History is Against Mark Kirk in 2016

KirkCapitolstairsIt’s a known fact that Sen. Mark Kirk is vulnerable in 2016.

Kirk has been generally liked by independents throughout his career, and rode a conservative wave in 2010 to claim President Barack Obama’s old seat. But, following a first term notably marred by health problems, he now will likely be matched against a formidable Democratic challenger next year in Rep. Tammy Duckworth. Factor in the fact that the conservative base isn’t wild about his voting record, and Kirk is going to have quite the uphill battle next year.

A December We Ask America poll has Kirk trailing Duckworth by less than a percentage point at 45.59 to 45, which is not a good sign for any incumbent especially considering the unlikelihood conservatives wake up tomorrow and suddenly fall in love with the freshman senator. He may even have to do battle with a GOP primary challenge before battling Duckworth.

But another grim sign for Kirk has nothing to do with a primary challenge or his struggle with the conservative base. A Kirk reelection would be historically rare for Illinois. The last Republican to win reelection to either Illinois senate seat was Charles Percy in 1978, who held what is now Sen. Dick Durbin’s seat. Percy lost reelection in 1985.

The history with the seat Kirk holds is even worse. Sen. Peter Fitzgerald chose not to seek reelection in 2004, and the next Republican to win reelection was Everett Dirksen in 1968 – the only Republican in the last 100 years to win reelection to the seat. Hence why Kirk’ victory over Democrat Alexi Giannoulias in 2010 was all the more stunning.

Kirk has his share of problems heading into 2016 and is possibly the most likely incumbent Senator to lose in the country. Conservatives might not be on his side, but history definitely isn’t.


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CPAC Chicago recap

By Joe Kaiser

Energized from Gov. Scott Walker’s victory in the Wisconsin recall election last Tuesday, Midwestern conservatives came together this Friday at CPAC Chicago, with their efforts now focused on November.

The lineup of speakers included 2012 presidential candidates Rick Santorum, Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann; Senators Rand Paul and Ron Johnson; Governors John Kasich, Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, Bob McDonnell and Sam Brownback; Representatives Tim Huelskamp, Peter Roskam, Joe Walsh and Randy Hultgren; and Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock.

An overwhelming majority of the headline speakers mentioned the Wisconsin recall at least once, with most calling it a major win for conservatives and an impactful lead up to the November elections.

“Wisconsin has to be a model,” Senator Johnson said in his speech. “We turned a very blue state red. I have always been proud to be from Wisconsin and be a senator from Wisconsin, but I have never been more proud than I was on Tuesday night.”

Speakers also took time to hammer President Obama over his ‘doing just fine’ comment and emphasize the importance of the presidential election.

“We must fight together for the next couple of months to let people know American greatness is on the line [in this election],” Governor Christie said.

In an exclusive press conference with the media before his speech, Cain outlined five groups he thought will be pivotal not only for Mitt Romney’s chances at defeating Obama, but for Republican senate and house races also.

Cain said the groups he mentioned; Republicans, independents, people of faith, young people and disgruntled democrats; are necessary to get ‘conservatives excited about what new leadership would like in Washington D.C.’

The CPAC festivities also included a vice presidential straw poll which was won by Florida Senator Marco Rubio (30 percent), followed by Christie (14 percent) and Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan (9 percent). Senator Paul, Governor Jindal and Santorum were the only other candidates to receive over 3 percent, polling at 8, 7 and 5 percent respectively.

Attendance for the event was estimated to be around 2,000 guests.

The conservative problem with “cool”

By Joe Kaiser

According to President Barack Obama’s twitter page, he and the first lady will be holding the “first” rallies of the 2012 campaign on May 5.

Most of us, though, know the president has been in a perpetual campaign since the midterm elections and is becoming less and less transparent in doing so. Obama’s appearance on ‘Late Night with Jimmy Fallon’ Tuesday night was, in the minds of many voters not already in the tank for Obama, an embarrassingly shallow campaign ploy. Obama continues to walk the fine line of breaking all sorts of campaign laws, in this case the equal time rule, as he “slow-jammed the news” with Fallon or, in more basic terms, spewed campaign rhetoric to the tune of some drums and guitars.

[Read more…]

Thoughts and prayers for Senator Kirk

The Illinois Conservatives would like for everyone to remember Senator Mark Kirk in your thoughts and prayers, as the junior senator from our state suffered a stroke over the weekend. We sincerely wish the senator a quick and full recovery and we are thinking of him during his time of serious illness.

-The Leadership Team

Response to Congressman Kinzinger’s comments

Oregon, IL – Following the Illinois Conservatives’ endorsement of Congressman Don Manzullo, Congressman Adam Kinzinger, Manzullo’s primary opponent, made an attempt to downplay not only the endorsement, but the group itself.

“It is important to note that that the Illinois Conservatives Facebook Group is run by a 20 year old from Congressman Manzullo’s home county and is not an influential voice within the Republican electorate,” a statement issued by Kinzinger’s staff said.

The Illinois Conservatives reject the claims that their endorsements are not influential, citing their previous endorsees as possible evidence.

“I believe Lennie Jarratt, John Bambenek, Michael Harn, Jason Plummer, Don Manzullo, and other conservatives would disagree that our endorsement means nothing,” Illinois Conservatives President Zach Oltmanns said. “If we are not influential then why has [Congressman Kinzinger] spent the last couple days attacking us?”

The statement from Kinzinger’s camp also suggested that the group was falsely claiming to have endorsed the Congressman in 2010. Oltmanns said this is not quite the truth.

“We tried to endorse him in the general election in 2010 but just like most of the tea party groups are numerous calls were not returned by Kinzinger,” Oltmanns said.

The Illinois Conservatives are also disappointed that Kinzinger, at 33 years old, would have such harsh words for a group that consists of a lot of young members.

“We are very disappointed to see a sitting congressman go after our group like this,” Illinois Conservatives Vice President Andrew Spitzer said. “Especially when he started in politics when he was only 20 years old and our group prides ourselves in getting young people involved in politics. But obviously our endorsement was important to him. Although he must be disappointed, I am sad to see that he took a negative way towards a group with so many young members.”

In addition to staying on the defensive against Kinzinger’s remarks, the Illinois Conservatives would also like to thank the many Tea Party groups who have come to their aid and defense in the recent days.

The Illinois Conservatives, a leading conservative grassroots organization in Illinois, believe in conservative ideologies and supports political candidates who share in those beliefs for the betterment of the State of Illinois.


Congressman Don Manzullo Press Conference

We were very happy to hold a press conference with Congressman Don Manzullo, our fourth endorsed candidate for 2012, this morning. We look forward to working on getting him re-elected once again.

You can view video from the conference with the link below:


Happy holidays!

We would like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a happy new year! This is a very special time of the year for everyone to take a break from their busy schedules and enjoy the season and the company of family, so we sincerely hope everyone has a very joyous holiday.

-the leadership team

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