The Illinois Senate Race

by Sal on February 3, 2010

in Election 2010,Politics

The Illinois primaries were yesterday, with races for both the Illinois Senate and Governor.  While the race for Governor race is still too close to call in both party primaries, the Senate race is well decided.  For the Republicans, near-RINO Mark Kirk won easily against Patrick Hughes, a far more conservative candidate.  Interestingly, while some in the blogosphere tried to gin up the same grass-roots enthusiasm for Hughes as they were able to in NY-23 and in the MA-Senate race, they were unable to do so.  Hughes lost likely because he was not a good candidate, and did not run a grass-roots retail campaign like Scott Brown did, instead relying on expensive consultants and anti-Kirk sentiment.

So now we are left with Mark Kirk.  Kirk who voted for cap-and-trade (which he now claims was a mistake), although he voted against the stimulus.  He’s pro-abortion, pro-gun control, and pro-amnesty.  As Michelle Malkin says, lame. Yet we’re stuck with him, and should support him in the general both because of the larger cause of decreasing the Democrat majorities in the Senate, and because his opponent, Democrat Alexi Giannoulias, is far worse.  In fact, within moments of Giannoulias being declared the Democrat nominee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) put out this ad, which outlined the weakness of Giannoulias’ candidacy.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike February 3, 2010 at 11:24 am

I think Hughes lost for the same reason many other good people lose. He was a little-known candidate against a well-funded and established candidate. He never had a shot to begin with. Scott Brown and Doug Hoffman were different cases because those two were already participating in the general election when they caught fire.

The blogosphere, of which I’m a part, often overestimates its own strength. Most people don’t follow politics on a regular basis and those who do get their news mostly from the MSM. As uninterested observers if they’re observers at all, normal people don’t have the awareness that those in the blogosphere have.

Against the backdrop of that reality, it’s unfair to say Hughes ran a bad campaign or was a bad candidate. He never had an even playing field to begin with, though he did a better fundraising job than a lot of newcomers. (Though your link to RedState also makes a good point).

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Sal February 3, 2010 at 12:03 pm

The interesting thing is though that Hughes also never generated the same enthusiasm in the blogosphere and among the Tea Party movement as the others. If all things were equal and the Tea Party/blogosphere enthusiasm for Hughes was the same as it was for Brown/Hoffman and he still lost, I’d agree with you. However, I think we are in a new political dynamic in the Tea Party movement, and I am curious as to why he never caught the same attention/enthusiasm and Tea Party ground-game as those other two did, or as Marco Rubio has in Florida.

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Mike February 3, 2010 at 2:28 pm

The Tea Party movement alone does not make a conservative Senator in IL or an elected official anywhere else for that matter. It didn’t in MA either. That was tea Party plus idiots on the other side

But your comment proves my point. Hughes was an unknown newcomer. Rubio is House Speaker. Brown was known by at least some people as evidenced by the fact that he owned the primary. Even then, Brown only caught fire in the general election. Hughes didnt make it that far.

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