Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois is up for re-election this year against the Democratic Party opponent US Rep. Tammy Duckworth.
However, other than different names & different party affiliations, Kirk & Duckworth are largely the same candidate.
When Kirk ran for office in 2010, he & his IL GOP allies – Pat Brady, John Shimkus, et. al – did as they always do – they chastised conservatives & pushed the conservatives in the race to the sidelines. We were told we had to vote for Kirk because the GOP needed to retake the Senate. Most conservatives grudgingly acquiesced & held their nose to vote for Mark Kirk. Our noses were already clothes pinned shut anyway since we were voting for Mitt Romney at the top of the ticket so I guess it made for a little less throw up in our mouths?
Once in office, Mark Kirk’s pattern of conservative disdain continued. His voting record on conservative issues is atrocious. In fact, Kirk has a worse Heritage Score than Sen. Bernie Sanders & Sen. Elizabeth “Fauxcahotus” Warren. And to add insult in injury, as I write this Rep. Duckworth actually scores slightly better than Kirk according to Heritage. I’ll just let that sit here & ferment in your mind for a moment.
It seems now that Mark Kirk has been labeled the #1 “endangered” Senator for re-election this November. Truly, as the Politico article points out, Kirk has had his share of public gaffs but Kirk’s own understanding of the Illinois political landscape will be part of his undoing. From the Politico article,
“Illinois used to be Obama country, [but] after eight years in office this is not. That is reflected in my victory and [Illinois Gov. Bruce] Rauner’s victory” last year, Kirk said. “The biggest challenge I have with Washingtonians is they think Illinois is exclusively a Democratic state. Most Washingtonians don’t bother to know about Illinois, and they make the mistake of forgetting the 2010 election that I won and the 2014 election that Rauner won.
Anyone inside Illinois politics knows that Rauner did not fair well in his primary picks for the state government races just a few weeks ago. Sure, Gov. Rauner had some wins but he took 2 very high profile losses in which he & Liberty Principles PAC spent millions in those primary challenges propping up their guys.
Another issue Kirk seems to fail to comprehend is even as Kirk claims Illinois is not a Democratic state, in Congress he votes worse than a self-avowed socialist who is running for President right now. So why vote contrary to the way you think your state leans politically Sen. Kirk?
Perhaps Mark Kirk is wishing Donald Trump will win the nomination. GOP primary turnout has been incredibly high & perhaps he thinks that will translate into votes for himself when November rolls around. I would guess that’s why Mark Kirk doesn’t subscribe to the #NeverTrump newsletters since Kirk has stated that he’ll endorse Trump if Trump is the nominee. Trump and/or a potential higher voter turnout cannot & will not help Mark Kirk. I honestly don’t think that if Trump were to win the nomination his voters will automatically vote for Kirk as well – they’re loyal to the candidate, not the party. I see the same result for Mark Kirk if Ted Cruz is the nominee. Plain & simple, Mark Kirk is toast. Not just regular toast but that kind of burnt, left out to dry rock hard kind of toast that if dropped would crack your granite countertop and which even your dog won’t eat.
What the Kirk/Duckworth race boils down to is that Mark Kirk refused to even consider placating the conservatives in Illinois. He didn’t even try in 2010 at the height of the Tea Party movement & didn’t even attempt to do it while in Congress. Kirk even wants the Senate to “man up” & vote on Merrick Garland. I honestly don’t think that’s an election year ploy to avoid a talking point by Duckworth. That kind of call to action is what Mark Kirk actually represents in Congress. Remember, this is the same Senator, who as a US Representative, tried to foist Cap & Trade on us.
In the end, if Kirk loses his race in November he has nobody to blame but himself & his crappy voting record in Congress. For the residents of Illinois, we won’t really notice any difference in the representation we have now or the votes cast in the Senate other than we’ll have 2 Senators we are Democrats instead of 1 1/2 Democratic Senators.