican primary campaign, there’s little doubt this morning about who the GOP’s Senate nominee will be. With Kirk polling close to 50 percent, challenger Patrick Hughes lagging 30-plus points behind him and no other opponent even really registering, all the Senate action this evening is on the Democratic side.

But boy, is there action there. Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias remains the favorite to run for the seat left vacant by the president’s 2008 election, but former Chicago Inspector General David Hoffman has been closing hard. Giannoulias has taken a beating from state and national media – and from Hoffman – over his family bank’s recent financial troubles, and Republicans feel confident of their general-election odds against a candidate tarnished both by his record as state treasurer and by his association with a failed financial institution. One sample attack, courtesy of the Hoffman campaign’s ads: Giannoulias “was chief loan officer when his family’s bank gave a million dollars to Blagojevich crony and convicted felon Tony Rezko, then let Rezko bounce a half million dollars in checks.

Kirk is already taking a page out of the playbook of fellow moderate and Senator-elect Scott Brown of Massachusetts, and is resisting attempts by the media to label this the "Obama" seat. It's the people's seat, stupid.

So with that, here are some morning thoughts on some key races (key to me, anyway):

U.S. Senate: Mark Kirk wallops the GOP competition. If Hughes breaks 20%, I will be surprised. Alexi wins but not by much and excitement will build as we begin to realize just how weak a candidate he will be against Mark Kirk in November. But that won't stop the Dems from throwing everything they have against us.

Governor/Guv Lite: I think McKenna will squeak out a small plurality if his "no taxes" message resonates. Murphy will win as well, and may well do better than McKenna. If not McKenna, then Ryan based on his name ID, followed somewhere (not too far behind) by Dillard. The rest split the "fringe" vote (they hate that term). Dem side, Quinn by only a little. Guv Lite, who knows. Art Turner? If it's Terry Link, at least we would have the prospect of getting him out of Lake County.

10th District Congress: Beth Coulson will win, Bob Dold will be a respectable close second, with Dick Green coming in third. If Friedman's lucky, he'll tie Green. We have endorsed Coulson, but whoever wins, we'll be behind the GOP nominee 100% and we look forward to a great race against the Dem nominee, which will be either Dan Seals or Julie Hamos. That one is just too close to call.

59th State Rep. District: The HGOPs have been pushing candidate and Vernon Hills Trustee Cindy Hebda for all they are worth, but I still think attorney Dan Sugrue, whom we have endorsed, will pull it out. Again, we are excited about this race and we'll be backing the winner 100%. It represents a definite pick-up opportunity for the Republicans. If Elliot Harstein, Buffalo Grove mayor, beats appointed incumbent Carol Sente, all bets are off.

62nd State Rep. Dist: Sandy Cole is fending off a challenge from ideologue Paul Mitchell. Should be no problem here for Cole to hang on.

I didn't even realize until the other day that JoAnne Osmond up in the 61st District even had a primary opponent, so no concerns here.

Appellate Justices Mary Schostok and Mary Ann Jorgensen will sail to easy victory.

I look forward to making the rounds of the election night parties -- hope to see many of you out there, and go vote!


Anonymous said...

TA engaging in a little media liberal bias this morning, The Hill had this to say as well, but you wouldn't know it form TA's comments:

"Republicans have come around to the candidacy of businessman Bob Dold, who is chasing after state Rep. Beth Coulson. Another businessman, Dick Green, has self-funded heavily and could also be a player. Coulson has a centrist record that could play well in the general election, but might be a liability on Tuesday. Keep an eye on Dold."

Anonymous said...

Hey Team Dolt:

Give it a rest - you're turning folks off every time you back hand this blog. If you want to control the message, then start your own blog - and good luck - you could never compete with TA!

Anonymous said...

I love that

1)Pup has to vote for comrade jan after she dumped him.

2)hughes is gone.

3)catlady is going into a voting booth asking herself do I think a dummy chicago huckster, a conservative rehnquist appointee or dead on arrival blago nut bag has the best chance to go against Mark Kirk.

4) that she has to hear about mark kirk for the next 6 years.

5) that happy days are finally here again.

have fun in wheeling.


Anonymous said...

I hear there is a big school bond referendum in New Trier that is driving turnout in that area.

Anonymous said...

I'm in New Trier Township and there is a huge bond issue ($174 million) for the high school on the ballot. It should drive turnout there, anyway. My precinct of about 400 voters had already had more than 50 ballots cast as of 8am. We'll see who is motivated enough to trudge through the snow to vote.....

Anonymous said...

I've driven today from the souther edge of Vernon Hills, visited two polling places, and finished in the western part of Waukegan (basically the length of the 59th district) and did not see one Harstein sign. If he wins the dem primary, there is a quiet following that needs to be taken seriously.

Anonymous said...

There was a glimmer at he outset that Bob Dold ,ight have been a good candidate. He was note well versed in the subject matter-- it actually looked like he was cribbing a national candidate's briefing book.

