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The Mechanics
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IL-SEN Wed Oct 14 2009

UPDATED: Dem Primary is Wide Open--That's a Good Thing for Democrats

UPDATE: From the Giannoulias campaign:

We have different numbers. It's arguable about who is ahead and by how much because people's methods are different and there are different screens.

But that profile is VERY unbalanced. It is longer than Alexi's, it uses way more descriptive and terms about Hoffman and puts him in a much better light than the plain vanilla description they give Alexi.

This race is not wide open. That analysis doesn't point out how much it a significant buy is in IL (about a million a week to completely saturate). It neglects labor's influence, the elected officials who have organizations and the screaming fact that anyone who puts out a poll showing they have 7% of the vote with 3 months to go in the coldest time of the year in IL has to find a way to get 25-30% more of the vote while being outspent 4-1.

This is an uphill battle at best.

This polling memo, via the Huffington Post, indicates that while Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias has a lead on his primary opponents, once voters are engaged on the issues, the campaign is wide open--and, apparently, former Chicago Inspector General opens up a not insignificant lead. This would indicate (if politics was science) that if Hoffman has enough money to make his case to the Democrats of Illinois, he could very well win this thing despite Giannoulias's considerably advantages of cash and name recognition. Elections of course are about votes, and Giannoulias has the backing of most of the state's county-level party organization. These organizations vary in significance, but in the well-organized Democratic areas, these county parties can deliver votes in good numbers. Poll was commissioned by the Hoffman campaign, so after ingesting a bit of salt, check out the poll:

The survey of 505 likely Democratic voters, commissioned by David Hoffman's campaign and conducted October 2-4 by pollster Geoffrey Garin, found that the majority of respondents have yet to settle on a candidate with the primary more than three months away.

A full 55 percent said they had yet to get behind a candidate. State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, the first candidate to enter the Democratic race, led the field in both name recognition and support, with 26 percent. Twelve percent back former Chicago Urban League president Cheryle Robinson Jackson and 7 percent support Hoffman, the former Chicago Inspector General.

The Democrats should be happy that the primary is competitive. While there will be plenty of beating up happening in the primary, there should be battle-hardened armies of activists across the state ready to face what will be a stiff challenge from the Republican--and a smaller chance of revelatory surprises late in the season.

 
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OneMan / October 14, 2009 11:07 PM

They will also start tossing mud at each other. It will be nice to see them do that for a change.

Ramsin / October 14, 2009 11:20 PM

That mud slinging should serve a vetting function, though, don't you think?

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