September 11, 2006

Time once again to rub your balls

As the day after Thanksgiving is traditionally the start of holiday shopping, Labor Day is the unofficial start of campaign season.

Prior to that, talk of campaigns and attempts to find any substance or stories about them are essentially futile.

So, in an effort to document and enshrine opinion at the beginning of the race, I'd like to ask readers for their expert (or otherwise) predictions on seven local and regional races, most of them promising to be tight, hard fought, and expensive.

IL 17th district
Democrat Phil Hare vs. Republican Andrea Zinga

IL 36th
Democrat Sen. Mike Jacobs vs. Republican James Beals

IL 71st
Democrat Rep. Mike Boland vs. Republican Steve Haring

IA 1st
Democrat Bruce Braley vs. Republican Mike Whalen

IA Governor:
Democrat Chet Culver vs. Republican Jim Nussle

IL Governor:
Democrat Rod Blagojevich vs. Republican Judy Baar Topinka

R.I. County Sheriff:
Democrat Mike Huff vs. Republican Kraig Schwigen

Please, when leaving your thoughts on these races, stick to the order above, as it will make it easier to compare predictions.

List your predictions in percent of vote for the corresponding race, plus any comments or explanations you'd like to add.

If you don't have an opinion on one or more races, just leave that number blank or explain why you have no prediction.

Note: In an effort to have more readers participate in this, I'll lift the restriction on who can comment. They'll still be moderators, but anyone can leave a comment. Just try to be somewhat civilized.

I expect to ask for predictions at various stages of the campaign season and perhaps we can see how opinion shifts as election day nears.


At 9/10/2006 3:29 AM, Blogger Scott said...

1: This race was over when Zinga won the primary. She is the worst possible candidate for the Republicans, and Hare has the full support of Evans people, labor, and many others around the district.
Hare: 56% Zinga 44%

Once again, no contest. Jacobs hasn't even set up a campaign office.
Jacobs: 59% Beals: 41%

This one will be interesting. Boland has burned many bridges. I have also heard a lot of people state that they don't like the way he has tried to change jobs at least three times in the past two years (IL Senate, Treasurer, US House). That being said, he will still win.
Boland 52% Haring 48%

This is the one to watch. Braley is a charismatic character, but Whalen has the money and party support to keep him going. A lot of money is going to be spent on this race, and in the end, I think Braley will take it due to the pro-Democrat feelings around the country.
Braley 51.3% Whalen 48.7

I would love to see this stay with the Democrats, but Iowa tends to worry me.
Culver 49% Nussle 51%

If the Republicans could have found a candidate that could actually put up a fight, they probably could have won this. Now, they will lose this and the Treasurership. Nice work.
Blagojevich 52% Topinka 47% Independent 1%

I like Mike Huff; he spoke at the BHC Democrats and basically said he was tired of the status quo. With his backing by labor and Rock Island Counties leanings, he will win.
Huff 53% Schwigen 47%

At 9/10/2006 5:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1- Phil Hare- this has always been an interesting district, for me. It leans conservative, yet a liberal like Evans won it for a decade plus. Phil should do the same.
2- Mike Jacobs- too much money, too much name ID, the incumbent
3- Mike Boland, see #2
4- Mike Whalen, closest race of all 51-49
5- Jim Nussle
6- today- Blagojevich, tomorrow? well depends on what the feds do. This race could be fluid, can I have a mulligan on this one?
7- Huff- Democrat, RI County. My grandfather was a kid the last time a Republican won in RI County.

At 9/10/2006 5:48 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I'm impressed so far.

Scott, your predictions are pretty close to my own, with a couple very small exceptions, and that's some pretty impressive analysis at 3 something in the morning!

Anon's predictions are rational as well, though I must admit, it was nice there for a while not seeing any "anonymous"s at all.

And it's especially frustrating in this context, because how can I recognize someone for being correct if there's a dozen "anonymous"s making prediction?

Ah well.

I just wish people would at least take the two seconds it would require to fill in a name before they post comments. Guess that's asking too much.

At 9/10/2006 8:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1) Phil Hare. Tough shoes to fill and Zinga is not the one to do it. 58 % to 42% Hare.

2) Mike Jacobs. Though I do think it is time for some new ideas, and not the one of trains to Geneseo. 60% to 40 % Jacobs.

