The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Andrzejewski’s Army

Posted on | February 1, 2010 | 7 Comments

My latest column at The American Spectator:

Adam Andrzejewski refers to his opponents in the Illinois Republican primary as “the Redcoats,” while calling his own grassroots campaign for governor “the ragtag army.”
Revolutionary War metaphors come easily for Andrzejewski, whose showing Tuesday in Illinois will provide an early test of the ability of Tea Party activists to deliver votes in Republican primaries during this year’s mid-term campaign. . . .
Like George Washington’s ill-equipped colonial soldiers outnumbered by the professional troops of the British Empire, Andrzejewski finds himself up against more experienced foes in the gubernatorial race. His opponents in the seven-candidate primary include veteran state Sen. Kirk Dillard and former state GOP chairman Andy McKenna. Yet their experience may actually prove a liability in Illinois, a state plagued by corruption scandals, including the one that led to last year’s impeachment of former Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
“My opponents have 100 years of combined Illinois political experience,” Andrzejewski said in a telephone interview Sunday. “I ask one question on the trail: Do you feel Illinois is running well? Nobody in 11 months has raised their hand.” . . .

Read the whole thing.

UPDATE: While I was on the phone with Andrzejewski yesterday, he told me he was late for another interview — with Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit. I told Andrzejewski, “Tell Jim I said to say hello to Charles Johnson. He’ll understand.” Inside-blogging jokes aside, here’s a video clip from Jim’s exclusive interview with Andrzejewski:

Both Jim at Gateway Pundit and Adam Brickley at Race 4 2012 report that Andrzejewski’s internal poll shows him surging — which I don’t doubt, but I didn’t include that in the Spectator story, for several reasons.

First, there’s no way to verify the numbers in a campaign’s internal polls. These are tools the campaign uses for its own purposes, and not intended for public consumption. Obviously, after last week’s PPP survey showed Andrzejewski 8 points behind Kirk Dillard, the Andrzejewski campaign wants to counter the perception that their candidate is trailing. And there are certainly reasons to believe the race has tightened, as I reported:

Since [the PPP poll was released], Dillard has come under heavy criticism for appearing in a 2008 campaign commercial for Obama, and Andrzejewski says his own campaign has gained ground.
“We feel we’re either within the margin of error or leading the race right now,” said the Tea Party candidate, adding that he senses “panic” among his rivals in the crowded primary field. “We think 22 percent wins the race. Anywhere from 150,000 to 200,000 votes — in a state of 13 million — will win the nomination. The bar is that low.”

Which brings us to the second reason I didn’t include the internal poll: In this kind of situation– seven candidates in a tight race, on the eve of a February primary — polls don’t really mean much. It’s about turnout at this point, and the difference between victory and defeat may come down to a few hundred votes. That’s why the Andrzejewski mailer featuring Lech Walesa’s endorsement is so important.

If they’ve actually targeted that to more than 200,000 Polish-American households in Illinois, as a campaign source told me last week, that could prove decisive. Memories of Poland’s Cold War struggle against Soviet domination are strongest with older voters and, as my brother once remarked to me, “Old people vote.”

Everybody talks about getting out the “youth vote,” but senior citizens are always more likely to turn out in primary. And the appeal of a clean-cut young Polish-American success story endorsed by Lech Walesa . . . Well, that’s got to be worth a few thousand votes, right?


7 Responses to “Andrzejewski’s Army”

  1. Mr.K
    February 1st, 2010 @ 2:30 pm

    I support McKenna.

  2. Mr.K
    February 1st, 2010 @ 9:30 am

    I support McKenna.

  3. Sheriff of Nottingham
    February 1st, 2010 @ 3:12 pm

    The poll was not a campaign internal poll. My understanding is the campaign does not know who did the poll, it was leaked to the campaign and others from some group in DC who did the poll.

  4. Sheriff of Nottingham
    February 1st, 2010 @ 10:12 am

    The poll was not a campaign internal poll. My understanding is the campaign does not know who did the poll, it was leaked to the campaign and others from some group in DC who did the poll.

  5. uberVU - social comments
    February 1st, 2010 @ 12:16 pm

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by rsmccain: Andrzejewski’s Army: #TeaParty Candidate in Illinois [] He’s @AdamForIllinois…

  6. Ruby Slippers
    February 1st, 2010 @ 7:38 pm

    Illinois Primary Tomorrow – Andrzejewski Gets Big Endorsements…

  7. Flakes Mandate Journalist Repair to Alabama : The Other McCain
    February 7th, 2010 @ 12:15 am

    […] spotted us some linkage.Stacy’s AmSpec coverage.Da Tech Guy connects the dots.Ubervu threadAndrzejewski’s ArmyMr.K:I support McKenna.Sheriff of Nottingham:The poll was not a campaign internal poll. My […]