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IL10 Race Wed Jan 20 2010

MA Lesson: Never Let Your Guard Down

There's a post up over at the excellent 10th District Advocate blog comparing Illinois's upcoming senate battle to what happened in Massachusetts. The post makes some good points: Julie Hamos is a bit like Martha Coakley and just because you're in a very blue state doesn't mean it can never go red. Most astutely, it highlights an important lesson from last night and it's not "stay frosty," it's "pick the right candidate."

The problem in the Massachusetts senate special election was that the Democrats thought one of theirs would win nomatter who it was so factoring in the ability to win a general election didn't happen. The same mistake could easily happen in Illinois, as the 10th District Advocate warns in terms of picking Dan Seals or Julie Hamos. The lesson also applies to the upcoming Illinois senate race. The truth is, Mark Kirk is a much stronger candidate than he could be (certainly far more viable than Scott Brown in MA). Liberal voters should remember last night when they go to the voting booth.

And the same goes for Illinois Republicans. Don't presume Mark Kirk will win the nomination. In fact, Tea Party Nation (a.k.a. the far right) is gearing up to help conservative challenger Pat Hughs to beat Kirk and win the Republican nomination. If there's anything that last night taught us, it's that anything is possible.

UPDATE: Chicagoist highlighted a poll today noting Alexi Giannoulias and Mark Kirk, the presumptive Democratic and Republican nominees vying for Senator Burris's senate seat, are neck and neck.

 
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Dan / January 20, 2010 7:58 PM

Is Alexi the strongest candidate? What about Broadway Bank. I still think Hoffman, aside from being the better person for the job, could be the stronger candidate. Alexi doesn't debate all that well either, in my own humble opinion.

Daniel / January 20, 2010 8:01 PM

I think Alexi's lead in the polls is really due to name recognition.
Personally, everyone I talk to seems to like Hoffman over Giannoulias and Hoffman may very well be the better candidate in a general election —less baggage (that we know about).

Chicago Joe / January 20, 2010 9:12 PM

If a Dem wants to win they need to distance themselves as far as possible from barack and his agenda. Also, don't have him come and campaign for you, look what he did in the last 3 blue state elections: NJ Gov = Dem Loss, VA Gov = Dem Loss, MA Sen = Dem Loss. Kirk would beat Giannoulias. All Gianno has to highlight is the Bright Start fund will lost millions for thousands of families saving for college.
Obama has turned the public against Dems in record time. He will now be a lame duck for the next 3 years. He just lost his Senate supermajority on an election in the bluest of blue states. It is a given the Dems will lose big in Nov in the House (most likely GOP will regain control) and 5 - 10 Dem seat loss in the Senate. Obama had a year with the Dems in total control yet he could not delivery anything (except $700B in wasted "stimulus" that was supposed to cap unemployment rate at 8%, we are now at 10%+), $130B bailout to the unions and GM/Chrysler (which should have gone through bankruptcy) and wait he did have cash for clunkers which boosted auto sales for a month (by pulling future sales forward, no incremental sales). And now he wants to try to ram his $1 trillion health care rationing plan through. I hope he continues to try.

Daniel / January 20, 2010 9:21 PM

The problem with your logic (I'm going to ignore the syntax and grammar of your comment) is that while Coakley did indeed lose the election, Obama's campaigning there actually helped raise her numbers in the polls in the final days (which did stay abysmal). It was Coakley's fault.
Also, I'm not sure Obama campaigned in Virginia and New Jersey. I'd check that (I'm actually not sure).
Finally, your blame on Obama is effusive and part of the mastery of the conservative attack plan. It wasn't Obama who has been ruining and blocking every bill in the senate or the house, it's been the Republican minority and the blue dog Democrats. There's a huge difference. It's actually ironic. The White House wants to include conservatives but conservatives don't want to be included.
As for the stimulus, economists (both conservative and liberal) all said the stimulus needed to happen. The fault of the Obama Administration was that it wasn't big enough. I think blame is deserved partially there (but really, let's remember who was blocking the passage of that bill which did keep us from economic depression. This isn't my partisan side speaking this is fact (have you ever heard of that?).
As for Giannoulias, I'm not confident he's out of the race given the polls. That's a Giannoulias matchup when he's in a primary trying to fight off a serious challenger. A general election poll would likely be very different. And finally, let's not forget that Kirk has made his share of mistakes which all together creates a record to give both Dems and Conservatives pause.

Daniel / January 20, 2010 9:23 PM

and by mastery I mean majesty.

Daniel / January 20, 2010 9:24 PM

Also, why should the Dems diverge from Obama? He's generally polling higher than Congress.

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