Vice News: What You Should Know About Illinois’s Combative Democratic Primary

Conservative Democrat Dan Lipinski could be on the way out.

Talking Points Memo: One Of The House’s Least Reliable Democrats May Lose His Primary Tuesday

One of the most conservative Democrats in Congress may lose his primary on Tuesday.

Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL) spent much of his career antagonizing his own party as an outspoken pro-life advocate who has been hostile to gay rights and has voted against Democratic priorities from the DREAM Act to Obamacare to Planned Parenthood funding. After more than a decade representing a safely Democratic seat stretching from Chicago’s Southwest Side out to largely working-class suburbs, he’s facing the toughest primary challenge of his career from former ad executive Marie Newman, a staunch liberal whose campaign has gotten a major boost from a constellation of national progressive groups seeking his ouster.

Democrats who have closely monitored the election say it could go either way, but that she has the momentum in a year where the liberal base is furious and activated and being a centrist in a safely Democratic district isn’t exactly a selling point.

“Dan Lipinski has walked away from the Democratic values that we all hold dear, particularly that relate to women and women’s health care. This is not the time for someone who’s going to champion anti-women’s positions and anti-LGBTQ positions,” EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock told TPM during a Thursday conference call. “We think she’s going to pull this out on Tuesday.”

Besides the pro-choice EMILY’s List and NARAL Pro-Choice America, Newman also has support from the pro-LGBTQ Human Rights Campaign and the Service Employees International Union. The groups have spent more than $1 million to back her campaign. She also has endorsements from Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT), as well as Reps. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), who has dispatched a top staffer to aid Newman’s campaign. Some top local Democrats, like Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle (D), have gotten on board as well.

Lipinski, allies say, was caught a bit flat-footed by the challenge. He told TPM a few weeks ago that he wasn’t sure “why anyone believes this is going to be a close race to begin with.” He was slow to launch TV ads slamming Newman, allowing her and her allies weeks to themselves to define the race. That allowed Newman to raise her once-nonexistent name ID and drill him for his regular breaks with his party, not an easy feat in Chicago’s expensive media market especially since it’s been saturated with heavy campaign spending from the billionaires running for Illinois governor.

A Lipinski poll taken early in the race found him with a 30-point lead; a recent survey from NARAL found Newman within two points.

“I don’t think he realized what a fight he’d be in, and the dynamic didn’t change until the SEIU and progressive groups flipped the switch and started spending,” one Chicago Democratic strategist whose job precludes them from talking on-record told TPM.


CNN Politics: Illinois Democratic congressman being challenged on left by political newcomer

A solid blue district in Illinois is facing an identity crisis as Democrats could purge one of their own with a political newcomer on Tuesday.

Progressive liberal Marie Newman is challenging Rep. Dan Lipinski, a blue-dog, anti-abortion Democrat who has represented Illinois’ 3rd District for more than a decade.

Newman’s rise ahead of the primary comes during a tumultuous and polarized time following President Donald Trump’s 2016 victory which led to the mobilization and a call to action for many — especially women.

The day after Trump’s inauguration, massive crowds took to the streets to partake in women’s marches to protest. Newman said that day “was really the first time I realized nobody is coming to save us.”

Newman recalled stepping off the train and seeing the streets lined with women and people coming together.

“I felt powerful and I felt everyone around me was powerful,” she said, describing it as a “congealing moment.”

Garnering support

Since announcing her campaign, Newman has received endorsements from liberal powerhouses, like Sens. Bernie Sanders and Kirsten Gillibrand. Newman also got the backing of sitting Illinois Reps. Jan Schakowsky and Luis Gutierrez, who broke the tradition of endorsing the incumbent.

Newman has garnered the support of several activist organizations that have formed a coalition to support her campaign, including NARAL Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Human Rights Campaign, SEIU, MoveOn, and EMILY’s List. The groups have been working in the district since February and will have spent $1.6 million on broadcast & cable TV, mail, and digital ads by Election Day on March 20, according to Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

Their mission, they say, is to educate voters on Lipinski’s record, claiming it doesn’t align with the opinions of the district despite the fact he has held the seat since 2005. This includes his votes on abortion access, health care and immigration.

