Skip to comments.Dick Durbin's re-election FAR from certain
Posted on 10/09/2001 11:45:16 AM PDT by BillyBoy
Durbin re-election far from certain
He's not a sure thing. Senator Richard J. "Dick" Durbin (D-Ill.) , though leading in early polls, may be facing a difficult race for a second term in 2002.
Durbin, 56, hasn't left many footprints in his first five years in the Senate. Earlier this year, a front-page analysis in the New York Times mistook Durbin for Sen. Alan J. Dixon, a fellow Downstater, who left the Senate in 1993.
That's Durbin's problem.
Even though he has been a member of the state's congressional delegation for 19 years, Durbin is unknown to many Illinois voters. He hasn't defined himself.
Democratic strategists are worried about Durbin's relatively low approval ratings and his anemic numbers on what is known as the generic re-election question.
Three Illinois senators have been defeated for re-election since 1984. Durbin's fate is far from certain.
According to the Almanac of American Politics, which is published by the nonpartisan National Journal, more than one-third of Illinois voters are unaware of Durbin. He is rated favorably by 47 percent of Illinois voters and unfavorably by 17 percent, according to the almanac.
Durbin, who has been on opposite sides of issues ranging from abortion to trade, doesn't seem to have an ideological focus. That could be a liability and is one of the reasons that the New York Times confused him with Dixon, who also tried to be all things to all people.
According to a recent GOP-sponsored poll, Durbin is potentially vulnerable. Only 39 percent of Illinois voters said that they would "definitely" or "probably" vote for his re-election, compared with 31 percent who favored a "new person."
Only 51 percent of strong Democrats said they favored Durbin's re-election, while 21 percent preferred a new person. Only 41 percent of independents said they favored Durbin's re-election.
The statewide poll of 800 likely voters was conducted in the late summer by the Washington, D.C., firm of Public Opinion Strategies.
When respondents were asked about their impressions of Durbin, their comments indicate why he could be in trouble.
"He seems to sit on a fence," a strong Democratic voter said. "Make up your mind, sonny. He seems like he hesitates before he says something. Say what you mean. Like the Indians say, a forked tongue. You don't know whether to go left or right, so he goes straight and says the wrong thing."
Another Democrat added: "He's a good talker. He don't get much accomplished, but he is a good talker. Good public relations man.... He can go with either side of anything and make it sound good."
A middle-age ticket-splitter said, "With all due respect, he talks out of the side of his mouth. Maybe because he's not believable. I don't buy what he says because he always appears like he wants to play both ends, and into the middle. Whether he agrees or disagrees, he goes with it. He is a true politician, and he just rubs me wrong."
"I don't know him very well, so I cannot say too much about him," said a middle-age Democratic woman.
A young Republican woman said almost the same thing: "I really don't know him.... I don't recall. It's just if I hear the name, I don't know if I like him or I don't." "I guess there haven't been any scandals with him. There hasn't been anything positive, and there hasn't been anything negative that he has done," said a young African-American woman who leans Democratic.
A young white female, who is independent, said: "I can't relate his name to anything."
An older white independent female said that Durbin is "too much Washington, D.C. He is a Washington man, and I don't have any faith in anybody in Washington, D.C., except maybe the president."
"He goes with the political wind. He's very interested in his own career. I think he's extremely partisan," said an older white Republican woman. "I really don't think he's in touch. He's certainly not in touch with his constituents, or at least he's not in touch with this constituent. I really think he's a Washington politician, period, in the most negative sense. He hogs the limelight and is only interested in furthering his political career."
Durbin, who lost his first two political races in the 1970s , has won his last seven elections. Next year could be tougher.
The main difference between Durbin and Mostly-Fraud is that Durbin hasn't been hurt by any "scandals", which means he'll faces an advantage going into November 2002. But that certainly doesn't make him IMMUNE to defeat.
Furthermore, this article is written by none other than Steve Neal, a nortouously liberal political anaylist. Neal is always propping up far left wing morons in this state as being "rising stars" and dissing conservative Republicans as all being jokes. His bias is most notable when he writes columns talking about how great it is that a liberal Democrat beat a "moderate" Democrat in the primary; but then he goes on to talk about how much better it would be if a "centrist" Republican (i.e. a RINO) defeats the conservative candidates here.
If EVEN Steve Neal is saying Durbin is vunerable, then Durbin IS vunerable.
Control of the Senate will be decided by the states on the mightly mississippi next year. We're one of them. In addition to the unknown John Cox challenging Dick Durbin, there are a handful of strong Republican candidates who COULD enter the race against Durbin next year but have not announced. I'm personally gunning for former Governor Edgar to run (kinda the Illinois version of Rudy Giuliani-- pretty liberal on social issues, but actually CARES about the people so he's earned the respect of the conservatives). If don't like Edgar, that's fine...write to Jack Ryan or Mike Singletary and encourage them to run. Just encourage SOMEONE!
The Illinois GOP better WAKE UP and start putting up a fight here with the opportunity they got. Let's get out there and freep the Dick!
Sure he does, just check to see which way the wind is blowing
Who's (GOP) likely to challenge him? We do need a winner!
Durbin is a clymer who has IRRITATED the heck out of me ever since I first saw him on the Senate floor. Blathering like only a trial lawyer can, he finds every conceivable way to argue with reasonable positions...after all, his desire to circumvent Constitutional freedoms is matched ONLY by his obvious quest for PERSONAL power and self-aggrandizement.
He and John Edwards are liberal wolves in sheep clothing, and making sure they are defeated at the ballot box next time around should be a TOP priority of every FREEPer in their states.
And just for members of the Chicagoland Chapter:
I think Durbin is Carl Levin's Twin. And it is a similar situation unless a Jim Edgar runs.
Both are running in dem leaning states, with big cities and inner suburbs tilting the election that way. Chicago with Peoria and Springfield as a lesser case in your state, Detroit with the Saginaw Valley(Flint, Saginaw, Bay City), Lansing, and Ann Arbor in Mine.
It will be a longshot, especially to take out Levin, but should we try? HELL YEAH! And if I lived in IL, I'd vote for Durbin's opponent, whoever it is. Even if the GOP'er wasn't great on guns. The GOP senator wouldn't vote for Chuck Scumer and Pat Leahy on judiciary, and they can't be worse than Lenin or Durbin on this issue anyway.
Gee, does this mean that making yourself one of the Senate's top antigun nuts and anti-cigarette tyrants doesn't endear you back home in Illinois - particularly outside of the Chicago area?
Does this mean that - even with the help of the Daley machine - sharing Richard Daley's antigun passions doesn't sell outside of Chicago well enough to make a Democratic incumbent's reelection reasonably a sure thing?
Enough reason for me to defeat him
See, Illinois Freepers, even DanfromMichigan would hold his nose and vote for a "moderate" like Governor Edgar to kick Durbin out! Dan makes a good point about judges. Even if in a worse-case scenario--pick out a liberal-light Illinois Republican like "Bill Jim" Thompson-- they'll STILL better than Durbin. Thompson testified in FAVOR of Robert Bork's nomination, for instance. Can you imagine DICK Durbin doing that? Our guy is so far left he makes Lincoln Chafee look conservative.
It's really nice to see that five years of Durbin's swarmy, cocky attitude on the Senate floor has finally caught up with him. He looks like he's going to lose his "hometown" of Springfield for the same reason Gore lost Tennessee-- he's become a Daley-machine whore and abandoned his hometown roots.
Let's just pray the Illinois Republican Party is not too stupid to take advantage of this sitution.