As was published by McHenry County Blog on Wednesday night, Republican candidate for Congress Jim Oberweis released the executive summary dated August 8 from pollster McLaughlin & Associates, of a poll conducted for the Jim 2020 campaign in late July and early August. The poll shows Jim Oberweis leading the congressional campaign field with 56% support.
There is no question the release of Oberweis’ internal poll on September 18 was timed to close out 3rd quarter fundraising efforts with polling data encouraging donors to financially back Oberweis prior to the September 30 end-of 3rd quarter fundraising period.
After the Wednesday night article was published, McHenry County Blog reached out to the remaining Republican campaigns for IL-14. The candidates’ statements are below and published in the order received. Commentary and when appropriate, links after each candidate’s statement.
Catalina Lauf Campaign Statement
From spokesperson for Catalina Lauf’s campaign:
“This poll was conducted before Catalina Lauf announced her candidacy and it did not include her name in the match up. So, like Jim Oberweis’ multiple (and mostly unsuccessful) politicalSpokesperson for Catalina Lauf’s campaign 9/19/19
campaigns over the last two decades, this poll is old news. Also, 6.9% margin of error? Holy cow.
“Catalina launched her campaign at the end of August and immediately received overwhelming support. Thousands of grassroots supporters signed up to volunteer, join the team, and contribute. National coverage of her announcement alone garnered close to a million dollars in earned media. Catalina’s unifying message to stand together to defend the American Dream against the far-left’s push for socialism and divisive politics is already resonating, exciting, and inspiring voters on the ground in IL-14 and across the country.”
COMMENTARY: Applying discernment, Catalina’s campaign spokesperson expressing their reaction the way they did to the 6.9% margin of error is very credible. In my years of working with campaigns and pollsters, I’ve learned a poll can be believed best the lower the margin of error.
Most believable credible polls have a margin of error between 3 to 4 %. Any poll with a margin of error over 5% is suspect, and 6.9%!? That’s a hard-to-believe poll. Without getting into the mathematics of calculating margin of error, the sample size of 200 likely Republican primary voters is a significant reason for the 6.9% margin of error.
Just as credible from Lauf’s campaign reaction, is the fact this poll is “old news” since it was conducted in late July-early August, and the executive summary has a date of August 8. That poll was conducted between 2-3 weeks prior to Catalina’s entry into the race on August 21.
Note the Lauf campaigns subtle-yet-effective jab at the Oberweis pollster’s executive summary statement of “It will take north of a million dollars to get [IL-14 candidate Sue] Rezin known.” Catalina’s campaign response of “National coverage of her announcement alone garnered close to a million dollars in earned media” is a bold prediction, and will be verifiable when FEC campaign disclosure reports are released next month, and when polling data including Catalina’s candidacy is released.
James Marter’s Campaign Reaction
The Marter for Congress Campaign issued this press release late morning:
Marter deems Oberweis poll as ‘highly flawed’ because it deceitfully leaves out his name
OSWEGO, Ill., September 19, 2019 – Jim Oberweis, 73, a perennial candidate for Congress in the Illinois 14th district primary for March 2020, conducted a bias and flawed poll earlier this summer that purposely neglected to include James “Jim” Marter’s name as a candidate in the race, according to the Marter for Congress campaign.
“First off, let’s start with the fact Oberweis’ poll didn’t name me as a candidate in the race. He inserted two other Republican candidates, widely unknown in the district, but purposely left my name out of his push poll so he could produce skewed results in his favor. People should ask Oberweis why he left Marter’s name out of the poll,” said Marter in a released statement.
Marter reiterated that Oberweis is currently his State Senator and that he had made Oberweis personally aware that he was getting in the race for the 14th district, which he announced May 30.
“I spent the day with Jim Oberweis in Springfield last March, and he was nice enough to allow me to spend the day down there with him to help me decide if a race made sense for me to get in, either his state senate seat or the congressional seat in my district. The day I was out there with Mr. Oberweis, our awesome Pro-Life advocates literally shutdown the Capitol, with too many people showing up, about 4,000 or so. A week after that, I met up with Oberweis and point blank asked him if he would focus on his Congressional race and step down as State Senator. He said he wouldn’t step down. But that was the day I decided we needed a real fighter in the 14th (district), and that’s me,” said Marter.
Marter reiterated that he jumped in the race after working as a campaign manager for several Republicans in key Oswego races, which resulted in a clean sweep for Republicans out there last April.
