IL-14: Catalina Lauf and Her Unapologetic Love for Our Country, Part 1: Strengths

Catalina Lauf

Today, McHenry County Blog continues its series based on the initial rankings published October 18, ranking the candidates in the 14th district Republican primary.

The rankings, based on the objective evidence of 3rd quarter fundraising and observations are as follows:

  1. Jim Oberweis (Part 1 & Part 2)
  2. Ted Gradel
  3. Sue Rezin
  4. Catalina Lauf

On Wednesday, October 30, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) announced the latest additions to the On the Radar list of the Young Guns program. With the addition of Catalina Lauf and Sue Rezin, all four of the top-tier candidates are recongized by NRCC as On the Radar for the 2020 Elections.

Today, we begin a 2-part series to focus on Catalina Lauf, who ranked #4 of the top-tier candidates, and is now On the Radar.

Lauf’s strengths can be outlined into 3 parts:

  • Message
  • Social Media
  • Underwood/Democrats/Left Concerned About Lauf
Simon Sinek’s Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action


Up until mid October, I never heard of Simon Sinek, until I saw a video of him teaching about inspiring people last month attending a seminar in St. Charles.

The following week, I wrote an article here on McHenry County Blog where the Simon Sinek video was shared in relation with Catalina Lauf to explain why she resonates with people.

You can view the video embedded in one of the most read articles here.

As anyone who has worked with politics knows, successful winning campaigns start with a message. The message precludes money, endorsements and volunteers. If the message resonates, the volunteers, money, endorsements and eventually votes will come.

Lauf’s message is very simple:

“…an unapologetic love for our country.”

Sometimes it’s embedded, like it said on her campaign’s website about what her parents taught her growing up:

“strong morals, personal responsibility and an unapologetic love for the United States of America and all it represents.”

Or how she said it when addressing the crowd at the DuKane A.B.A.T.E. event on October 13 in Maple Park:

“I grew up in Woodstock, IL, up in McHenry County. I was taught the values of hard work, liberty, and to have an unapologetic love for this country!”

It is a definitive, heart-felt “why” message that has resonated to the point Lauf raised nearly $105,000 in 38 days, and in just 2 months since her campaign’s launch, her message landed her on the NRCC Young Guns list and the Elevate PAC’s Women to Watch list.

As the Simon Sinek video says, people want to believe in what you believe, and Lauf has captured a message that touches hearts, and that is why she has quickly built a volunteer following not only locally, but across the country, which leads to her next strength:

Social Media

This strength’s explanation best begins with a comparison of Lauf to the other NRCC On the Radar candidates in the primary field.

The “follows” metrics were collected on Wednesday afternoon on October 30. In addition to the top-tier candidates in this race, the woman everyone in the primary field wants to face is included.

And keep in mind, Republican primary voters will be determining which candidate is the best one to face Underwood in November of 2020:

Lauf         24,409          16,332            6,574
Oberweis               777 N/A           3,143
Gradel               241 N/A               547
Rezin                 73 N/A           6,805
Underwood         89,673          19,954          18,791

Based on the numbers above, which of the top-tier candidates is better positioned to challenge Underwood?

Lauf’s Twitter following was around 1,000 when she kicked off her campaign back on August 22. How did it grow over 24 fold in 2 months? Go to Message section above, and you see a result, along with the money earned between August 22 and September 30.

How many of those followers on social media are 14th district residents is irrelevant. If they live in the United States, they can still donate money to her campaign, and can do online networking to introduce her to friends who may follow and contribute to her campaign.

To be fair, Oberweis, Gradel and Rezin have not been pushing their social media, and Oberweis has not ever included his Twitter ID on his campaign website.

And admittedly, Lauf did not even post to her Facebook account for a month and a half after September 11 and may suggest why her Facebook follows lag behind Twitter and Instagram. But her campaign is posting again there now.

Why is social media important? When a campaign needs to let their supporters know something important, in a few keystrokes, the message goes out instantly. Beats knocking on a couple of thousands of doors or making a couple of thousand phone calls.

Lauf’s campaign is not ignoring retail, door-to-door campaigning, just communicating with supporters on a regular basis and will do so throughout her campaign.

It’s the way campaigns are won, or lost, going into the 2nd decade of the 21st century. On the social media follows front, Lauf is beating her Republican opponents hands down.

