IL-17: District in Play as Incumbent Democrat Cheri Bustos Target of Super PAC

Esther Joy King
Cheri Bustos

Millennial Esther Joy King surge in polls results in spending for attack ad

Back on October 20, McHenry County Blog published an article about an Independent Expenditure (IE) in the 14th congressional district race.

In comments, I responded when the IL-17 was brought up when a commenter brought up Cook Political Report’s published ratings changes in House races. The 17th had been adjusted in Republican challenger’s Esther Joy King’s favor from “Likely Democrat” to “Leans Democrat”:

“Since you brought up IL-17, let’s talk about the timing of that ratings change that was published early this morning (10/21) and events I’ve been tracking that lead up to the change.

“An internal poll’s executive summary leaked to the media showing Congresswoman Bustos leading Republican Esther Joy King by only 5 points on 10/13. By 10/14, Bustos has an attack ad up against King.

“By Thursday, 10/15, a 2nd poll from different pollster is released to the media showing Bustos up only 6 points.

“Just over a week, ratings change.”

John Lopez comments 10/21/20

.

On Saturday, the Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF) super PAC launched an attack ad through an IE titled “Connections”:

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) filing of the IE Form 24 on Sunday afternoon revealed the total amount of the TV ad buy to be $433K in opposition to Bustos.

The FEC Pre-General Election reports for both Bustos and King this past Thursday included the following cash-on-hand amounts through October 14:

  • Bustos: $1.7 million
  • King: $53K

Since the 14th, King has raised at least $113K in contributions reported through FEC Form 6 filings. Small dollar contributions, if any, are not included in Form 6 filings.

The additional $433K IE draws the money totals for King over half million, either directly or indirectly through an IE.

Flipping the 17th would be quite a feat, given Bustos is the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) which makes her the number 6 Democrat in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s leadership team.

King, an Army Reserve captain in the Judge Advocate General corps, practices civilian law in East Moline.

Illinois House races now have 3 districts with super PAC expenditures for TV advertising buys.

Should be an interesting final 8 days until Election Day in the 17th.


Comments

IL-17: District in Play as Incumbent Democrat Cheri Bustos Target of Super PAC — 47 Comments

  1. Forget what the public polls say and watch how the democrats are acting. They are losing and they know it.

  2. Bustos goes bust. She’s a swamp creature all right.

    Neal, what about all the cheat by mail?

  3. I think that vote by mail will backfire. The error rate is high so many democrat votes will actually not get counted.

    In the end I think the Trump victory will be large enough where they simply can’t cheat.

    There is a second hidden vote out there for Trump that no one is talking about.

    It’s the vote against the dems by people who don’t want to admit publicly they are ok with more dying because the lockdown is worse.

  4. John –

    One week has passed since that blog entry. So when are you expecting the IL-14 rating move to the right??? Give us your prediction please.

    Bad polls coming out for Trump.

    Blue wave.

    Red bloodbath. Time for me to put some Champaign on ice.

    Hopefully the numbers from NC, GA, and TX will allow me to enjoy it November 3rd.

    If I have to wait a couple days, that’s fine too.

    I know I won’t have to wait to enjoy some Jeni’s Ice Cream on November 3rd.

  5. …the Jeni’s ice cream to celebrate the re-election of Congresswoman Underwood and a solid Dem majority in the United States House of Representatives.

  6. Oh is going to be crying and eating ice cream following the election is what it sounds like to me.

    There are some underlying trends that are simply being ignored by the polls. The polls make certain assumptions about who is voting and weight the result based on that. There is definitely a significant backlash out there against the democrats because of the lockdowns and the way they have handled the riots. We will see a huge turnout for Trump on election day because of this. I simply don’t trust the polls because they are based on assumptions from historical data and this year is definitely unprecedented. Besides this, they do not agree with what my eyes, ears and brain are telling me.

  7. Neal –

    I’m guessing that’s because you live in a right wing media bubble. If I consumed Fox News and right wing media I’d probably feel the same way as you. Hate to break this to you but your reality is not reality….. Maybe after next week try living in the real world.

