Because Ward Room likes to cover all its bases, we should note that a We Ask America poll released last Friday shows that former state Rep. Robin Kelly has a big lead in the 2nd Congressional District Democratic primary.
The automated poll gave Kelly 39 percent, former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson 19 percent, and Ald. Anthony Beale 11.5 percent. A poll taken for WCKG had Halvorson leading Kelly, 21 percent to 19 percent, so one pollster is going to look really bad tonight.
Salon has an article on how the race could change the politics of gun control around the country. If Kelly wins, politicians may become more frightened of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s money than the National Rifle Association’s money. The NRA spent $18 million political contributions in 2012. Bloomberg’s net worth is $25 billion. That means he can outspend the NRA for the next 1,250 election cycles -- until the year 4512 -- without going broke.
If Kelly wins big, it could factor into the thinking of members of Congress who are wavering on aspects of Obama’s gun agenda. If they vote “no,” will they face the same assault Halvorson has faced – and will it take them down in a primary, or in the general? On the other hand, if Halvorson somehow pulls out a victory, it would weaken Bloomberg’s clout in other races he wades into – or might simply dissuade him from playing such an aggressive role in future contests.
As Kelly’s opponents call Bloomberg her sugar daddy and accuse the New Yorker of trying to buy the race with “outside money,” as Halvorson put it, the New York Daily News reminds us that Kelly is a New Yorker herself:
Kelly, 56, grew up on W. 151st St. between Riverside Drive and Broadway in Manhattan, attended P.S. 128, Junior High School 52 and the Rhodes Preparatory School before heading to Bradley University in Peoria, Ill. Her father owned a small grocery store on Eighth Ave.; her mom was a postal clerk.
Despite that, Kelly and Bloomberg have never met.