Posted on | February 2, 2010 | 38 Comments
Wednesday, Feb. 3, 12:15 a.m. ET: As disappointing as the Illinois GOP gubernatorial primary is for Andrzejewski’s Tea Party supporters, Mark Kirk’s win in the Senate GOP primary is much worse from a conservative perspective. Michelle Malkin notes the “hold-your-nose” factor as reflected in the ultra-low primary turnout.
11:55 p.m. ET: Bill Brady leads Kirk Dillard by fewer than 2,000 votes with 97% of precincts reporting. Jim Hoft’s updated headline — ANDRZEJEWSKI SURGING . . . Maybe not — captures the sense of widespread disappointment among supporters of the Tea Party insurgent, who is about 40,000 votes behind the leaders.
Over the weekend, some of Andrzejewski’s staffers were second-guessing their tactics, but there’s really nothing to be gained by rear-view mirror recriminations. The entrenched strength of the GOP Establishment is such that any “outsider” candidate fights against near-insurmountable odds.
Like Doug Hoffman in last year’s NY23 campaign, Andrzejewski started with near-zero name recognition. The Chicago-area media did its best to ignore Andrzejewski campaign and a late surge of New Media attention was, alas, too late to overcome that disadvantage. As with Hoffman, the lessons learned from this campaign, and the network of contacts built in the process, can be employed going forward.
With RINO Mark Kirk the winner of the GOP Senate primary, and Obama-endorsing Dillard going down to the wire in the gubernatorial primary, conservatives in Illinois are understandably glum. Expect to hear rumblings of third-party campaigns in the next few days. Expect that talk to fade when the third-party advocates discover the high hurdles to ballot access in Illinois.
In the end, the challenge for Tea Party activists in Illinois — as elsewhere — is to focus their energies toward the long, slow process of getting inside the regular GOP machinery. Over the past couple of years, Ron Paul’s supporters have discovered that in many instances, it takes only a half-dozen or so dedicated activists to capture a county Republican committee. Tea Party people can learn the same lesson.
Sitting through the tedious proceedings of a county GOP meeting might not be exciting and revolutionary, but such is the mundane business of pursuing real political influence.
11:05 p.m.: With 92% of precincts reporting, it’s neck-and-neck between Kirk Dillard, Bill Brady and Andy McKenna. A source with the Andrzejewski campaign says Brady is a “good guy,” compared to either Dillard or McKenna.
Much ire among Andrzejewski’s supporters is directed toward Dan Proft, a marginal candidate who currently has about 45,000 votes and whom some suspect of being a stalking horse for McKenna’s GOP machine. Proft was profiled last year by Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass who notes Proft’s ties to Al Capone’s old haunts:
All this talk of reform is exciting, except for one thing. Proft has a problem. It’s the size of Cicero. That doesn’t necessarily disqualify him. But when a candidate is linked to Cicero, that candidate finds himself on the defensive.
For years Proft’s public relations firm has reaped hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees from governments in and around Cicero, not exactly the most reformish hamlet in the state.
My colleague at the Sun-Times, Carol Marin, has been merciless in dissecting Proft. She’s made Cicero a special study for years. If Proft thought that one day he’d run for governor, he should have stayed out of the town that Al Capone built.
“I’m not here to try and convince you that Cicero is Mayberry,” Proft said. “People can play that guilt-by-association game. I had a responsibility to a client, to represent their interests, just like an attorney would, just like any professional would. And that’s what I did.”
Add together the votes for Proft — who was endorsed Monday by Richard Baehr of American Thinker — and Andrzejewski, and you’d have a winning plurality. Just sayin’ . . .
10:25 p.m.: Bill Brady runs strong in rural counties:
Franklin . . . . . . 56%
Edwards . . . . . . 55%
Lee . . . . . . . . . 50%
Washington . . . . 49%
Livingston . . . . . 46%
Fulton . . . . . . . 40%
10:17 p.m. ET — With 73% of precincts reporting, less than six points separate first place (20.4%) and fifth place (14.8%).
