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Alexi Giannoulias, Mark Kirk set for November Senate showdown in Illinois

Illinois state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias (D) and Rep. Mark Kirk (R) claimed their respective party nominations for the state's Senate seat Tuesday night, victories that ensure the Prairie State will host one of the marquee contests this fall.

Giannoulias won a five-point victory over former Chicago Inspector General David Hoffman with Chicago Urban League President Cheryle Jackson finishing a distant third. Hoffman conceded to Giannoulias just before 11 pm eastern time.

"We know that in this environment, Democrats cannot take anything for granted, and that is why Alexi's campaign is already working hard to frame the race," said Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (N.J.) of Giannoulias' victory.

Kirk dispatched conservative businessman Patrick Hughes -- among others -- with ease. "Tonight, we begin a journey together to right our ship of state and reclaim our place as the honest Land of Lincoln -- the center of North America's economy and crossroads of the nation," Kirk said in his victory address.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee moved quickly to define Giannoulias as part of a corrupt, broken political machine with the release of a web video detailing his alleged ties to the mafia.

In the other high-profile race of the night, Gov. Pat Quinn (D) clung to a 5,000 vote lead over state Comptroller Dan Hynes with 98 percent of precincts reporting. The Republican gubernatorial primary was even closer with state Sen. Bill Brady leading fellow state Sen. Kirk Dillard by just over 1,000 votes. (Check out the Chicago Tribune page for regular updates.)

Giannoulias began the Senate primary as the favorite -- enjoying significant establishment support from the party and jumping out to an early fundraising lead. But, Giannoulias' family bank -- Broadway Bank -- proved to be a problem for the frontrunner as Hoffman used some of the negative publicity surrounding it to cast Giannoulias as a corrupt insider.

Ultimately, however, the weight of Giannoulias' establishment backing -- particularly downstate -- proved decisive.

Kirk's victory was far more pedestrian as he took 57 percent of the vote in a crowded field filled with underfunded candidates. Kirk stumbled out of the gate in his primary, making several transparent appeals to conservatives but Hughes, who was seen as his most credible challenger, was never able to put together the money to make a serious race of it.

Kirk is seeking to become the first Republican in more than a decade to win a Senate seat in Illinois. He has been among the most impressive fundraisers in the country, collecting $1.8 million over the past three months and ending 2009 with more than $3 million in the bank.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 3, 2010; 12:19 AM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Next: Illinois primary produces close races; No favorite in 2012 GOP presidential race


The people of Chicago Illinois just can't get enough CORRUPTION,. They had the PERFECT CANDIDATE in DAVID HOFFMAN, a man with NO POLITICAL TIES, the INSPECTOR GENERAL of CHICAGO that weeded out corruption, and who do these M@R@NS vote for ANOTHER ONE OF DALEY'S/MADIGANS hand puppets. I could;t believe the stupidity of these people. What a bunch of @$$ WIPES. Glad I am getting the H&LL out of this CITY and STATE before the next election.

Posted by: itscc721 | February 4, 2010 12:43 AM | Report abuse

..."Hey Ill don't make the misstake Mass made by electing a Republican! Big Mistake for Mass, as America still reeling from the last eight years of Republican rule that has lost 8 Million jobs, left you all American's a record debt/deficit/bill $1.5 TRILLION Dollars and my favorite fact, left office with the Lowest Job approval rating in the history of the United States Presidency, 20%! These facts matter Ill, and you matter, "Vote Democratic, Is a Vote for Health Care Reform, and a New Jobs Bill that will put all Americans back to work! Help America Ill, Vote Democratic and put us back on the right track for change all American's can believe in!

The REpublicans record has ruined the United States economy and image around the world you know it, Ill, say "NO" to the party of "NO" and boot'em out!

..."As a registered Voter/Vet USAF, I am disgusted with what the REpublicans have done to my country and you should be too...

Posted by: ztcb41 | February 3, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Color you said you moved to a great country. You made a choice guess what don't care what you think and you are not missed. Lexi was a loan officer at family bank.He is connected with the impeached Gov. There is some kind of scandal about money connected to the Blog which should be in jail instead of walking around. Doesn't matter if Kirk is Gay or not. He appears to be his own person. The same was being said about Alexi all the pictures he had was with momma.Last night on the news briefly said his fiance. We had a Gov. that had all indicationof being gay and when he was elected suddenly got married.