Only Candidate Concerning Underwood, Democrats and Leftists

At this point in the campaign, this strength in her Republican primary campaign is unique only to Lauf, and can be traced to the previous 2 strengths.

Some parody/faux social media sites popped up being run by members of Indivisible and other local leftist organizations. These sites started emerging within a week after Lauf launched her campaign.

One such site on Twitter had a very familiar name following it — Ronnie Cho, the New York City-based campaign manager of Lauren Underwood herself.

To my knowledge, he still follows the site.

None of the other Republican candidates can claim this kind of attention, which shows, at this point, Lauf is the only Republican the Democrats/Left do not want to face.

Tomorrow, Part 2: Lauf’s Opportunties


IL-14: Catalina Lauf and Her Unapologetic Love for Our Country, Part 1: Strengths — 16 Comments

  1. I can hardly wait for Part 2 of your fascinating take on this inexperienced candidate who seems to be running on a bunch of feel good platitudes (love of country, value of hard work, I’m for veterans) and her only apparent support is your lap dog, cloying enthusiasm.

    What does Mrs. Lopez think about your perverse fondness for Catalina Fluff?

    Do you sit around and tell her how Fluff “resonates across the country.”

    If you are not already there, you are making a fool of yourself over this cupcake, particularly now that you are spinning her in your Christian beliefs.

    When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours

  2. Yet another misogynistic rant from Heinrich, continuing his Carrie Nation campaign, warning of the evils of the conventionally attractive Lauf.

  3. Hinderbinder-Again I will ask, why is she any more unqualified, something you shout from the top of the mountain, than Underwood was two years ago?

    Please expound.

  4. When we peg political approval to social media we are truly sunk.

    Maybe Lauf is the best person who can beat the witch, but to say she’s the best because some paid algorithm spits out social media posts is absurd.

  5. For the record I think Lauf would be a fine candidate to take on Underwood but come on with these metrics.

    Voters don’t care about her twitter or instagram following.

    She had a great introductory video that said she was the Republican AOC which got a lot of attention nationwide, I would wager 80% of her followers at least don’t live in the district.

    Also she only raised 100k in her first quarter in also partly because of the nationwide attention she got from her video.

    The other candidates are independently wealthy and can self-finance, she cannot.

    If you’re telling me Rezin and Gradel don’t concern the Underwood or the dems then I have a bridge to sell you.

  6. Some interesting exchanges and before mid-morning.

    Some of what is being said will come up in Part 2.

    FLamont, agreed she raised the $100K in her first quarter, but be clear, she only had a little over 1/3 of a 92-day-calendar quarter, and if you “quarterize” the number she is in the neighborhood of 1/4 million.

    Can she keep up that momentum, we will not know until mid January.

    A news release from her campaign that we published last month claimed her campaign had a $100K/month pace, but we won’t know in January if she’ll have raised $300K plus.

    Hopefully, her campaign will have factored-in the drop-off when the Holidays begin in earnest for most people on 11/27.

    But if her campaign pulls off the fundraising goal, or even exceeds it, than it will only prove the point about her messaging transcends money, and you don’t have to have a lot of money if you have the right message for voters.

    We’ll know for certain in 2 1/2 months.

    Earlier this year, I saw a little evidence of concern from Underwood’s campaign manager about concern over Rezin’s at-the-time pending candidacy, and I saw none about Gradel.

    Gradel is not known, since he, like Lauf, is a newcomer.

    But compared to the organic grassroots fear the Left reacted to with Lauf’s campaign, it’s no comparison.

    Like everyone else, the Left sees something different about Lauf.

    A significant component is her messaging.

    They see it as a genuine threat to Underwood, and they are reacting now.

    Recently, the Left have been pulling her teenage driving records trying to make hay with them.

    Not doing that with anyone else, either.

    Actuelle, if you haven’t watched the Sinek video embedded in last month’s article, please do so.

    The social media metrics are a result of the “why” message, not the message itself.

    It’s a metric, like fundraising that is measurable and we can see right now.

    At some point, all of the campaigns will be doing polling, and independent 3rd parties will do their polling for this race, too.

    That will be a “result”, too.