  8. The Biden supporters are the silent majority. Around here, I see Trump flags and shirts everywhere. I see the super spreader rallies and the anti-science protests on the street. We, the silent majority, see you. Trump narrowly won McHenry County in 2016 but Biden is winning McHenry County in 2020.

    Interesting numbers from 60098 (Biden +199, 63.32%), 60014 (Biden +358, 64%), 60156 (Biden +112, 61%), 60142 (Biden +115, 57.5%), 60012 (Biden +48, 58%). Biden leads in just about every McHenry County zip code. In the very few McHenry County zip codes with more Trump donors the margins are very small, practically even. There are WAAAAAAAYYYYYY more Biden backers in McHenry County.

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/10/25/us/politics/trump-biden-campaign-donations.html?referringSource=articleShare

    IN MCHENRY COUNTY THE BIDEN SUPPORTERS ARE THE SILENT MAJORITY!

  9. If that’s what you want to think OK. Try getting out there and talking to people.

    I have discussed this race with at least 100 people I don’t even know and they all mostly disagree with you.

  10. Neal –

    You proved my point. If you are talking to over 100 people and they mostly all have the same point of view on this election, then you are living in a right wing bubble. In other words, if you are only out there talking and listening to one side then you are only out there talking and listening to one side.

  11. John:

    In the 2016 Presidential election, Trump won IL-17 by less than one percentage point. In that election, Bustos took 60% of the vote. Two years later, in 2018, Bustos took 62% of the vote.

    What could possibly make you think Bustos is likely to lose this election?

  12. Mr. Willson, in both 2016 and 2018, inferior Republican opponents were running against Cheri Bustos and the vote totals prove.

    Esther Joy King is the first credible challenger to Bustos since 2014, when former Congressman Bobby Schilling unsuccessfully challenged her to win the seat back.

    As said in the article, the polling in the race two weeks ago was close. Bustos released an attack ad against King, so her campaign thought it was close, and with the ratings change last week, and the super PAC IE, it’s close.

    Not brought up in the article, but something playing through much of the 17th is the Supreme Court Justice Tom Kilbride retention contest, as significant part of the 17th falls within the 3rd Supreme Court district.

    Also, voters who stayed home in 2018 are motivated to vote not only because it’s a presidential, but also the graduated income tax amendment and voters do not want a tax increase, particularly retirees who see the Democrats are more likely to start taxing retirement income if it can be spun that “only the rich” will be impacted.

    Finally, if over a half-million dollars goes into the 17th, either through the IE, or direct donations to King, Bustos donors/super PAC believe King as a legitimate shot to flip the district.

    Bustos not going to win by 20+ points next week and very well could lose. King has momentum.

  13. In IL-14 in 2016, the presidential vote was Clinton 44.8%, Trump 48.7%. Yet Underwood beat an incumbent Republican 52.5% to 47.5% in 2018.

    In IL-6 in 2016, the presidential vote was Clinton 50.2%, Trump 43.2%. And Casten beat the incumbent Republican in 2018, 53.6% to 46.4%.

    Neither Underwood nor Casten nor Bustos has committed any specific act so egregious as to cause Democrats or Independents to abandon them.

    Therefore their defeat must be predicated upon the expectation of a much higher turnout by VERY strong Republicans than in the prior two elections.

    As an analyst, any prediction that I make is based on the best evidence available to me. Whether I support a particular candidate or not has no bearing on my conclusion.

    To date, I have seen no polling or other data that indicate such a swing.

    On the contrary, Politico says IL-6 is “likely Democratic”, and IL-14 “leans Democratic”.

    They also list IL-17 as “likely Democratic”.

    FiveThirtyEight shows Bustos ahead in IL-17, 49% to 44%, as of 10/16/20.

    They give Bustos a 95% chance of winning.

    They give Casten an 85% chance of winning.

    They give Underwood an 86% chance of winning.

    So, John, what evidence do you have to support a different conclusion?

  14. Steve –

    John Lopez is a hack who is pushing a narrative that the GOP is posed for great election results. He knows this will not happen but he’ll peddle this BS for as long as he can.