Posted by: sbhappe34 | February 3, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Dino Rossi? Please. Someone needs to get out of the basement once in a while. Rossi is a three-time loser, a nasty petty and vindictive little man not liked by anyone around here. His name appears on bumperstickers on old beaters and behemoth land yachts. He's a supporter of big business and has nothing for working people.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 3, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

The GOP's confidence is on the rise..big time! First the GOP takes the Governors offices in both Virginia and New Jersey. Then the GOP took Ted Kennedy's Senate. Now, if Kirk takes Obama's will be the strongest sign of discontent of the President's policies. Furthermore, i feel this ripple effect would go further into the old seats of Biden and Clinton.. Could a political miracle happen of the GOP taking ten seats and becoming the majority?

Posted by: bobby2012 | February 3, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Look for some Lexi commericials showing Kirk morphing into Sarah Palin.

That would be accurate on a couple of levels, IYKWIMAITYD.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | February 3, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: ytrfyetityjytoeyhfjytug | February 3, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Democrats are pigs.

Posted by: DCer1 | February 3, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

I can see the campaign tag lines now:

Sexy Alexi -- Not Just Another Pretty Face

Mark Kirk -- Is He Or Isn't He? Only His Hairdresser Knows For Sure

Posted by: JPDupre | February 3, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Illinois is the most corrupt state in America, thanks to Barack Obama and the other Chicago thugs in the Democratic machine.

This election is shaping up to be a classic battle of Good (Kirk) versus Evil (Giannoulias, aka Gigolo), just as the Governor's race will pit corrupt Democrat against a reform Republicans.

This fall election will be an indictment of Obama's culture of corruption. Don't know if we'll get a conviction on the Criminial-in-Chief, but I sure hope so.

Posted by: Jerzy | February 3, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

America ceased to be good when we repealed capital punishment for sexual deviants.

Posted by: JakeD2
Was it David Vitter that sponsored that repeal ?

Or Larry Craig ? Or Mark Foley ?

Couldn't have been Ensign, his mommy and daddy paid his mistress' husband and son off.

Just thought I'd ask before I hit the Appalachian Trail for a little R & R.

Posted by: dennissuper | February 3, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

noacoler: it's easier if you just ignore jaked2 or jaked, which ever he is today.
In his zeal he tends to misquote other posters, and thinks I'm stalking the bloghost because every once in awhile I remind everyone of CC's own words that show a definite GOP leaning. The last time jaked said anything to me was bragging that he had once been barred from the blog. Ignore him and maybe he'll go away again, his own choice, because he didn't like one of the posters here.

Posted by: katem1 | February 3, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

so far all obama has given America is unemployment...
while he keeps giving his homies trillions of dollars...

Posted by: DwightCollins | February 3, 2010 8:00 AM | Report abuse





Posted by: analgesic33 | February 3, 2010 7:50 AM | Report abuse

The Demoncraps are going to be crippled in the fall and then sent packing in 2012, with Odumbo screaming "Race!" as he and his pockets-filled-with-pilfered-items relatives are kicked out of the White House. Good riddance.

Posted by: tjhall1 | February 3, 2010 7:36 AM | Report abuse

The coffee just tastes better whenever I hear a Democrat lost or is losing a race somewhere. That the bums would get sent packing so soon after November 2008 (which leftists predicted would result in a permanent Democratic majority) is nothing short of divine intervention.

2012 cannot come soon enough!

Posted by: DCer1 | February 3, 2010 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Illinois, the "Prairie State?" Minnesota might have something to say about that.

Posted by: wings100 | February 3, 2010 6:22 AM | Report abuse

Can't say I think much of Giannoulias: too young, too little accomplished on his own, too open to attack because of his family's bank.

OTH, the Republicans are having some success with young, attractive confident candidates with very short resumes so maybe this is what attracts unengaged voters who aren't persuaded by experience and mad skills.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | February 3, 2010 6:16 AM | Report abuse

It is pretty easy to predict that Kirk would win over Giannoulias. Kirk is popular in Illinois. And Giannoulias is too connected to banks and also too connected to Obama personally. Both things are very unpopular now, and would be in November.

Posted by: aepelbaum | February 3, 2010 5:14 AM | Report abuse

Hillary lost Olympics for New York, before she lost primary. She would never ever won Olympics for Chicago, wewintheylose. Hillary is criminal, and the very heavy one, though she stuck gags into throats of people in USA, outside world knew it very well. She would be even a worse choice than Obama. And, under the circumstances, she was and is the terrible choice for SOS. Obama could have become a good, maybe even great president. He ruined himself, and one of his heaviest mistakes was the choice of Hillary as SOS.