3) Mike Boland. Even though I would not vote for him if I could. I guess my problem with him is he has not decided what he wants to do when he grows up.
55% to 45 % Boland

4) Mike Whalen. Close race, tough to call. Toss up.

5) Chet Culver.

6) Blagojevich. I do think he needs to improve his standing with the sate workers. All the promises he made and kept were at the expense of the state work force. I would vote republican if they had a viable person running.
55% to 45 % Blagoevich.

7) Huff. Change is needed. I have seen him speak and was impressed by him. Mr Schwigen from what I understand ( by past voting records ) is a democrat that is running on the republican ticket. If he wanted to be Sheriff why did he not run under his own party. Mr Huff has ran a campaign that unseated the current Sheriff. Not an easy task. Now Mr Schwigen gets caucused un whit no oposition. My vote goes to Huff.
Huff 56% to 44%.

dem voter

At 9/10/2006 10:35 AM, Anonymous UnionD said...

1. Phil Hare 59% Andrea Zinga 41%
2. Mike Jacobs 56% James Beals 44%
3. Mike Boland 52% Steve Haring 48%
4. Bruce Braley 51% Mike Whalen 49%
5. Chet Culver 49% Jim Nussle 51%
6. Rod Blagojevich 51% Judy Barr Topinka 49% RB needs to remember who worked hard to elect him at his first run and stop balancing the budget on the backs of the workers employed by the state. The unions got behind him and got him elected last time. This time it is up for grabs because of his promises he has failed to keep.
7. Mike Huff 58% Kraig Schwigen 42%
No Contest in this race whatsover!

At 9/10/2006 12:15 PM, Blogger demgorilla said...

Hare 52, Zinga 48
Jacobs 59.5 Beals 40.5
Boland 53 Haring 47
Braley 50.5 Whalen 49.5
Culver 50.1 Nussle 49.9
Blago 51 Toinka 47.5 Green 1.5

At 9/10/2006 8:23 PM, Blogger Bob Thomas said...

Hare 54 Zinga 46. Hare is a grat presence and people will shine to him.
Jacobs 41 Beals 59. Beals is going to kill Jacobs. I think Denny Jacobs and Mike Jacobs are bad people. We don't need any University here. We need a car factory or computer company.
Boland 51 Haring 49. Boland's long history of running for other office and his viet nam issue will be the wild card. He will win though.

Whalen 58 Braley 42win. I have met both men and Whalen is smarter.
I see Culver58 Nussle 42. Culver makes a mean sandwitch.
Blago 44 Topinka 56 Blago is for that University also. What a bunch of garbage. That is all we need around here more educated windbags.
Huff 55 Schwigen 45. Huff has the best team in town.

At 9/10/2006 9:23 PM, Blogger demgorilla said...

To Bob Thomas --

I beg to differ, young man. We do need a new univerity here, we do need more higher education opportunities for all, we do need to help our industrial economy transition to high-tech industrial to keep pace, we do need to eliminate the distinction of being the only metropolitan area this size without public higher education for all four years, we do need to move forward and one of the best ways to do that is with increasing education, not decreasing education.

Governor Rog Blagojevich, State Sen. Mike Jacobs, QC labor leaders, QC legislators, QC public and private sector leaders -- all are pushing hard for an expanded WIU-QC campus presence.

I take strong exception to your criticism of expanding educational opportunities for the young people in this area. What in the hell are you thinking?

At 9/10/2006 9:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Group think at it's finest. Do any of the observers work in any of these races or talk with anyone involved? Where do they get these predictions? The hermedically sealed mayo jar on that back of Johnny G's back porch?

In this culture of change and Blago's disapproval downstate at 60+ percent I think there is some surprises on the horizon. Democrats are going to be challenged to get out the vote. This isn't a presidential year. Kerry won over Bush 2 short years ago by 3 points. That was with a 30 percent uptick in Democrat voter participation from 2000. Do you really think Blago is going to motivate people to the polls? If not then an engergized Republican base takes the day. Not that 2006 dosen't throw them out but it's gonna be fun to watch.

I will hold my predictions because it all comes down to the last seven days. Inside Dope. Please do a similar post at that point and I will post predictions.

Keep up the good work. Your blog is a daily read.

At 9/10/2006 10:09 PM, Blogger Scott said...

Dope: I have my best moments when the sun is down.

