Last week Marie Newman announced that her campaign raised $261, 002 in the last fundraising quarter before primary Election Day in March. Ending the quarter with an average donation of just $59 from over 2680 individual donations, claiming that Newman’s impressive fundraising support proves that her progressive message is resonating with working families across the 3rd district.
Previously, Newman released a polling memo, showing a clear path to victory and positioning herself as the winner once Democratic voters learned of what Newman’s campaign referred to as incumbent, Rep. Dan Lipinski’s extreme voting record.
In releasing the memo to the media, Newman’s campaign stated “Last month’s victory by Doug Jones in Alabama shows that voters across the country are embracing progressive Democrats like never before. On top of recent victories in Virginia, Georgia, and Washington State, this opens up pathways to victory for Democrats in races up and down the ballot who stand for their party’s values on issues like abortion access, LGBT equality, and immigrant rights. This momentum combines with newly released polling on Democratic primary voters in Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District to show that Marie Newman is well positioned to win in her race to unseat unpopular incumbent Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL) in the March primary. In fact, this polling shows that after hearing about both records, Marie Newman wins a head-to-head matchup against Lipinski by 5 points.”
Newman’s memo argued that Congressman Dan Lipinski is vulnerable claiming he has “lost touch with Democratic voters in IL-03.” To support that premise, the campaign pointed to the poll results that voters strongly prefer electing a “progressive” leader to represent them in Congress (55%) over Lipinski who votes with Republicans (38%). In a district that voted for Hillary Clinton by 15 points in the general election, and for Bernie Sanders by 8 points in the primary, these voter preferences would give strong support to a true progressive candidate.
The campaign memo admits that the campaign is not surprised that Lipinski’s approval rating is under 50% with Democrats, at 43%.
The memo is critical of Lipinski’s stances, which often are at odds with the Democratic Party. “Despite Lipinski’s tenure, the reality is that most voters in the district don’t know about Lipinski’s conservative voting record, which rates among the most right-wing of any Democrat in the country,” reads the memo.
Most surprising in the poll analysis may be the fact that only 11% of Democratic voters gave Lipinski an excellent rating. Lipinski has defeated Republican opponents by huge margins since he inherited the position from his father in a backroom maneuver that was criticized by good government advocates at the time.
The Newman campaign is providing a choice for the first time in many years in the primary. According to the campaign, when voters are given a choice and educated on Lipinski’s views, Democratic voters side with the challenger, Marie Newman. Lipinski has been popular with Republicans in the district throughout the years and has been unchallenged for several years in the primary.
However, that support among Republicans may not help Lipinski in a primary race. According to the memo, “Upon hearing of Lipinski’s right-wing record, his support drops 5 points and Newman moves up 16 points, coming within 10 points of Lipinski. In fact, after hearing balanced negative attacks on both candidates, Newman pulls into the lead, winning by 5 points (39-34%).”
This poll was taken in October before Newman landed a slew of coveted endorsements from progressive groups such as NARAL Pro-Choice America, Democracy for America (DFA), the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC), MoveOn.org, and even Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and feminist icon Gloria Steinem. The Newman Campaign claims that these endorsements build on previous support from the online progressive community DailyKos and Blue America and prove that Marie Newman’s message is resonating strongly with the very Democratic-aligned voters who are turning out in droves across the country.
“I could not be more proud of the grass-roots support we’ve received over the course of my campaign,” said Marie Newman. “In a district that Hillary won by 15 points and Bernie Sanders won the primary by 8, families don’t want and can’t afford Dan Lipinski’s out-of-touch and self-interested style of politics. Working families in Illinois deserve someone who will fight tooth and nail to make their lives better, and that is exactly what I plan to do if elected to Congress.”
Newman’s campaign manager, Erik Wallenius echoed Marie’s message of grass-roots strength: “Illinois families don’t want leadership by a career-politician like Dan Lipinski who forces his own extreme ideology on our hard-working families and refuses to consider their best interests. The support Marie has earned from voters in the 3rd shows that they are ready for a change in leadership.”
Newman’s race has been recognized nationally by various media outlets as one of the top races to watch in 2018 as she takes on anti-choice Rep. Dan Lipinski. Newman’s progressive momentum has gained her endorsements from top progressive voices across the map: NARAL Pro-Choice America, the Human Rights Campaign, MoveOn.org, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Gloria Steinem, Hispanic American Labor council, Reclaim Chicago, National Nurses United and a slew of other top individuals and organizations.