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Palin Endorses Kinzinger

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Blake D. Dvorak

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On her Facebook page (via Adam Kinzinger's web site), Sarah Palin has endorsed a handful of "Americans Heroes Ready and Willing to Serve in Congress":

America, if you love your freedom, thank a vet! And if you're looking for leaders who believe in integrity, service, and country first, look to our veterans.

Last week I campaigned for a true American hero, John McCain, and this week I'd ask you to join me in supporting a new generation of heroes who are heeding their country's call for leadership in Washington.

There are a number of great veteran candidates running for office this year, and there are some excellent organizations dedicated to helping them, including: Iraq Vets for Congress and Combat Veterans for Congress (please click on the links to visit their websites). ...

The second veteran is Captain Adam Kinzinger, a decorated special-operations pilot who flew combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Adam is running for Illinois' 11th Congressional District against a freshman incumbent congresswoman who seemed to pull a bait and switch on voters to get elected. She sounded like a blue dog on the campaign trail, but didn't vote like one in Washington. Instead, she voted in lockstep with the Pelosi agenda - on Obamacare, the stimulus, cap-and-tax - and the list goes on. She's part of the reason for Congress' 11% approval rating. Adam is a strong fiscal conservative with a proven track record as a reformer from his years serving on his local county board. Adam started out in local office, and, like many of us, believes in making government more accountable to the people. When you serve in local office, your constituents truly are your neighbors. Adam understands this, and I know that he will listen to his constituents and work for us, not against us, in Washington.
We haven't talked much about the 11th on The Voting Booth (which the Cook Political Report now considers "Leaning Democrat"), but it's fast becoming a closely watched race. Some background: the district voted for Bush in 2000 and 2004 (50-48, 53-46, respectively), before going over to Obama in 2008 (53-45). That right there accounts for the "Lean Dem" part, although the current incumbent, Debbie Halvorson, won her seat following a Republican retirement.

A political rookie, Kinzinger has conservatives excited, and Palin's endorsement certainly won't diminish that. A recent Public Opinion Strategies poll also found Kinzinger leading Halvorson by 6 points, which is not a good sign for any incumbent. But Palin is a double-edged sword, and her endorsement might work against Kinzinger among Indies. It helps that Obama has a 52% disapproval rating in the district, meaning that Halvorson won't be able to simply call in the White House for reinforcements.

(ht: Geraghty

Marin: Alexi Facing Heat to Withdraw

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Blake D. Dvorak

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I won't say that Carol Marin's prediction today is the first I've heard or thought about it, but since Marin's sources are a bit better than mine it's probably more than idle musings. From her Sun-Times column:

Prediction: Pressure on Giannoulias to get out

...

Giannoulias has tried to get out in front of the seemingly imminent failure of his family's Broadway Bank, but there's no way to put that story behind him as long as the FDIC could move in at any time and take it over.

Giannoulias met with David Axelrod at the White House on Tuesday. At the same time, Republicans were sending out dispatches with a reminder of President Obama's recent denunciation of "fat cats who are getting rewarded for their failure . . . bankers don't need another vote in the U.S. Senate."

Expect heat on Alexi to exit the kitchen.
First, about that White House pow-wow, the speculation in the media is that the administration will support Giannoulias, but not go out of its way (see here, here and here). This is Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs' formal (a wee bit too formal?) statement on that matter:

Alexi Giannoulias is the Democratic nominee for the United States Senate and has the support and the backing of the White House.
Second, instead of trying to read the tea leaves from press secretaries who are paid to be vague, why not just look at the polling? From TPM Poll Tracker:



FoxChicago reported this morning on a new Rasmussen poll, not yet released on Rasmussen's site, showing Giannoulias +3 (44-41). And as First Read reported, the Giannoulias campaign is pushing back at the idea of withdrawing:

The Giannoulias camp pushes back, noting that at least two polls show him leading Republican Mark Kirk, and that the campaign just signed up a major Obama fundraiser.
For the interested, that fundraiser is Jordan Kaplan, who worked on both Obama's 2004 Senate and 2008 presidential campaigns. Yet Fox's Scott Brown notes that this is a return engagement for Kaplan, who previously worked for Giannoulias back in the exploratory committee days early on. I guess the point is that it's not like the Obama White House "gave" Kaplan to Giannoulias.

Still, the polls are what they are, and they don't (yet) show much reason for Giannoulias to withdraw. Yes, they're closer than Team Giannoulias would like right now when it looks like it's going to be a GOP year. But it's not as if Giannoulias is foundering at the moment.

Getting back to Marin's prediction, much depends on the political fallout from Broadway Bank's imminent collapse. If the heat intensifies, then Giannoulias might have to admit that he's carrying a bit too much baggage in a year that portends huge Democratic losses.
 

Rasmussen: Brady +10 (wait ... what?)

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Blake D. Dvorak

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Yup, that's what the latest Rasmussen Report poll shows, strangely enough:

Brady: 47
Quinn: 37
Undecided: 9

More from the poll:

The new survey finds Brady leading by 17 points among women but just three points among men. Voters not affiliated with either party favor Brady 59% to 18%.
Brady is viewed very favorably by 17% of Illinois voters, while only 11% view the Republican very unfavorably. Nineteen percent (19%) have no opinion of him.
Just 12% in Illinois view their governor very favorably, while 24% view Quinn very unfavorably. Only five percent (5%) have no opinion of Quinn.
Rasmussen suspects that the surge for Brady is likely the result of his recent victory, officially, over Dillard. Still, a DailyKos/Research2000 poll from late last month showed Quinn ahead 15 points (47-32), and because this is Illinois, no one really questioned its veracity.

Taking both both polls together, I'd say this race is much tighter than the Quinn team would prefer at this point, so Brady and Republicans should be excited.

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