The Winner in Illinois: The Establishment(s)

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 21 2012 9:50 AM

The Winner in Illinois: The Establishment(s)

Last week, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee put out polling on its top Illinois race -- the battle for the Tenth Congressional District. The PCCC-backed candidate, a 25-year-old MoveOn vet named Ilya Sheyman, was up big -- 45-27 over Brad Schneider, a businessman who'd donated to Republicans but won Steny Hoyer's endorsement.

Sheyman lost the election, 47-39, to Schneider.

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Over in the Sixteenth District, Republicans were forced into a contest between Dan Manzullo, a reliable  10-term conservative, and Adam Kinzinger, a freshman who came in with the Tea Party wave of 2010. FreedomWorks was only the most prominent Tea Party group that backed Manzullo; he had the record, and Kinzinger didn't. Rep. Eric Cantor backed his loyal rising star. Manzullo called for Cantor, the traitor, to quit his post.

Kinzinger won, 56-44.

How to read those numbers? Public Policy Polling, which produced the botched IL-10 poll, suggests that the district was just over-surveyed, and that Schneider was always stonger than reported. If that's the case, and if the establishment-cuddling Kinzinger started out and ended as the favorite, you combine them with the Romney win at the top of the ballot and you can write this story. This is not 2012. The establishment is winning again.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. You can reach him at daveweigel@gmail.com, or tweet at him @daveweigel.