“After I saw our wins in Oswego, I announced my intent to run for Congress in the Illinois 14th district on May 30. We started doing events immediately in June. I was in the race a few weeks when Oberweis conducted his push poll, which he purposely did not name me. Instead, he inserted Senator Sue Rezin in the poll, who just jumped in the race. Is he afraid to see the results with my name in there? He didn’t want to increase my name recognition? As you can see the two other candidates he listed in his poll barely have any name recognition in the district, and Rezin doesn’t even live in the district,” added Marter.
Marter reiterated that the results of Oberweis’ poll are actually interesting for someone like him, who has run so many times, in so many races. That 52% favorable rating isn’t really something to be happy with.
“That’s why I am in the race. Oberweis has a high unfavorable rating given the fact he’s out there! People know him and aren’t excited about him. He can’t win this race for the 14th. The bottom line is people who like President Trump want a fighter. And they know that Oberweis won’t go to the mat for the America First agenda. Oberweis and Rezin lack political courage to stand up for district taxpayers. Oberweis voted present on gas taxes. Rezin outright voted yes to raise gas taxes, and also voted on things like funding the Obama library. Republicans want better than that. We deserve better than that,” said Marter.
Marter added that people in the district want a representative who is going to run and then do what they said they were going to do.
“That is the Freedom Caucus motto, do what we said. That is Rep. Jim Jordan’s motto, and that is my motto. I am running for the people of the district to protect our constitutional rights. Nobody else will talk about this because THEY won’t do that. Every parade, I’m out shaking people’s hands and talking to folks who say they back me and support me. I see Oberweis sending his staff to hand out coupons to district parade goers to promote his ice cream business. It appears he is in it for himself. Truth is I am in this race for the people in my district I care about. I am out at events each week I am getting positive and enthusiastic response,” said Marter.
Marter, a software business consultant and prominent Kendall County Republican in the race for Congress for the 14th Congressional district, has pledged to support Term Limits and publicly declared his intent to join the conservative House Freedom Caucus to be a voice to countless Americans who feel that Washington does not represent them. The Freedom Caucus supports open, accountable and limited government, the Constitution and the rule of law, and policies that promote the liberty, safety and prosperity of all Americans.
Here are two recent videos released by the Marter for Congress campaign on YouTube
- Video released 9/18/19: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5W7i3UXxVE
- Video from Huntley TEA Party 6/19: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Z1-f2gVdgA
COMMENTARY: No question James Marter has it right the Oberweis campaign poll is flawed. Clearly, Marter was left off of Oberweis’ poll, but I disagree it was due to Oberweis being deceitful. Let me answer Marter’s question of why Jim Oberweis left him out of the poll. I would say the Marter poll-exclusion decision was a practical decision based on metrics. Whether it was the right decision is debatable, but look who was included among the, at-the-time, 5 competitors in mid to late July:
- Ted Gradel, whose never run for public office, announced his candidacy in late April. In mid July, Gradel’s campaign reported, through his FEC campaign disclosure report, raising nearly $305,000 from April 23 through June 30. That got Oberweis’ attention and why Gradel was polled, especially Gradel raising more money from donors than Oberweis.
- Sue Rezin, who announced her candidacy on July 9, has been a member of the state senate for a little over 8 1/2 years and has a proven record and is a proven fundraiser. She is polled.
- James Marter, along with Danny Malouf and Anthony Catella, reported less than $20,000, $5,000 and $0 respectively on FEC reports in mid July (Catella does not have an FEC candidacy filing).
- In James Marter’s 2016 U.S. Senate primary loss and last year’s IL-16 congressional primary loss, Marter received only around 30% of the Republican primary vote and in neither race did he raise $80,000 for his campaign, and his huge election defeats bearing witness.
- Marter is not a proven vote-getter, and Marter is not a proven fundraiser. His message in previous campaigns did not resonate with voters or donors. Given this record, Marter, in the Oberweis’ campaign’s eyes, is not a threat to win the nomination.
Mr. Marter, Jim Oberweis does not respect your candidacy to the point to spend good money to have your name included in a poll. Right or wrong, he had enough metrics to justify his decision. The message to me and any discerning voter is clear.
James Marter has got to show everyone his congressional candidacy is viable and resonates with donors and voters, and have the metrics to prove it. If Mr. Marter has not raised at least $100,000 from donors in the 3rd quarter on his FEC filing next month, Mr. Marter better rethink his candidacy and whether he can or should continue. This is not being mean, it’s facing reality.
The same can be said for Mr. Malouf and Mr. Catella.