Bob: I see you aren't a big fan of WIU coming to town. I would say that WIU is crucial to the advancement of the QCA. I will give you one example.

You say we need new manufacturing businesses in town. I agree, and WIU will help with that. Macomb just picked up Pella Windows. This would not have happened if WIU had not supported Pella with the promise of job training. The University helps you, believe it or not.

At 9/10/2006 10:15 PM, Blogger Carl Nyberg said...

1. Hare 52.5-Zinga 47.5
6. Blagojevich 48%-JBT 45%-Whitney 7%

Don't know enough about the others.

Larry Redmond got 2.8% as the Reform Party candidate against Poshard and Ryan in '98. IMO this is low as Whitney could go. Poshard and Ryan were far better liked in '98 than RB & JBT are in 2006.

At 9/10/2006 10:18 PM, Blogger Carl Nyberg said...

Dope, how bout including the State Treasurer race in the next edition of the crystal ball?

At 9/10/2006 10:24 PM, Blogger nicodemus said...

1. Hare 57% Zinga 43%
Hare by default. Zinga is tainted and with a district that is gerrymandered this badly, it wouldn't matter anyway. Hare is no fireball, don't get me wrong, but he will have to do.

2. Jacobs 65% Beals 35%

3. Boland 54% Haring 46%
The Machine never liked Boland and they have less and less reason to like him this time. But his name ID and hard work always carry the day...for now.

4. Braley 45% Whalen 55%
I admit that I don't know much about this race. But I think the Tangy Tenderloins at the Machine Shed really rock! and that's gotta be worth the margin of victory. Better than a trial lawyer any day.

5. Culver 52% Nussle 48%

6. Blago 55% Topinka 45%
This is a tough one and whoa man! I hope I am wrong and it's the other way around. In order for this to work, her ads need to gain traction, and this hiring scandal needs to catch on with people and she will need to get the teachers unions on board. I don't know... as bad as Blago is, something tells me that JBT will come up with too little too late.

7. Huff 75% Schwirgen 25%
You have to ask? And for trivia buffs, it will be 28 years since Randy Heaton upset the legendary Jim Shaw.

Other predictions: The Republicans will keep the Treasurers office. Voters will see that Christie Radogno is clearly a superior candidate over the inexperienced and/or scandal-tainted Giannulias whom Madigan and the state party have yet to endorse.

In congress: Melissa Bean re-elected, Roskam wins, I wish I could say that Weller goes down too, because he is vulnerable and he deserves to get beaten, but for now that is wishful thinking on my part. It's not impossible, though. (you heard it here first)

Well Dope, whomever comes closest in their prediction, do we win something?

At 9/11/2006 12:59 AM, Anonymous Political Geek said...

Hare 55%
Zinga has image issues.
Jacobs 53%
Beale is broke.
Boland 51%
Bad year for R's helps M B
Rod 51%
11 to 1 money.
I don't know Iowa politics. R's are in trouble everywhere this year.
Huff 59%
R I County Dems./union members and lack of name recognition for opponent.

Republicans cannot overcome Iraq, Katrina and $$$OIL$$$.
Better luck next time.
"You know their loosen when they start abusing." Vote against candidates and parties that go negative. Pay attention to who starts it.

At 9/11/2006 3:26 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Carl writes:
"Dope, how bout including the State Treasurer race in the next edition of the crystal ball?"

I may. But I wanted to keep the list to a minimum and had to draw the line somewhere, so stuck to local contests and the IA and IL governor's races.

At 9/11/2006 3:36 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Nico asks, "Well Dope, whomever comes closest in their prediction, do we win something?"

Of course!

The same as last time. The person who comes closest in their predictions will get to enjoy recognition and the admiration of the legion of Inside Dope readers, and of course, experience the warm glow of victory.

I'll also extend to them a virtual hearty hand clasp, and a metaphorical pat on the back.

And as if that isn't enough, I think I might have a few Blagojevich sponges left over from the last campaign. They're about the size of a business card, but when you put them in water, they expand!

Sure to be a proud addition to anyone's mantle.

At 9/11/2006 4:27 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon 21:50 (here we go with the anons again... sigh)

I'm sure that several of the predictors here are very familiar with the politics and campaigns around this area as well as statewide, as I am that many of them have, are now, or will be working for various campaigns.

That said, of course anyone is welcome to predict, including you.