Posted by: aepelbaum | February 3, 2010 5:09 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure if Quinn is official. Maybe not.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 3, 2010 4:18 AM | Report abuse

Obama has flat killed the democrat party. Hillary would have won Jersey, Virginia, Massachusetts, and probably won the Olympics for Chicago. You backed the wrong horse leftists, deal with it..

Posted by: wewintheylose | February 3, 2010 4:02 AM | Report abuse

For the Republicans, that is. Quinn wins the Dem nomination

Posted by: DDAWD | February 3, 2010 3:59 AM | Report abuse

Looks like the gov race is headed to a recount

Posted by: DDAWD | February 3, 2010 3:58 AM | Report abuse

Well, I see it took the national Repubs mere minutes to splash into the toilet with their campaign tactics on Youtube.

Posted by: 20steveltd | February 3, 2010 2:59 AM | Report abuse

I'm not the one fleeing my country.


I'm not the one yearning to see millions of people exterminated

Posted by: Noacoler | February 3, 2010 2:29 AM | Report abuse

Hahaha fleeing

yeah hotly pursued, a fugitive


who're these deviants you wanna see lynched?

Posted by: Noacoler | February 3, 2010 2:23 AM | Report abuse

I'm not the one fleeing my country.

Posted by: JakeD2 | February 3, 2010 2:16 AM | Report abuse

Seeing a black man in the White House, "openly gay" men on sitcoms, Bush's defense secretary preparing to overturn Clinton's ban on candor by gays in uniform, it's pleasant to know that JakeD lives in an America that has become foreign and wrong to him. A USA where abortion remains legal despite a fully Republican government, where a bigot is not a gentleman, and where he has to share bathrooms with dark-skinned men speaking foreign languages.

Việt Nam will feel like home to me by comparison.

Suffer, you rotten bigot, suffer.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 3, 2010 2:07 AM | Report abuse

You Dumbocrats just don't get it. It's not Obozo's old seat, it's the people's seat!!!


Posted by: A1965bigdog | February 3, 2010 1:57 AM | Report abuse

You Dumbocrats just don't get it. It's not Obozo's old seat, it's the people's seat!!!


Posted by: A1965bigdog | February 3, 2010 1:57 AM | Report abuse

Are you saying your gaydar is up ?


assuming the question isn't a goad... I don't watch TV, all I've seen of Kirk are still photos. He looks like he could easily be gay. I would need to hear him speak to get any idea.

Twenty years ago there were only closet cases and embarrassingly florid gay men, little middle ground. That's no longer true, so gaydar isn't all that reliable.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 3, 2010 1:56 AM | Report abuse

America ceased to be good when we repealed capital punishment for sexual deviants.


and exactly which sort of "deviants" are you hoping to see put to death, you sick freak?

Posted by: Noacoler | February 3, 2010 1:48 AM | Report abuse


Are you saying your gaydar is up ?


Posted by: 37thand0street | February 3, 2010 1:45 AM | Report abuse

America ceased to be good when we repealed capital punishment for sexual deviants.

Posted by: JakeD2 | February 3, 2010 1:44 AM | Report abuse

At least Kirk isn't a banker.

Posted by: postfan1 | February 3, 2010 1:41 AM | Report abuse

Kevin: we educated people don't spend a lot of time with average dullards but qhen we do find ourselves talking with one of them it quickly gets very dull. Not since high school do most of us spend a lot of time around 100 IQs. Not putting them down god love'em but let's be candid.

And half of us are dumber than that.

Dumb isn't new.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 3, 2010 1:41 AM | Report abuse

Thanks to the brainwashing by the corporate media, a lot of the electorate is plain dumb.

Posted by: kevin1231 | February 3, 2010 1:32 AM | Report abuse

Can anyone spell "since", "of", "Illinois" or "great"?


maybe he'll do a followup post and blame his typos on the "darn spellchecker" winky winky winky

Posted by: Noacoler | February 3, 2010 1:32 AM | Report abuse

So is Kirk gay or not? And how much would it matter to Republicans if he is?

Posted by: Noacoler | February 3, 2010 1:29 AM | Report abuse

@COWENS99: In "Democracy in America" written in 1835 and 1840 Alex de Tocqueville wrote that America is great because America is good, and that when America ceases to be good we will cease to be great.