    Here’s my prediction: On election day before we see any results some in, John Lopez will concede that Dems will win and probably win big. This way, in the next election, John Lopez can try to justify that he has some sort of credibility. This way, in 2022 John Lopez can say, “Nice try, Oh! Last election I predicted a big night for Dems. 2022 is different from 2020 and the election always favors the party not in the White House.”

    If he sticks with this bit and predicts, through election night, that Trump and The Milk Dud will win, then he’ll be reminded about for as long as he blogs. But I can’t see that happening. He’ll save face and predict a good night for Biden and Underwood before any results come in.

  15. Oh no, a hack is a mediocre professional.

    A poseur is a person who pretends to be what he or she is not; an affected or insincere person.

  16. “Therefore their defeat must be predicated upon the expectation of a much higher turnout by VERY strong Republicans than in the prior two elections”

    This is not true. I don’t know why you don’t expect some sort of backlash against the failure to control riots on the part of democrats. You also have a lot of people who are not happy with the lockdowns that will not be voting blue this year. Quite a few moderate democrats are not happy with the party on either of these issues. Even if they vote for Biden because they hate Trump, I can see a lot of split ticket voting going on.

  17. Mr. Willson, you are mixing a lot of apples and oranges.

    I thought your question was on IL-17. Leave out IL-06 and IL-14 as they have little bearing in the 17th.

    I’ve already stated the metrics, the two polls from two weeks ago in the 17th. Specifically, a Tarrance Group poll and a Public Opinion Strategies poll had Bustos leading King by 5 points and 6 points respectively.

    No polls released since then.

    In between the two polls, Bustos released an attack ad, criticizing King for moving into the district just prior to 2020 elections last year. Clearly in response to polling, either her own and/or Tarrance Group.

    Ratings change on 10/21 by Cook Political to “Leans Democrat” from “Likely Democrat”, and then Independent Expenditure. Super PACs don’t make six-figure ad buy decisions in a vacuum, so Congressional Leadership Fund saw something to justify their decision.

    Sabato hasn’t changed its rating in IL-17, yet, but DailyKOS (whom I don’t use as a major ratings, along with POLITICO) changed from “Safe Democrat” to “Likely Democrat” today.

    Interesting FiveThirtyEight margin consistent with the two polls released two weeks ago in the 17th.

    At this late stage in the game, watching the IEs is a better indicator unless polling data is released. I will stand by the prediction I said earlier responding to you, that Bustos won’t win by no 20+ points.

  18. “This is not true. I don’t know why you don’t expect some sort of backlash against the failure to control riots on the part of democrats. You also have a lot of people who are not happy with the lockdowns that will not be voting blue this year. Quite a few moderate democrats are not happy with the party on either of these issues. Even if they vote for Biden because they hate Trump, I can see a lot of split ticket voting going on.”

    Riots – Trump is much worse on race relations. Trump is a divider. Biden is a unifier. This is happening under Trump’s watch and he’s done nothing except to make race relations worse.

    Lockdowns – Again, this is all happening under Trump and the lockdowns were put in place because he failed to prepare us, he ignored the warnings, he is still mocking people who wear masks.

    Like you pointed out, many people are not happy. That’s not going to help the guy who occupies the White House and wants another 4 years. We are ready for a change and ready to move on past this disgrace.

    Turn off Fox News.

  19. John,

    I’d be very interested in hearing FIRM predictions from you, including percentages, for IL-6, IL-14 and IL-17.

    I predict 6+ percentage point victories for Democrats in IL-6 and IL-14, 14+ percentage points in IL-17.

  20. “Riots – Trump is much worse on race relations. Trump is a divider. Biden is a unifier. This is happening under Trump’s watch and he’s done nothing except to make race relations worse”

    Biden isn’t a unifier and he picked a very divisive radical running mate. You are making the same assumptions about blacks that Biden made, if you don’t vote Democrat you ain’t black. I predict Trump will pull 20%+ of the black vote this year. He is probably more popular than you realize among black males.