As far as it being far too early to predict, it is indeed the very beginning of the campaign season. But I'd note that as far back as a few weeks ago, spontaneous predictions erupted in comments at The Passing Parade.

As I said in the post above, I'm just doing this so that people can get their markers down at the very beginning.

And after all, every week there are millions of people around the country who predict the results of sports contests before they begin, why should this be any different?

It's simply a fun exercise, and shouldn't be taken as gospel.

But judging from the past, many readers really know their stuff and their predictions have been remarkably close to the actual results.

Of course, some predictions contain obvious wishful thinking. But I anticipate that the final results will be very close to the general predictions here, barring any dramatic turn of events.

As I also noted in the post, I do intend to ask for predictions at various mileposts during the campaign and see how or if things have changed.

Hope you'll join in then.

At 9/13/2006 12:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see all dems winning by 10 percentage points thanks to the republican leadership in this county.

Most dems I know don't even think that their local candidates have opponents.

Guess the races are pretty low key.

At 9/16/2006 11:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

and Huff WIN!!!

Huff by 10,000 votes or more.

At 9/17/2006 11:57 AM, Blogger thinkpink1 said...

Jacobs 68% Beals 32% jaw thing hurts his percentage!

Boland 53% Haring 47% wanting to run for every office in town puts a big hurt on him

Huff (unfortunatly) 58% Scweigen 42%

Hare 52% Andrea 48% by the way did anyone see the Zinga sign on 53rd calling her a racist??? Pretty pathetic what our world is coming too!

At 9/17/2006 1:52 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Hmmm. I did notice a very large Zinga sign on the property of some very pricey homes just past Jane Addams school on 53rd in Moline, but didn't notice that it was defaced or mentioned racism.

But this was a day or two ago, and evidently someone has defaced it?

At 9/17/2006 5:08 PM, Blogger James M. Beals said...

I would not be running for the Senate unless I thought I had a chance of winning.

I fully support the WIU expansion.

The anonymous smear and issue misrepresentation tactics do not bother me.

I'm glad I offer the voters a "choice"

James M. Beals, State Senate candidate, 36th District

At 9/17/2006 8:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beals offers a "choice," but it is a bad one.

Any candiate that gets in a fight and has to have his jaw wired shut,sues the very people he wants to represent in Springfiled, and hasn't bothered to show up for two importan debates, really isn't a candiate at all.

Beals should drop out of the race and let Donald Duck replace him. At least people know who the duck is.

At 9/18/2006 8:09 PM, Blogger James M. Beals said...

Nice comment, have you looked at voter demographics?

There is pending civil litigation and the defendant was found guilty. It's called being the victim of a crime.

I'm the only candidate with a regular job which makes it difficult to campaign, not to mention that I travel overseas on business matters.

Nothing like anonymous smear. Too bad Mike Jacobs does not post to blog sites (or does he)?

I wonder how many of his supporters do?

James M. Beals, State Senate candidate, 36th District

At 9/18/2006 8:36 PM, Anonymous concerned voter said...

I agree. Anyone who is Suing everyone in town including the County of Rock Island should really rethink trying to run for politics. If he is so sue happy he must need the money, does Beals really even have a job???


At 9/19/2006 2:41 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Trust me, he has, and they do.

At 9/19/2006 9:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why are you and Beals smearing Sen. Jacobs. Why don't you quit attacking him. If you are a Republican then come out and say it.

At 9/19/2006 10:56 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

No one's "smearing" Jacobs that I know of. That's your fantasy.

I regard a smear as lying about someone or misrepresenting their views, or spreading untrue stories about them.

There's been a lot of smear attempts on Beals here, most recently trying to say he opposed the WIU expansion.

If you have't caught on yet, I'd remind you that I tend to have a low tolerance for dishonest bullshit no matter what or who the source.

And I'm not a Republican nor can I ever imagine being one.

But the fact that I'm a Democrat doesn't mean that I have to ignore, participate in, or tolerate bullshit from figures within my own party.

Is that what you're suggesting I do in order to be a Democrat?

That's rather sad.

At 9/20/2006 10:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aren't you the guy that made all those false references about Tina? Sheeeeshhhhhh!

That's rather sad.

You might want to wipe away the bullshit hanging from the your mouth!

At 9/20/2006 11:20 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

OK Jackass,

You cite me one "false reference" that I made about "Tina" and I'll pay you $10,000.