Where he lost me was the Team Dold comparative piece (as they dub it) and the high falutin campaing bus (to a much lesser extent). As a guy who donated (!), why not opt for a school bus?? Waste of campaign resources and a symbolic indicator of the ego(s) involved in this effort. It's not about the 10th or us, it's all THEM.

Regards to TA-
Peed'off in #10

Anonymous said...

Dear donor, the bus cost the same as one large mailer. The difference between the bus and the mailer is 'interaction'. Bob has shaken hands and talked with literally thousands of people in the 10th. He will e a better candidate and congressman because of the tour across the district.

Anonymous said...

ANON 2:04, you miss the point of Anon 2:00's post. It wasn't criticizing the use of the bus. It was criticizing the use of the luxury cadillac bus versus a modest school bus (it is symbolic). The bus would have been brilliant if it were a toned down, modest bus. Google "Paul Wellstone bus" and you will see the old beater that the former MN Senator used. It literally won him his fist election. Once again, Dold misses the mark.

Anonymous said...

I don't know where this "Dolt" stuff is coming from other than the immature.

I was in downtown Highland Park looking at winter jackets when the Dold bus pulled up in front of Walker's Pancake House.

There were 14 people in the store. All of them including the employees moved to the front picture windows of the store to take a long look. All business stopped there.

No way a school bus would have gotten that kind of reaction. No way a mailer would have been so attention grabbing.

A little creativity done right by a campaign. Give them some credit.

Louis G. Atsaves

Team America said...

Funny story- I heard from one voter this morning who was on the fence between Coulson and Dold. The Dold bus pulled up at the same time she did to the polling place, so she took it as a sign that the right vote was for Dold.

The voter: Mrs. TA

Easy said...

if the 59th race is even close, it will demonstrate that someone wasn't working as hard as HE should have been.

Anonymous said...

Team dold

you can travel and shake a 100,000 hands without a high end coach. You gave up a district wide mailer ?

Wow! Ever heard of a red pickup ? It's optics folks. You missed half the point.

Team America said...

Easy, I don't want to start a flame war with you on election day, especially on the Sugrue-Hebda race, but I suggest that if Dan even gets close to Cindy, who had the full power and money of Cross, Sullivan, Artl and the rest of HRO, not to mention Roger Byrne behind her, Dan will have done fine. And he may still win, so let's just hold all our nastiness until the election's done.

Or even better, give it a rest and let's all just get behind the winner, whoever it turns out to be.

Anonymous said...

Ahhhhh, the DOLT express. I wonder who is riding in that fine, fine luxury vehicle. Hard to see with the tinted windows. Perhaps it was filled with right-wingers taking a tour of the tricky 10th with Bob...perhaps Quayle, Lugar, heck maybe even Rumsfeld and old Tom DeLay were on board to see first hand what this enigma, wrapped in a riddle of a congressional district is all about! Yeah! Party like its 1990!

Seriously, the campaigning for the best Republican in this race is almost over. All that awaits is to count the votes. My best to the winner and whomever that may be will have my full support as a serious Republican who wants to see this seat remain in our column. I hope we can all rally around the Republican winners tonight--whomever they may be.

Anonymous said...

Early returns have your candidate behind, getting tired of endorsing losers yet TA? Your defense of McCain and defense of Coulson were strikingly similar and both will net the same result. Your record may give the Cubs a run for their money

Blue Wind said...

It will be Seals - Dold. And Seals will win easily.

As for the senate, I believe that Kirk did not do well. He only got around 55-57% of the vote. It shows that the republican base does not like him in particular and they will probably not go in large numbers for him to the polls in November.

It will be Giannoulias-Kirk in November, and Giannoulias will win by a slim margin.

Anonymous said...

Blue Wind-- you should be happy but your post makes no sense?

Try Hoffman-Kirk (it's going to be now MUCH tougher for Kirk).

Dold v. Hamos (or Seals) for us here in the 10th-- Ouch.

McKenna-- you have to be kidding.

I'm a VERY despondent Republican.

And all you "support" the team types, spare me the "rah rah."

Anonymous said...

TA has been quietly supporting Coulson from the beginning. The whole concept of a blog named 'Team America: 10th District' abstaining from a formal endorsement in this race was laughable. It was a clever way for TA to deliver 'campaign reports' that were totally slanted towards Coulson yet free from the obvious tinge of bias of a formal endorsement. And, as soon as the internal polling of the Coulson campaign showed that she was down by enough to make insiders like TA worry, he brought out the endorsement. Pretty obvious if you read between the lines.

Anonymous said...

The extraordinary turnout in New Trier township (to vote overwhelmingly against the New Trier High School referendum)gave that township's preference more weight than the rest of the 10th district. New Trier prefers Dold & Seals, so Dold & Seals it is.

Anonymous said...

congrats to thunder dan segrue, team america, mark kirk, baxters mom and king louis!


Anonymous said...

Dold beat Coulson in Libertyville--it was over from there.

Team America said...

FOKLAEAPS - Beau & Baxter's Mom and I missed you at Kirk's but we know you were there in spirit!

Anonymous said...

"Dold beat Coulson in Libertyville--it was over from there."

Good attitude for November - it ain't over till it's over...