    But lack of polling, the few metrics we have of a campaign’s success are fundraising and social media, and should any of the candidates other than Lauf come up short in March, don’t think they won’t look back and say to themselves “should have done more with social media”.

  7. Heinrich is obsessed with John Lopez.

    Underwood was totally inexperienced.

    Heinrich is just worried Lauf may emerge as a candidate that the Identity Politicized white-guilted, suburban, working/housewives could vote for (now that they realize the dishonest Fake Nurse is too radical for them) i.e. Part of the Squad, aborting viable babies, would rather work on impeaching Trump than work for the people when Bills for Veterans, Lowering Prescriptions, are right at hand.

  8. 100k in a month is great, but you can’t just extrapolate it and say “Well she basically would’ve raised 300k if she was in the whole quarter.”

    Most candidate’s 1st quarter in is their strongest because they shore up their staunch supporters and create a buzz with their announcement. It tends to wane after that, look at Gradel.

    If she can raise 300k in a quarter then yes she’s top tier but that remains to be seen and very doubtful.

    Also I haven’t seen anything about her driving record. There’s no way the DCCC is only shopping oppo on her and not the other candidates.

  9. FLamont, let’s take your 2nd point first.

    I wasn’t talking about the DCCC, but I can see how one can infer that.

    The DCCC let oppo research out of the can when the Congressman Rooney retirement was announced, out came the anti-Oberweis and the FL residency question, not-paying-his-share-of-taxes points.

    Personally, I responded to that in Twitter saying the 14th district has so much talent, why not Oberweis run in FL next August and 14th district can share-the-wealth.

    The DCCC is not the ones pulling Lauf’s teenaged driving record, it’s the local leftist groups, and I’ve seen them online at their site, which leads to why my emphasis is on local Democrats.

    My emphasis was the fact local Democrats on their own, set up their own opposition site against Lauf, and they were inspired by Lauf’s message. That oppo site lured Ronnine Cho as an early follower of it.

    This ties into the first part, but where it really ties into is what was said on the Simon Sinek video that explains how her message “Starts with Why” produced the reactions, both positive and negative, that it did.

    Sinek explained people respond to messages like hers biologically, not psychologically.

    He explained briefly how the limbic brain function works, and why people respond to messages that stimulate the limbic part of our brain function.

    The local leftists had a reaction to Lauf’s messaging as did everyone else, and that is because unlike Oberweis, Gradel and Marter who come at you with conventional messaging or copying someone else’s messaging, her heart felt message is original and reaches for the heart of people want to believe in what you believe.

    As to the fundraising, I agree with you that time will tell, and we’ll know by mid January for certain.

    Where we differ is if Lauf is top tier now.

    She definitely is, and in the time since the publication of the October 18 ranking, the Elevate PAC and the NRCC added Lauf to their respective candidates’ lists.

    Since you brought up Gradel, compare these points to Lauf:

    – she has not loaned herself money, where he has loaned himself $130,000
    – all of her money raised can be used in the primary, through 9/30, a little over $100K Gradel raised cannot be used in the primary

    Something else Sinek said in the video is when he applied the “Start with Why” message with the long-established law of Diffusion of Innovations. That theory has been around for over 55 years, so it’s nothing new.

    Has Lauf maxed-out her initial donors and initial buzz? Or is she still resonating with “early adopters” as far as fundraising goes.

    We won’t know for certain until mid January, but given her message’s resonance I’m going to think she has barely tapped her fundraising potential.

    Just some food for thought that we will not have any complete answers until mid-January.

  10. I agree that if Oberweis really wanted to be in Congress he should just run for the Rooney seat.

    He would have a better chance that way and I think it would give Rs a better chance at beating Underwood as well.

    I guess he and his campaign don’t see it that way though, which is a shame.

  11. “Heinrich is obsessed with John Lopez”. Republikkklans, the masters of projection…tic, tock, tic, tock, tic, tock, tic, tock, meeeeeeoooooooowwwwwwwwww…

  12. I can’t wait to read about Lauf’s opportunities; although I’ve never heard of her before…tic, tock, tic, tock, tic, tock, tic, tock, tic, tock…

  13. Her great bravery in loving the United States is laudable. (Sarcasm)

  14. Fun Fact: 97% of this blog’s sarcasm, is from extremely stupid people hoping to look smart.

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