Otherwise, get over it and shut the hell up unless you know what you're talking about. Hows that?


At 9/20/2006 11:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I ha ve the statement. Are you sure that you wan tme to post it. There is a national blog that will print anything. I have the orriganal that you took off after only a few minutes. I can't believe that you are statring with you bul---- again. Admit your mistake and move on. We eill all be better people fgor it.

STOP pretending to be high and mighty. It is you that will pay the $1000.

At 9/21/2006 11:09 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Whatever floats your boat there, Skippy.

And that's $10,000, not $1000, if you can cite one "false reference" that I've ever written about any "Tina".

At 9/22/2006 2:23 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

The flake who accuses me of publishing false information about the masseuse and Sen. Jacobs wrote back with their "proof".


They cite 3 sentences from a version of a post on the story of Sen. Jacobs and the masseuse which was up on the site a total of about 15 minutes at about 3 a.m. one night before I took it down.

And what devastating evidence did this person come up with to claim their $10,000?

Read what they dug up below. You be the judge.

Here's their first "proof" that I printed "false references".

"At the risk of rubbing Sen. Jacobs the wrong way, would it be wrong to ask what sort of research Ms. Tina Somner performed on Senator Jacobs in exchange for a couple of grand?"

A swing and a miss. Nothing false there. It's called a "question" Skippy, look it up.

Let's see, what other examples did they find to nail me with?

"As to attempt to twist Sen Jacobs "Elizabeth Ray moment"...

Ooops, nothing false there, other than the fact that they quote it out of context so that even I have no idea what was meant. Who knows?
But it's certainly not "false" by any definition.

One more ... maybe this will be the proof that costs me 10 grand? This is where they prove their fervently held belief that I reported false facts or "references" about the story?
Let's see.

"I've just been doing some poking and in-depth probing about this issue..."

Um. That's a "false reference"?? What the hell? Obviously this person is, shall we say, "mixed up".

Well, good shot chimpy. You gave it your best, but no banana.

But really, THAT is the best you could do?

Let me give you a hint. For something to be false, ...listen closely now, ... it has to state a fact.
It has to state something as being a fact. Otherwise, it can't be false. Get it?

What's even more pathetic is that the stuff he quotes was only online for about 15 minutes at about 3 a.m. and probably seen by this goon and no one else. Yet he seems determined to give it wider play. Now a lot more people can read it. Good work.

The sentences he dredged up were a bit snarky, I admit, and their wasn't really any need to write anything other than the facts, so I pulled it.

Then this person, like a 2 year old, wrote a comment laughing, gloating, boasting and taunting that they'd threatened me and I'd folded and taken the story down.

The only problem was that I'd taken down the story before I had even seen any of their mail.

Well. I might have left it down until they opened their incredibly stupid mouth.

So I took out the snarky bits and posted the story.

Evidently, even by their peculiar definition of false, they couldn't find anything false about the version that I posted and which still stands.

One last comment to the joker who whines incessantly about this.

My first instinct is to ignore you. I've had people comment and get on my case because I even respond. They're probably right.

But like all little cowards, this person refuses to discuss this in e-mail, and instead insists on leaving comments to which I can't respond directly without dragging their lunacy out here and subjecting everyone to it, which I've found no one enjoys.

But it's the only way I can respond to these jerks who are too cowardly to dare allow me to respond to them directly.

This person has been pestering me with your goofy accusations about this story for about a year now and I thought I'd take this chance to have you put up or shut up.

I find it surprising that you really have a desire to keep reminding everyone of this story of Jacobs and the masseuse every so often, even though everyone else has long forgotten it.

But then again, from you, maybe it's not surprising. You're not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Good job of coming along about 5 times now just when everyone's forgotten all about the story and reminding us all over again. Good work on that.

So there you have it.

I was generous (or stupid) enough to print your accustation and give you a clear shot to earn a quick $10,000. (It wasn't a joke.)

You had every opportunity to back up your constant bleating and all you could come up with were 3 ridiculous examples from a post which was seen by only you in the middle of the night.

Face it, you're kind of .. weird.

Now the least you could do in return for my even giving you the time of day is slither off from whence you came and stay there.

Until of course, a few months from now, you'll faithfully pop up, make an ass of yourself, and dredge up the story all over again.

You're no smarter than you need to be, are you?


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