10:10 p.m. ET — The polls in Illinois have been closed for more than two hours, and 67 percent of precincts are reporting. While Andrzejewski is currently in fifth place, his strong showing in Madison County (40% with 83% of precincts reporting) should be reflected in neighboring counties where precincts are surprisingly slow to report. Nevertheless, it looks like Brady’s strength in the southern tip of the state may turn this into a battle between Brady and McKenna, with Dillard, Ryan and Andrzejewski in a close race for third.
9:50 p.m ET. — Strange: Nearly two hours after the polls closed, zero precincts reporting in St. Clair County, a St. Louis suburb that should be strong for Andrzejewski, who has 40% of the vote in neighboring Madison County, which has already reported 70% of its precints.
9:40 p.m. ET — When watching these media reports of election results, it’s important to note that 46% of precincts reporting is not the same as 46% of the votes. The largest precincts may report late. That said, it appears from the county-by-county results that Brady and Andrzejewski split a lot of the down-state and rural vote, while McKenna — whose strength is in the Chicago suburbs — is emerging as the winner over Dillard.
9:20 p.m. ET — One of my Twitter friends: “Ain’t lookin good for the good guys, Stace.” Indeed, with 31% of precincts reporting, Andrzejewski is in fourth place with 15%, and Andy McKenna’s strong support in the Chicago suburbs has him in first place at 25%. The good news so far: Obama-endorsing Kirk Dillard is in still below 20%.
9:10 p.m. ET — Looking at the map of the results, you see that most of the counties have not yet reported a single precinct. Andrzejewski is indeed strongest in the St. Louis suburbs — Metro East, it’s called — which are a hotbed of Tea Party activism.
9 p.m. ET — Live counter of results. With 24% of precincts reporting, McKenna leads with 28%, Andrzejewski currently fourth with 16%.
8:24 p.m. ET (Smitty) — Andrzejewski campaign reports results in from Williamson County show their candidate topping Brady by 1 vote. “It’s gonna be close.” Expect further updates.
7:50 p.m. ET — Welcome, Instapundit readers! A source in Springfield reports that exit polls indicate a three-man race between Andrzejewski, Brady and Dillard, with McKenna fourth. Polls close in 10 minutes, so we’ll have actual vote totals soon. Stay tuned . . .
7:40 p.m. ET — Partial exit-poll reports indicate Andrzejewski “coming on strong,” says my source, with Dillard “dropping fast.” The campaign was still pushing GOTV at 6:30 p.m. CT, focusing on the Metro East suburbs of St. Louis downstate. “We can get another thousand votes out of there in the next half-hour.” Local conservative talk radio programs were reportedly inundated with call-ins from Andrzejewski suporters. “It’s crazy.” Expect more from Gateway Pundit tonight. Will continue to keep you updated here . . .
6:55 p.m. ET — “We’re on fire!” a campaign operative for Adam Andrzejewski told me in a phone conversation shortly after 5 p.m. CT (6 p.m. ET). “It’s freaking insane.”
The campaign staff was energized by Erich “Mancow” Mueller’s endorsement this morning. E-mail networks of Tea Party activists are overflowing with messages about the campaign’s all-out drive to get voters to the poll in the Illinois GOP gubernatorial primary. Some volunteers have used washable paint to festoon their vans with “Vote for Adam” slogans.
According to my source, their turnout operation is “looking good in downstate and East Metro,” which are Andrzejewski’s key areas. Polls close at 7 p.m. CT — a little more than an hour from now.
The candidate is reportedly awaiting results in Oak Park.
EXPECT FURTHER UPDATES . . .
- Feb. 2: Hey, Who’s This Andrzejewski Guy Everybody Is Talking About Today?
- Feb. 1: Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck on Lech Walesa and Adam Andrzejewski
- Feb. 1: Can the Scott Brown factor elect Andrzejewski?
- Feb. 1: American Spectator: Andrzejewski’s Army
- Jan. 30: Lech Walesa Rallies Tea Party Crowd for Adam Andrzejewski in Chicago
- Jan. 30: American Spectator: Grassroots vs. Establishment Battles Shape GOP Primaries
- Jan. 28: Adam Andrzejewski on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s Show
- Jan. 27: Money-bomb!
- Jan. 25: How Do You Pronounce ‘Andrzejewski’?