    “Lockdowns – Again, this is all happening under Trump and the lockdowns were put in place because he failed to prepare us, he ignored the warnings, he is still mocking people who wear masks”

    Trump has nothing to do with the lockdown, that’s all on Pritzker. It’s nonsense to think that if we just got a few more people to wear masks it would all be better. Covid is a highly contagious infections disease that in reality can’t be stopped and everyone knows it. It’s a virus. I believe people have come to terms with that and are ready to start getting back to life.

  21. No Mr. Willson,

    I don’t get into making predictions, FIRM or otherwise, as I do not have the level of analytics, let alone data, to make a prediction, and I trust very few other sources.

    Right now, I go with what metrics I see from spending, be it candidate’s or super PAC in TV advertising, or actual polling, whether top-lines and/or cross-tabs.

    Tonight, for instance, three major TV stations, saw only 1 Casten ad, an attack ad on Ives and Trump.

    Did not see any of Underwood’s ads, but the House Majority super PAC IE ad against Oberweis was seen once.

    Saw my first U.S. Senate ad on broadcast TV not from Dick Durbin, from Dr. Willie Wilson, which was an attack ad.

    Whether Underwood has pulled back her TV ad campaign because her polling is telling her, or she’s content to let the super PAC do her dirty work is unclear. If Underwood’s campaign is off the air, that means they likely have polling the election is over. If House Majority super PAC decides not to do a 2nd week of attack ads against Oberweis (will know tomorrow morning with House Majority press update), that’s an indication the 14th race is over. From what internal polling I’ve seen (but not at liberty to publish), I do not believe the 14th is over.

    If Underwood and the super PACs stay off the air after tonight, then the 14th, from Underwood’s perspective, is over.

    Casten is keeping to attack ads, so the 6th is closer and definitely not over.

  22. I like John’s method of look at what everyone is doing instead of how they say they are doing.

  23. John:

    In this article, you wrote that District 17 is “in play”, that the Republican challenger has a “surge in poll results” (which I don’t see), that “flipping the 17th would be quite a feat”, and it “should be an interesting final 8 days”, and in your comments you wrote that “Bustos… very well could lose”, but you don’t make predictions?

    In prior articles, you wrote about “more evidence of momentum” for Jim Oberweis, that the “the 14th in competitive and Lauren Underwood is in trouble”, that “mainstream voters in the 14th district [are] seeing through her”, that Oberweis’ recent commercial “should be effective”, but you don’t make predictions?

    In other articles, you wrote about Casten that “the race is closer than ratings indicate”, that “the 6th congressional district race is close”, that “Ives continues to close on Casten”, and that “Ives has made the IL-06 race one to watch”, but you don’t make predictions?

  24. Steve,

    The 17th is clearly in play, as I just posted, a 2nd super PAC did a TV ad buy for Esther Joy King, and she raised an additional $26.4K in donations.

    The 6th race is closer based on Casten running significantly negative TV ads, including tonight.

    That tells me he is not secure where he is at, and feels he has to attack Ives. That means close race.

    14th district, the fact a super PAC spent significant high ($560K) attack against Oberweis says the super PAC was nervous about Oberweis.

    We’ll see if Oberweis gets his new commercials on the air tomorrow. Didn’t see one tonight.

  25. “It’s nonsense to think that if we just got a few more people to wear masks it would all be better. Covid is a highly contagious infections disease that in reality can’t be stopped and everyone knows it. It’s a virus. I believe people have come to terms with that and are ready to start getting back to life.”

    Wearing masks is nonsense and nothing can be done. WOW!

    Neal is saying this because that’s what Mark Meadows said on Sunday talk shows. Right here is why Trump is so dangerous and this right here is why Trump is directly to blame for the deaths and letting a deadly virus spread through our country which has forces businesses to shut down, costs millions their job, and killed hundreds of thousands.

    It’s so sad to see how DUMB we’ve become as a nation.

  26. Look… John only writes posts that claims that the Republicans are doing great, or have momentum, or some other positive spin for the GOP candidate.

    John thinks it is great for Esther Joy King that she is down 5-6 points out 2 weeks out from election day when a bunch of votes are already in, because the Super PACs are spending.

    John thinks it is great for Oberweis/Ives that Underwood and Casten are running negative ads, but it is clear that little national money is flowing in these races.

