How the hell did the GOP win a senate race in Illinois as recently as 2010?
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May 07, 2021, 06:02:36 PM

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  How the hell did the GOP win a senate race in Illinois as recently as 2010?
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Author Topic: How the hell did the GOP win a senate race in Illinois as recently as 2010?  (Read 769 times)
Cyrusman
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« on: May 04, 2021, 11:55:14 AM »

Can someone please explain to me how the heck the GOP managed to win a senate race in IL of all states as recently as 2010? I get that was a wave year but this is IL we are talking about not to mention that was Obamaís home state! Kirk also got killed 6 years later.
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Roll Roons
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« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2021, 12:04:53 PM »
« Edited: May 04, 2021, 02:14:36 PM by Roll Roons »

Mark Kirk was a really, really good candidate. In 2008, a blue tidal wave year, Mark won reelection in IL-10 by 6 points as favorite son Obama carried it by 22. He was a very moderate Republican, and that's the only kind of Republican who has a chance of winning statewide in IL. He was to the left of Collins/Murkowski, and probably even Manchin.

He only lost as badly as he did in 2016 because his stroke completely messed him up. It would have been better to have him retire and let the GOP run Adam Kinzinger or Bob Dold.

Giannoulias also had some ethical issues, and Illinois Democrats were dragged down that year by the stink of Blagojevich.
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TML
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« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2021, 12:10:55 PM »

Remember that before the mid-2010s it had been more common for states to elect politicians from the party opposite of the state's partisan lean to statewide offices. This became much less common by the late 2010s.
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Xing
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« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2021, 12:14:05 PM »

The stars pretty much aligned for Republicans in 2010. Democrats were enormously damaged by Blagojevich, Giannoulias was a terrible candidate, Kirk ran a good campaign, and turnout was atrocious among Democrats, even in many blue states, leading to one of the best years for Republicans in recent history. Make any one of those factors slightly less favorable for the GOP, and Kirk loses.
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Cyrusman
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« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2021, 08:47:03 PM »

Mark Kirk was a really, really good candidate. In 2008, a blue tidal wave year, Mark won reelection in IL-10 by 6 points as favorite son Obama carried it by 22. He was a very moderate Republican, and that's the only kind of Republican who has a chance of winning statewide in IL. He was to the left of Collins/Murkowski, and probably even Manchin.

He only lost as badly as he did in 2016 because his stroke completely messed him up. It would have been better to have him retire and let the GOP run Adam Kinzinger or Bob Dold.

Giannoulias also had some ethical issues, and Illinois Democrats were dragged down that year by the stink of Blagojevich.

Great reply, thanks!

Do you think Adam Kinzinger would have any chance at winning a senate race?
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Roll Roons
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« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2021, 08:54:25 PM »

Mark Kirk was a really, really good candidate. In 2008, a blue tidal wave year, Mark won reelection in IL-10 by 6 points as favorite son Obama carried it by 22. He was a very moderate Republican, and that's the only kind of Republican who has a chance of winning statewide in IL. He was to the left of Collins/Murkowski, and probably even Manchin.

He only lost as badly as he did in 2016 because his stroke completely messed him up. It would have been better to have him retire and let the GOP run Adam Kinzinger or Bob Dold.

Giannoulias also had some ethical issues, and Illinois Democrats were dragged down that year by the stink of Blagojevich.

Great reply, thanks!

Do you think Adam Kinzinger would have any chance at winning a senate race?

I think it is theoretically possible for a Republican to win a Senate race in Illinois, which is more than you can say for California or New York, but the path is very, very narrow. If any Republican can do it, it's probably Kinzinger, but just about everything would have to go right.
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PAK Man
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« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2021, 09:38:47 PM »

I remember the 2010 senate race very well (although I wasn't living in Illinois at the time). Mark Kirk was very, very popular. He often easily won reelection despite Democrats winning at the top of the ticket. At the time he was a moderate Republican (and as someone who met him once, I can tell you he's a nice guy in person). He was the best Republican to win a senate seat and he did in part by defeating Alexi Giannoulias, whose family had owned a bank that had some questionable dealings (it ended up closing). Kirk also was found to have embellished his military record. By the time of election day, neither one of them I don't think was terribly well-liked (hence the narrow margin of victory). I think if Giannoulias hadn't had his banking scandal, he would have won.
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David Hume
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« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2021, 11:29:44 PM »

Shouldn't Scott Brown winning MA surprise you more?
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Mitch O'Donnell, Mayor of Louisville
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« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2021, 12:05:58 AM »

Shouldn't Scott Brown winning MA surprise you more?

Martha Coakley's immense electoral stupidity is on a different level. She didn't even campaign really while Brown had rallies everywhere. This was also pre-Trump Brown. MA loves moderate Republicans (see Baker, Charlie and Landslide, 3:1 from 2018)
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Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2021, 12:46:57 AM »

Illinois was not as Democratic as it is now. Bush only lost it by about 10% in 2004 and while Obama won over 60%, a lot of this was favorite son effect. Consider also that Republicans had a long history of winning the Governorship of Illinois as they held it for a couple decades (24 years I think) ending in 2003.

