IL-05: Impressions from the Fifth, Pt 1

Fritchey sign in 36th Ward
Knock-knock.  "Hello, I'm bored now, and I was wondering if you had an opinion about the upcoming election."

On Saturday, January 31, I knocked on 50 doors of people who voted in the Democratic primary in February of 2008.  I was trying to get a stronger sense of whether I was right about there being a more intense interest in this race on the blogs outside the district than there was among voters in the district.  Of those 50 doors, most of these single-family homes had two primary voters in them.  I weeded out most of the doors with only one primary voter, although I did leave in a handful or so of single voters who lived in close proximity to doors with multiple voters.  I like clusters.

I talked to 12 adults, two of which were not on my list.  Of the ten, more than a few expressed the thought that they didn't even know that there was an election coming up.  One person thought he might have signed a petition recently and several thought I was looking for signatures for a petition.

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IL-05 Primary Roundup Week 1

In Illinois, the first step for getting on the ballot is collecting signatures on one's nominating petitions.  a sub-element of this step is staying on the ballot, as four of the 14 democrats competing for Rahm Emanuel's Congressional seat have discovered.  The Cook County County Officers Electoral Board has set February 5th hearings for three of the cases (Charles Wheelan, Pete Dagher and Carlos Monteagudo) and continued the process for Roger Thompson.  College students connected to the Bryar campaign, Mary Scala and Rudolph Trejo ("son of a former 32nd Ward Democratic Organization precinct captain"), were the objectors for Wheelan, Thompson and Dagher; Thomas Root was the objector for Monteagudo.

The second step (in Illinois elections) is the ballot lottery for those who are first to file their nominating petitions (iow, are in line when the Clerk's office opens up for filing).  Charles Wheelan won the first ballot position.  The complete ballot order is here:

Charles J. Wheelan      DEM
Sara Feigenholtz     DEM
John A. Fritchey     DEM
Victor A. Forys     DEM
Pete Dagher     DEM
Jan H. Donatelli     DEM
Frank Annunzio     DEM
Carlos A. Monteagudo     DEM
Paul J. Bryar     DEM
Roger A. Thompson III     DEM
Tom Geoghegan     DEM
Cary Capparelli     DEM
Mike Quigley     DEM
Patrick J. O'Connor     DEM

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My Career Reforming Government

In my previous diary, I wrote that fighting for reform hasn't always been easy.

I've spent a career in Cook County government on the opposite side of the Chicago political machine on virtually every issue. That itself can make one's career tough.

But the truth is that I enjoy finding ways to improve government. Call me naive, but my view is that government should play an important role in improving the lives of citizens. I believe that government can and should do more.

I am running for Congress in IL-05 to replace Rahm Emanuel because we desperately need reform and because it's too important right now in our country's history to not have our best and brightest fixing our problems.

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AP: Childers WINS!!!

Per NBC News, Democrat Travis Childers will win the special election in Mississippi's first congressional district!

Update [2008-5-13 22:13:44 by Jonathan Singer]: !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Update [2008-5-13 22:23:57 by Jonathan Singer]: Short, simple, to the point from the AP: "Democrat Travis Childers wins special election for Mississippi's 1st Congressional District."

Update [2008-5-13 22:33:14 by Jonathan Singer]: Two quick thoughts on this...

  1. I don't want to go so far as to say that this is the end of the Republican Party, because it's not. But this is as bad news as the GOP could possibly get at this point. They lost a district that leans 6 points more Republican than the nation as a whole in Illinois in March. They lost a district that leans 7 points more Republican than the nation as a whole earlier this month in Louisiana. Now they lost a district that leans 10 points more Republican than the nation as a whole in Mississippi. If they can't win in Mississippi's first congressional district, where can they win?
  2. The Republicans tried to make this election about two people: Barack Obama and Reverend Jeremiah Wright. And despite running this type of campaign, they lost. While it is true that Childers distanced himself from his party (and implicitly from Obama), the fact is that the Obama/Wright smears simply DID NOT WORK. The Republicans are going to have to get a new game plan, and the establishment media are going to have to get a new meme. Sorry folks.

Update [2008-5-13 22:45:9 by Jonathan Singer]: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman Chris Van Hollen have statements on this monumental victory over at The Stakeholder.

Update [2008-5-13 22:50:17 by Jonathan Singer]: Senator Ronnie Musgrove (D-MS). Make it happen.

Update [2008-5-13 23:5:45 by Jonathan Singer]: An 8-point victory for Childers. What a drubbing. I thought this could be a couple-point win for Childers, at best, but 8 points? In an R+10 district? Wow. Just wow.

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MS-01 Special Election Runoff Results Thread

Here are the results so far:

7,697-vote margin for Childers

Greg Davis (R): 49,285 votes (46 percent)
√ Travis Childers (D): 56,982 votes (54 percent)

99.8 percent of precincts reporting at 10:55 PM Eastern

Update [2008-5-13 22:16:35 by Jonathan Singer]: The AP calls it for Childers!!!

Update [2008-5-13 22:3:44 by Jonathan Singer]: Childers' lead is down to just 700 votes with a little under three-quarters of the vote in. Weirdly enough, though, this might actually be good news for the Democrat. Why? Almost all of the vote (about 95 percent) from DeSoto County, which is by far the biggest GOP stronghold in the district, has reported, so there isn't a whole lot of favorable territory left out there for Davis. What's more, while Davis won DeSoto by an 81 percent to 17 percent margin last time, he only leads 74 percent to 26 percent at this point. With none of Democratic-friendly Prentiss County reporting (though none of the last GOP county, Tate, reporting either), this one will go down to the wire.

Update [2008-5-13 21:47:56 by Jonathan Singer]: A big chunk of DeSoto County just reported, pushing Davis up closer to Childers. Tate County, which is the other key for Davis' success, has not yet begun reporting. But Prentiss County, where Childers netted about 3,500 votes in the last round of balloting, has not yet begun to report, either, so expect these numbers to continue to jump around.

Update [2008-5-13 21:36:54 by Jonathan Singer]: More than half of the vote has reported and Childers' lead is larger than it has been at any other point in the night, over 3,600 votes. It WELL worth remembering, though, that in the last round of balloting here (as well as the election a week and a half ago in Louisiana) the Republicans led for much of the night only to be overtaken by the Democrats when it counted. So stay tuned...

Previous updates below the fold...

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