    John is right that Bustos isn’t going to win by 20 points.

    We agree on something.

    But Bustos is going to be fine, even though she’s running in a pro-Trump district.

    And Casten and Ives are also going to be fine, and as Steve said, will likely win by 6+ points.

    The only Congressional race that is really in play is the Rodney Davis race, and that is super tight and no one knows how that will end.

  27. Also… I’ve never seen the negative Underwood ads run on TV.

    She is blasting the airwaves and they are all positive.

  28. Alabama –

    It’s funny because John isn’t that good at spin. He says stupid stuff like, “Trump endorses Milk Dud and that’s evidence of momentum for Milk Dud!”

    Nonsense.

  29. Oh, you are an idiot.

    I have been saying that it’s a virus that you can’t stop for months.

    Did it ever occur to you that maybe Trump has some polling showing that this is a popular line of thinking?

  30. And I never said don’t wear masks.

    I said that getting the last 5% of people who are not wearing them will have no real impact.

    It’s called diminishing returns.

    I never suggested that everyone should stop wearing a mask.

    Wearing more masks however will have no impact, it’s a false talking point.

  31. **Did it ever occur to you that maybe Trump has some polling showing that this is a popular line of thinking?**

    Polling shows that Anthony Fauci has been one of the most trusted people in America during the pandemic, yet Trump continues to attack him over and over and over again.

    Trump doesn’t listen to polling.

  32. Alabama, Oh is correct.

    Underwood has not run negative ads.

    The Oberweis hit piece, “Against”, is funded as an Independent Expenditure (IE) from House Majority super PAC.

    Last week when the super PAC announced its entry in IL-14, it announced its buy budget to be $560K.

    The IE FEC filing only signaled little less then half the budget amount for the 14th.

    I anticipate the super PAC will purchase the final week’s ad buy and the $560K budget accurate.

    We’ll see that on the FEC filing this week.

    Oh right that I’m not “good at spin”.

    Since I don’t do spin, just write the truth, should be no surprise I’m not good at spin.

    Finally, today’s Capitol Fax has a good compilation of stories from IL-17:

    https://capitolfax.com/2020/10/27/did-the-republicans-catch-bustos-off-guard/

  33. “I have been saying that it’s a virus that you can’t stop for months. Did it ever occur to you that maybe Trump has some polling showing that this is a popular line of thinking?”

    First of all, if 4 years has shown us anything about Trump’s governing style, it’s that Trump governs to his base. He does not govern to the general public. He listens to his base.

    Second of all, WTF? Trump should be out there informing the public on how to help SLOW (not stop, I agree it cannot be stopped but it can most definitely, 100%, absolutely, can be SLOWED) the spread by encouraging people to wear masks. It’s called being a leader. That’s what leaders do. He shouldn’t be checking polls to see how his base feels AND THEN react accordingly.

  34. “Since I don’t do spin, just write the truth, should be no surprise I’m not good at spin.”

    Stop it John. You don’t “just write facts.” In fact, you write up posts then add your own COMMENTARY which are not based in fact. You frequently offer up opinions and predictions so just stop. You comment on posts and offer up opinions and predictions.

    I’m going to buy some Jeni’s ice cream for election night. The reason I am doing that is because you predicted that when Nancy Pelosi showed a freezer of Jeni’s ice cream during a pandemic it would somehow affect the IL-14 race or be an issue in IL-14. You literally said this would set the tone for the election and you said it in the middle of a pandemic. How insightful!

    http://mchenrycountyblog.com/2020/04/19/kingdom-man-called-home-arthur-evans-sr-august-12-1929-november-25-2019-copy/

    John Lopez on 04/19/2020 at 11:48 am said: Who would have thought Speaker Pelosi’s kitchen and the contents of her expensive freezer in her kitchen would set the tone for fall House campaigns. Think ahead to all the political ads on TV this fall using the video from Corden’s interview with Pelosi, complete with her eating a Dove ice cream bar.