So in a midterm of an unpopular Democratic trifecta, with Democrats harmed by multiple scandals in the state and with a candidate represented the Kerry voting ILL-10, Republicans were in a great position to win that Senate seat.

Republicans would have won the Governorship also had they nominated someone else.
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ElectionsGuy
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« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2021, 08:06:26 AM »

Mark Kirk was a really, really good candidate. In 2008, a blue tidal wave year, Mark won reelection in IL-10 by 6 points as favorite son Obama carried it by 22. He was a very moderate Republican, and that's the only kind of Republican who has a chance of winning statewide in IL. He was to the left of Collins/Murkowski, and probably even Manchin.

He only lost as badly as he did in 2016 because his stroke completely messed him up. It would have been better to have him retire and let the GOP run Adam Kinzinger or Bob Dold.

Giannoulias also had some ethical issues, and Illinois Democrats were dragged down that year by the stink of Blagojevich.

The case for Mark Kirk being a good candidate would be better if he was able to gain with the same constituencies that Trump did from Obama voters while holding his numbers in the Chicago area. Instead, he lost by nearly the same margin as Trump, trading gains in the Collar Counties for a large underperformance in southern and central Illinois.
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Roll Roons
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« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2021, 08:23:10 AM »
« Edited: May 05, 2021, 08:40:34 AM by Roll Roons »

Mark Kirk was a really, really good candidate. In 2008, a blue tidal wave year, Mark won reelection in IL-10 by 6 points as favorite son Obama carried it by 22. He was a very moderate Republican, and that's the only kind of Republican who has a chance of winning statewide in IL. He was to the left of Collins/Murkowski, and probably even Manchin.

He only lost as badly as he did in 2016 because his stroke completely messed him up. It would have been better to have him retire and let the GOP run Adam Kinzinger or Bob Dold.

Giannoulias also had some ethical issues, and Illinois Democrats were dragged down that year by the stink of Blagojevich.

The case for Mark Kirk being a good candidate would be better if he was able to gain with the same constituencies that Trump did from Obama voters while holding his numbers in the Chicago area. Instead, he lost by nearly the same margin as Trump, trading gains in the Collar Counties for a large underperformance in southern and central Illinois.

OP is asking how Kirk won in 2010, and he was a very good candidate then. He wouldn't have won a Senate race as a Republican in Illinois if he wasn't a good candidate.

But when he ran for reelection, his stroke really hurt his physical and mental capabilities to the point where he was no longer capable of being the same candidate that he was six years earlier.
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Cyrusman
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« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2021, 05:32:22 PM »

Shouldn't Scott Brown winning MA surprise you more?

Oh thatís definitely a stunner too! Only thing that makes it a little less surprising is how MA has some weird obsession with moderate, white, male Republican governors lol.
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MR. KAYNE WEST
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« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2021, 06:19:56 PM »

Kirk, Dillard and Rauner were moderates the reason why Kirk lost in 2016 he was paralyzed by a stroke and lost to Duckworth

The Rs wanted to stop Jesse Jackson from becoming Prez that's why they prosecuted Blago whom admitted he should of put Madigan not Jesse Jackson Jr in seat

The reason why Jesse Jackson St hasn't done anything and Al Sharpton has been in middle of everything was all due to his son trying to steak a Senate seat. Mark Kirk was a very just like Duckworth
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« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2021, 06:20:49 PM »

Because a lot has changed a lot faster than ever could have been anticipated in this country. The Obama midterms were clearly less partisan than they seemed at the time. as much as partisanship has caused our politics to decay, it has worked somewhat to Democrats' advantage as well. It's why I cannot fathom 2022 being anywhere near as bad for the party as 2010 and 2014 were, though it will still almost certainly be an electoral disaster.

I bet we'll be saying this same thing about Colorado electing Gardner back in 2014 soon.
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#Neoliberal Elitist Butte
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« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2021, 08:08:24 PM »

Because a lot has changed a lot faster than ever could have been anticipated in this country. The Obama midterms were clearly less partisan than they seemed at the time. as much as partisanship has caused our politics to decay, it has worked somewhat to Democrats' advantage as well. It's why I cannot fathom 2022 being anywhere near as bad for the party as 2010 and 2014 were, though it will still almost certainly be an electoral disaster.

I bet we'll be saying this same thing about Colorado electing Gardner back in 2014 soon.

People seem to forget that it was already working to their advantage in 2014, since most Democratic candidates for Senate (e.g. Begich, Peters, Pryor, Shaheen, even Warner, ...) significantly outran the partisan lean of & Obama approval in their states. If that hadnít been the case, the GOP would have gained 11-12 Senate seats that year. Itís just that the extremely favorable battlefield (mostly in red states) and the number of GOP gains concealed the fact that 2014 really wasnít that big of a GOP wave in the Senate. Other than CO (which really was more of a D-leaning swing state back then), they performed very poorly in blue states that year ó and even in CO, the margin of victory wasnít that impressive.

