Other than their highly competitive races this year, I can’t think of too many similarities between Colorado and Illinois on the top of my head. That said, something very interesting has happened in these two midwestern states in the past couple of days that people should be paying a lot of attention to.
I am, of course, talking about the newspaper endorsements.
Although I normally wouldn’t consider these worthy of their own post, but there is a very important lesson to be learned.
Let’s start with Colorado, where Democrat Mark Udall is now the slight underdog against Cory Gardner, who’s as close to a Republican all star as you can get.
Udall’s campaign has spent an embarrassing amount of time (read: all of the campaign) manufacturing Gardner’s record on contraception.
Now this shouldn’t come as too much of a shock, after the last two cycles of “war on women” rhetoric, but it has finally reached its limit, and Americans are no longer buying it.
How much has Udall been talking about contraception? So much that he’s now been nicknamed Mark Uterus.
Udall’s problem is that Gardner is far too good a campaigner to fall for this ploy (and Colorado women barely favor Udall in the first place).
The limits of Udall’s plan go further than his slipping poll numbers. As most of the political world is aware, the liberal Denver Post recently endorsed Gardner, slamming Udall’s “obnoxious one-issue campaign [a]s an insult to those he seeks to convince.”
This is, after all, the paper that endorsed Obama in both of his campaigns and endorsed Udall a mere six years ago, so the political world paid attention.
When looking back on this race, I think it’s safe to say that this can be viewed as both a turning point in this race and in the overall “war on women” narrative.
Turning to Illinois, the endorsements couldn’t be more lopsided. The best way to sum them up is “Quinn: unions and liberal groups, Rauner: everyone else.”
As the Illinois Mirror makes clear, Rauner has been endorsed by just about everyone, regardless of where they stand on the political spectrum:
Self-identified Democrats and independents, including:
Wendy Abrams – Environmental activist
Anthony Anderson – Retired Vice Chair and Midwest Area Managing Partner of Ernst & Young, serves on the Board of Directors for the Chicago Urban League
Eleni Bousis – Board Chair for the Greek American Rehabilitation and Care Centre
Hugo Chaviano – Partner at Sanchez Daniels & Hoffman LLP, one of the nation’s largest certified minority owned law firms
Ramon Cepeda – Managing Director of the Investor Real Estate Group within Wealth Management at The Northern Trust Company
Wheeler Coleman – Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, health insurance industry
James Crown – President of Henry Crown and Company
Rev. Ruben Cruz – Pastor at First Spanish Christian Church of Chicago
Lula Ford – Former Chicago public school teacher, principal and administrator, public school reform activist, and the first African American appointed to the Illinois Commerce Commission in its 95-year history
Laurence Geller – Chairman of Geller Investment Co., founder and former CEO of Strategic Hotels and Resorts
Sue Gin – Founder and CEO of Chicago-based Flying Food Group LLC
Phyllis Lockett – Founding President and CEO of New Schools for Chicago, former Executive Director of the Civic Consulting Alliance
Myles Mendoza – Executive Director of Ed Choice Illinois, a newly formed bipartisan advocacy organization, formerly a Senior Partner with Democrats for Education Reform and leader in the “Done Waiting” coalition
Lee Miller – Global Co-Chairman of DLA Piper
Newton Minow – Senior Counsel at Sidley Austin LLP and Partner with the firm from 1965-1991, Democratic Assistant Counsel to Governor Adlai E. Stevenson and Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission under President John F. Kennedy.
Timothy Ray – Partner in a large law firm in Chicago, former member of the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority
Manny Sanchez – Founding Partner of Sanchez Daniels & Hoffman LLP, one of the nation’s largest certified minority-owned law firms, led numerous federal, state and local Democratic races, served as a member of the Democratic National Finance Committee
Donna Simpson Leak – Former school superintendent and national education consultant
Glen Tullman – Entrepreneur, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at 7wire Ventures, an investment firm focused on healthcare, education, and energy
Rev. James Meeks – Founder and Senior Pastor of Salem Baptist Church of Chicago and former Illinois State Senator
Rev. Marshall Hatch – Pastor of the New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church
Rev. Corey Brooks – Founder of New Beginnings Church of Chicago
Pastor Stephen Thurston – Former President of the National Baptist Convention of America, Pastor of New Covenant Baptist Church & Exec. Assist to the Chairman of CBII
Pastor Dr. Robert Patterson – President of the Baptist Pastors Conference Chicago and Vicinity and Pastor of Spirit of Truth Baptist Church
Pastor Dr. Willie Cotton – President of the Baptist Ministers Union Chicago and Vicinity
Pastor John Gray – President of CBII and Pastor of Holy Zion Baptist Church
Pastor Michael A. Harrington – Liaison for CBII
This coalition is exactly why Rauner is going to win this November. Unlike Quinn, who has seen Illinois sink lower and lower in just about every ranking, Rauner understands how to turn the state around.
The trend couldn’t be clearer. The two largest papers in these two states with critical elections are throwing their support behind the Republicans, whether in opposition to the obsessive focus on a nonexistent war on women or to the ruining of the state’s finances, respectively.
At the end of the day, this is good news for voters, but bad news for both Mark Udall and Pat Quinn. If and when they both lose in November, they can look back and thank the media that used to have their backs time after time.
Finally, I would be remiss if I failed to mention how the press is also getting the message in Maryland (to an extent). I never would have expected The Baltimore Sun to run an article asking if Democrat Anthony Brown’s attacks have enhanced Republican Larry Hogan’s credibility, but either Marylanders are incredibly stupid (not the case) or they have made Hogan an even more viable contender.
Think this is ludicrous? This is exactly why Eric Cantor lost his primary. He ran ads slamming his opponent, reminding voters that he has an opponent, whom they then researched and decided they liked more. Maybe that’s why this is now a margin of error race.
I would love to think that these papers would have our backs the next election cycle, but we should take advantage of the opportunity this provides us while it lasts.