I have a very hard time looking around at my fellow countrymen and getting much sense of "good."  We have a seriously sick conservative movement that is founded on hate and bigotry and which is not going away.  For my money the decay started with Reagan's election, I remember the night he won, his victory speech, all the dog-whistle for those rich clean people in th audience, applauding every time he said "economic growth" with that suggestive rising cadence.  The sickness picked up and hit stride with Bush the Lesser, a natural sadist, a man whose reelection was a referendum on torture.  It was on the night of his reelection, when my countrymen punched the chad for the guy whose greatest imperative was ignoring the Geneva Conventions and the threat to our natural environment, that I decided to leave the country of my birth and move to a very foreign land with a difficult language and a different culture, rather than go on living among people I was coming to despise.

And since then of course we've been polluted with the bitter fury of John McCain and the rise, briefly thank god, of the stupidest and nastiest woman in our political history.

America has ceased to be good, so America has ceased to be great.

The opening of elections to the ones with the loudest megaphones is just another boil popping out.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 3, 2010 1:26 AM | Report abuse

Can anyone spell "since", "of", "Illinois" or "great"?

Posted by: JakeD2 | February 3, 2010 1:15 AM | Report abuse

Alexi will thump Kirk. I know the national media are trying to pump up Kirk so they can embarass the president but watch Kirk get dismantled. He's a right winger posing as a moderate.

Posted by: lumi21us | February 3, 2010 1:13 AM | Report abuse

Sinc the recent Supreme Court Decision of election finance , elections are strictly money based.

The next Senator from Illnois, regardless od party, will wear trademark clothing like a NASCAR driver.

America before the decision was a gret country.

Can anyone spell Corporation of America.

Posted by: COWENS99 | February 3, 2010 1:08 AM | Report abuse

Nine months till the actual election. Nine months of Republican resurgence, Democrats in trouble, nothing good to say about the President, cute nicknames for boring people, cherry-picked polls, RNC pep talks as straight news, outright lies presented with zero critical review, and weekly if not daily puff pieces for Pawlenty! Palin! PAAAAAAALIIIIIN!!

Never mind, never mention, what a lousy and incompetent job Republicans do when they get any power.

Racists warmly welcomed in the comments, warnings and bannings for anyone not so inclined.

Welcome to The Fix. In return for this devotion Our Gracious Host gets to be in the *same room* with these jerks.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 3, 2010 1:07 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure Chris is happy that Sexy Lexi won - now he'll have months of being able to joke about him! Right up until November when he loses. And now Coats is in in IN. (wow, was able to type 'in' three times in a row and have it be gramatically correct!)

Posted by: seagraperealty | February 3, 2010 12:32 AM | Report abuse

Right now Bill Brady is ahead in the Republican primary by 1000 votes - absolutely amazing.

He was polling about 9% last night I checked -

And he has about 20% of the vote tonight.


Posted by: 37thand0street | February 2, 2010 11:49 PM | Report abuse

You'd have to say Kirk is the early favorite in this one, because he's not a democrat.

Posted by: josettes | February 2, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Closest races for Governor I have ever seen

Two candidates are locked in at 50% with 94% of the precincts reporting

On the Republican side, two candidates have 20%, one has 19%, another has 17% and another has 15% with 94% reporting.

The democratic Comptroller race is even closer at with two candidates at 46.2 - 58 votes apart with 94% reporting.



Posted by: 37thand0street | February 2, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse

simpleton1 wrote, "This is how it always plays out in Illinois -- the establishment guys win the primaries even though nobody actually likes them."

That's an interesting observation. As one who grew up in Pennsylvania I know the feeling.

Got a theory why that happens?

Posted by: douglaslbarber | February 2, 2010 11:40 PM | Report abuse

It's all about the money, nothing else. Whoever has the most money wins the primary. We need to renew our politics. Dump the 535 should be our slogan. The 535 must go, our mantra. I am an independent candidate for president. michaelslevinson my page. I bring to the table a Vehicle for World Peace. In the event I speak I win. Let the games begin.

Posted by: jacklegs | February 2, 2010 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Sigh. This is how it always plays out in Illinois -- the establishment guys win the primaries even though nobody actually likes them. Giannoulias is such a flawed candidate. It's no wonder the White House was underwhelmed. Kirk is definitely in the driver's seat on this one.

Posted by: simpleton1 | February 2, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse

" 'Tonight, we begin a journey together to right our ship of state and reclaim our place as the honest Land of Lincoln -- the center of North America's economy and crossroads of the nation,' Kirk said in his victory address."

Any reference to "hog butcher to the world" would have been too redolent of pork.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | February 2, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Kirk will beat Sexi Lexi.

Posted by: JakeD2 | February 2, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

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