This is why I donít get the "2022 canít be worse than 2014" line of thought unless you just base it on number of Senate seats gained by the opposition party. I highly doubt people like Hassan or Kelly will poll much higher than Biden's approval rating in their states by election day.
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Minnesota Mike
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« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2021, 08:53:17 PM »

Let me tell you youngins about something we had back in the day, we called it ticket splitten. On votin day we would tie an onion to our belt, as was the style, and head on down to polling place where sometimes we actually voted for people from different parties for different offices if you can imagine that...
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Roll Roons
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« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2021, 08:57:32 PM »
« Edited: May 06, 2021, 05:30:14 PM by Roll Roons »

Let me tell you youngins about something we had back in the day, we called it ticket splitten. On votin day we would tie an onion to our belt, as was the style, and head on down to polling place where sometimes we actually voted for people from different parties for different offices if you can imagine that...

This weird thing still exists if you look in the right places. Especially out yonder in those crazy lands we call Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire. And a few other spots here and there.
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DS0816
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« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2021, 03:10:22 PM »

Can someone please explain to me how the heck the GOP managed to win a senate race in IL of all states as recently as 2010? I get that was a wave year but this is IL we are talking about not to mention that was Obamaís home state! Kirk also got killed 6 years later.

The last time the Republicans won a U.S. Senate election from Illinois in what was also a U.S. presidential election was with the second-term re-election of Charles Percy in 1972.

When the Republicans win a U.S. Senate seat in Illinois, they do so while the White House is in the column for the Democrats. (This was the case in 1998 and 2010. It may happen again in 2022.)
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Spectator
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« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2021, 03:13:39 PM »

Because a lot has changed a lot faster than ever could have been anticipated in this country. The Obama midterms were clearly less partisan than they seemed at the time. as much as partisanship has caused our politics to decay, it has worked somewhat to Democrats' advantage as well. It's why I cannot fathom 2022 being anywhere near as bad for the party as 2010 and 2014 were, though it will still almost certainly be an electoral disaster.

I bet we'll be saying this same thing about Colorado electing Gardner back in 2014 soon.


Cory Gardnerís win was sandwiched between Democrats winning the Presidential races in Colorado in 2012 and 2016 by about 5 points apiece. On the surface, his win in 2014 wasnít that impressive if you view it from that baseline since 5 points isnít really a huge deficit to overcome.
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Progressive Pessimist
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« Reply #20 on: May 06, 2021, 05:57:03 PM »

Can someone please explain to me how the heck the GOP managed to win a senate race in IL of all states as recently as 2010? I get that was a wave year but this is IL we are talking about not to mention that was Obamaís home state! Kirk also got killed 6 years later.

The last time the Republicans won a U.S. Senate election from Illinois in what was also a U.S. presidential election was with the second-term re-election of Charles Percy in 1972.

When the Republicans win a U.S. Senate seat in Illinois, they do so while the White House is in the column for the Democrats. (This was the case in 1998 and 2010. It may happen again in 2022.)

No. Patterns only exist until they don't.
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gracile
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« Reply #21 on: May 06, 2021, 06:35:56 PM »

Can someone please explain to me how the heck the GOP managed to win a senate race in IL of all states as recently as 2010? I get that was a wave year but this is IL we are talking about not to mention that was Obamaís home state! Kirk also got killed 6 years later.

The last time the Republicans won a U.S. Senate election from Illinois in what was also a U.S. presidential election was with the second-term re-election of Charles Percy in 1972.

When the Republicans win a U.S. Senate seat in Illinois, they do so while the White House is in the column for the Democrats. (This was the case in 1998 and 2010. It may happen again in 2022.)

This wasn't the case in 2014, where the state only shifted about 6 points from the 2012 presidential baseline.
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TheElectoralBoobyPrize
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« Reply #22 on: May 06, 2021, 07:47:35 PM »

Illinois isnít nearly as difficult for the GOP as Cali or NY and as others said, it took a perfect storm. I wonder if there just hadnít been the Blagojevich scandal surrounding the seat, if that wouldíve been enough to narrowly keep it in the Democratic column. Also, I donít think IL Democrats were terribly popular that year due to having the trifecta (both nationally and in IL) and the economy being bad. Quinn won, but just barely against a Republican too right-wing for the state.
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Seef
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« Reply #23 on: May 06, 2021, 08:03:05 PM »

But when he ran for reelection, his stroke really hurt his physical and mental capabilities to the point where he was no longer capable of being the same candidate that he was six years earlier.
I wasn't paying attention to this race in '16 so I looked it up, and my God, I never knew he was the one who made that gaffe about Duckworth's family fighting (or not fighting, rather) in the revolutionary war. I was familiar with the episode but had just assumed it was from some no-name Tea Party candidate who Duckworth beat in a House race, not a sitting Senator.

It's pretty tragic reading about it in that context.
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