    John Lopez on 04/19/2020 at 5:20 pm said: That video image of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi eating the Dove-chocolate-dipped-on-a-stick ice cream is going to be playing well in the fall, and Oberweis had gotten some new life courtesy of Pelosi. Believe me, both Lauren Underwood and Sean Casten cringed when Pelosi’s kitchen and her deluxe appliances were shown from her kitchen in her mansion on Pacific Heights in San Francisco….. Oberweis has Nancy Pelosi to thank. D J said it best, and Pelosi had a “let them eat ice cream” moment the Republicans can rally around.

  35. You can make that argument against Trump’s messaging, but I’d still say that it would have little real world impact.

    Most people are already wearing masks despite anything he said.

    I don’t think that covid is even the top issue.

    Far more important is the unrest and violence.

    Covid is a distraction from that.

    Don’t worry BLM probably just handed Pennsylvania to Trump with yet another unjustified riot and attack on our police officers.

  36. ** Since I don’t do spin, just write the truth, should be no surprise I’m not good at spin.**

    This is hilarious. Do you seriously believe that you don’t do spin?

  37. Neal – Covid is not a distraction from BLM you fool. You have it so a$$ backwards it’s pretty sad. The civil unrest is not a threat to me or anyone I know. It’s just like in 2018 when Trump and the GOP wanted us scared over the BS caravan on the southern boarder. That was a BS story and so is the civil unrest. I know many many many people hospitalized and out of work because of COVID. Luckly, knock on wood, I don’t know anyone who has died but I know people who have lost family to COVID. I know of no one who was hurt with the civil unrest. It’s crazy to think that people are more afraid of “civil unrest” than COVID. Crazy. Nuts.

    Fox News is rotting your brain. I’m not going to argue with you anymore because you are already radicalized. But here’s the deal…. when you wake up next Wednesday wondering what the heck just happened to Trump and the GOP, channel this post. Turn off Fox News. Fox News is mostly opinion and it’s propaganda for a deeply unpopular president and political party. Turn it off start following legitimate new sources. I’m not saying you should change your views or vote differently. You can still support the GOP and team red. I’m just saying you need a new perspective on reality, because the Fox News and the right wing media is pushing a false reality.

    Good luck to you!

  38. If you don’t think BLM is a threat than you got it backwards. A Marxist domestic terror organization is a much larger threat than a virus that 99.7% survive. Pay no attention to riots or the police who are being attacked for doing their job.

    I’m not a life long republican. I don’t watch Fox News at all. I don’t want to just watch people who agree with me. I purposely watch things that counter my point of view.

    It’s just common sense that the violence we are continuing to see along with talking about things like packing the court and adding states and so on is a much greater threat to our country.

    Where we differ is that I think our country is great and you don’t. You think we are better off if we destroy it and start over.

  39. “The civil unrest is not a threat to me or anyone I know.”

    You must not know anyone in the city then.

    What privilege you must have to not have to worry about such things.

  40. “and left one thing off. the 92% stat is garbage. here’s a photo of the 8% crowd at a, shocker, indoor GOP event. 92% lol….”

    Maybe the study is flawed but don’t tell us about science and then point to one picture to prove your point.

    That is definitely not science, that is one picture.

    We all have been to Walmart and we all know that most people are wearing masks.

  41. “If you don’t think BLM is a threat than you got it backwards. A Marxist domestic terror organization is a much larger threat than a virus that 99.7% survive. Pay no attention to riots or the police who are being attacked for doing their job.”

    How many people have BLM killed? Not affected but killed. Have many people have BLM KILLED? You say that 99.7% “survive” the virus. fine. that means you are not taking into account people who are hospitalized and recover. If we are using your metrics than “the police who are being attacked for doing their job” survive (your metric, not mine!) are fine.

    Now, I am actually very supportive of police in general and very much against riots and looting. But if we are going to compare the virus to the unrest, compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges.

    Don’t ignore the people who are hospitalized but also bring up injured officers who for the overwhelming most part, recover just fine. If you want to compare 99.7% survival rate to BLM, then compare 225,000 DEATHS to how many police officer/civilian deaths?

    Personally, I think it makes more sense to talk about the injured officer who and all the people who are sick but recover. But if you do that, your COVID stat is not 99.7% of people.

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