Sue Rezin Blasts Oberweis Analysis of His Own Poll, and the Pollster Oberweis Chose to Hire
Sue Rezin’s campaign, Rezin for Congress, issued this press release yesterday afternoon:
Oberweis’ Own Poll Shows Him Losing Yet Again
(GURNEE, IL) Today perennial candidate Jim Oberweis released a poll his current campaign for Congress conducted that shows him losing to incumbent Lauren Underwood, 47 to 38 percent. Yes, that is correct—Jim Oberweis’ own campaign has publicly released a poll showing him losing yet another campaign in a head to head matchup between incumbent Congresswoman Lauren Underwood and himself.
Oberweis has run for Congress, US Senate and Governor six times and lost six times. He has a virtual PhD in losing elections.
Oberweis’ news release says fellow Republican State Senator Sue Rezin will need a million dollars to catch up to him in name I.D. for the primary election. But the fact is Sue Rezin needs no lessons from Oberweis about how to win elections. Rezin has won five out of five elections—three of them “Tier One” state legislative races. It is Rezin’s legislative record that will appeal to general election voters. For instance, earlier this year she sponsored a bill on preexisting conditions and succeeded in getting the State Senate to pass it unanimously. That was the key issue in the last election. The appeal of Rezin’s legislative record is one her Republican primary opponents simply cannot match.
Again, Oberweis has lost six out of six races for Congress, US Senate and Governor. Oberweis can watch, wait and learn about how Rezin’s effective campaign will surge past him because Sue Rezin has done so again and again and again and again in highly competitive legislative campaigns.
Oberweis’ pollster maintains that if voters are told a series of negative things about Underwood that they will reverse their original position against Oberweis and end up supporting him, but that is nothing more than wishful thinking. It has never worked in any of Oberweis’ previous campaigns for high office.
Oberweis’ pollster is one of the least credible in Washington, DC. In a June 13, 2014, article in The Hill newspaper, the article begins by saying: “National Republicans are warning candidates to stay away from (former) Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s pollster, who predicted just weeks before Cantor’s loss that he was up by a huge margin.”
The Hill article went on to say: “Two weeks before the majority leader’s stunning 11-point loss on Tuesday McGlaughlin’s poll showed Cantor with a 34-point lead over professor Dave Brat.” That means Oberweis’ pollster was wrong by an astounding 45 percentage points.
The article in The Hill goes on to detail other McGlaughlin polling results that were released publicly and proved to be wildly inaccurate.
Jim Oberweis can dream about the 7th time being the charm but Republican voters would be reckless to bestow a nomination for Congress that is critical to earning back the U.S. House majority on a candidate who has blown more elections for high office than anyone in the State of Illinois.
Just like she did in her first state legislative election, Sue Rezin has what it takes to defeat an incumbent Democrat representative while Jim Oberweis’ epic series of lost elections AND his own poll just released today are the clearest indicators that he would blow this election as well if he somehow became the Republican nominee.
COMMENTARY: Wow. A very well done, hard hitting release that no discerning voter can ignore. Senator Rezin’s campaign went after Oberweis’ understanding of the numbers, and then the pollster Oberweis hired. For Oberweis, the self-described “business guy”, after the Rezin campaign’s verbal beating, one must wonder if Oberweis has lost a few steps, particularly his decision to use such a discredited pollster.
Capitol Fax broke the story yesterday afternoon of Rezin’s verbal body slam of Oberweis’ polling release, with a link to the McHenry County Blog article published Wednesday night. This quote from Rich Miller is quite revealing: “The Republican head-to-head, which has Oberweis leading potential primary opponents by a wide margin, is of just 200 voters. I can’t recall any congressional candidate ever releasing a poll with that small of a sample size.“
The comments in the Capitol Fax blog article are quite interesting, too. One commenter described Rezin’s press release as political jiu-jitsu. I would have to concur. With the Rezin campaign’s press release, Rezin’s team showed everyone in IL-14 she is ready to fight for this nomination, and she has shown she knows how to throw and land punches successfully.
In social media and in comments on blogs, some people bad-mouth Rezin for some of her policy votes or her not living within IL-14 (see James Marter’s press release above). Take a lesson from her press release, Rezin’s campaign message can verbally spar with the best of them and she has had electoral, legislative and fundraising success to back it up.
The gloves have definitely come off in the IL-14 Republican primary campaign.
- 2014 The Hill article cited by Rezin: https://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/house-races/209327-national-republicans-dont-use-cantors-pollster
- Capitol Fax 9/19 link: https://capitolfax.com/2019/09/19/oberweis-slammed-for-releasing-poll-that-has-him-trailing-by-9