“These are really votes that cut to the heart of equality and people having opportunity,” said Kevin Griffis, vice president for communications for Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Vox: One of the last anti-abortion Democrats could lose his seat to a progressive challenger Tuesday

The primary in Illinois’s third district will be an early test of a deep conflict within the Democratic Party.

Rep. Dan Lipinski is a rare Democrat who opposes abortion rights. He’s also a rare incumbent who is in a real race in the Illinois primary election on Tuesday night.

Lipinski, an incumbent Congress member in the Third Congressional District, faces Marie Newman, a first-time candidate and a supporter of abortion rights who has been endorsed by pro-choice groups like NARAL Pro-Choice America and Emily’s List, which works to get pro-choice Democratic women elected to office. The race is tight — a poll conducted on behalf of NARAL at the end of February put Lipinski just 2 points ahead of Newman. Recently, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) stepped in to back Lipinski.

The primary will provide an early test of a deep conflict emerging in the Democratic Party: In the Trump era, Democrats see an opening to take back the House. But to do it they’ll need to flip swing voters or boost turnout — or both.

Democrats like Lipinski believe the party needs to move to the right on issues like abortion, immigration, and health care to appeal to these swing voters. The progressive wing wants to keep those liberal priorities but repackage them as part of a broader populist message — one that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) proved could appeal to Democrats in his 2016 primary bid. The Third Congressional District swung for Sanders by 8 points.

“We need to have a big-tent party,” Lipinski told an Illinois radio station earlier this month. “We need to rally around those issues that can bring all Democrats together.”

Newman doesn’t think that means abandoning long-held Democratic beliefs around reproductive health care and other rights.

“I believe in giving a fair deal to workers and working families,” she told Vox. “I also believe that everybody’s rights are important.”


Roll Call: Democratic Showdown in Illinois’ 3rd District

Lipinski-Newman primary is flashpoint in party’s identity struggles

In a state where Democrats are targeting four Republican-held seats in November and need viable candidates to make it through Tuesday’s primaries, the nominating contest in Illinois that’s receiving the most attention is in a safe Democratic district.

Rep. Daniel Lipinski, co-chairman of the moderate Blue Dog Coalition, is facing the toughest contest of his seven-term congressional career with a primary challenge from marketing executive Marie Newman for his 3rd District seat.

When two Democrats from the Illinois delegation, one of them a member of Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee leadership, endorsed Newman at a press conference in a Capitol Hill townhouse two months ago, just two reporters showed up. EMILY’s List and Planned Parenthood Action Fund had yet to get involved for the challenger.

Since then, the race has been quickly nationalized, by both the media and outside groups, as a fight over the identity of the Democratic Party.

Lipinski has narrowly led in the latest public polling conducted for Newman’s allies, but strategists on both sides expect Tuesday’s contest to be close.

A nationalized race?

Evoked in each candidate’s TV ads, even President Donald Trump is playing a role in this primary. Newman has tried to paint Lipinski as a “Trump Democrat,” while Lipinski has responded by listing the ways in which he’s voted against the president.

Newman and her supporters talk about more than just abortion. She’s attacked Lipinski for voting against the 2010 health care law and opposing LGBTQ rights. But the involvement of specific outside groups here says a lot about what’s perceived as the dominant topic in the race.

“Social issues have emerged as the defining issue between Marie Newman and Dan Lipinski,” said Illinois Democrat Cheri Bustos, who is not getting involved in the primary.

“It’s a district — if you look at what’s happened over time — it’s started to change in the direction. It’s going a little bit further left than it was before,” Bustos said of the 3rd District, which includes parts of Chicago and its western and southwestern suburbs.


The Guardian: Illinois primary pits rare ‘Blue Dog’ Democrat against progressive wing

Dan Lipinski, a conservative Democrat with ardent anti-abortion views, has never before been seriously challenged – until now

On a cold Friday morning in early March, the biggest fossil in Chicago was not the Tyrannosaurus Rex perched in the Field Museum downtown. It was standing, wearing a parka, outside a suburban train station.

NBC: Final battle time for the Democratic civil war in Chicago’s suburbs

Progressives have lined up behind Marie Newman to oust moderate Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., in Tuesday’s primary in Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District.

WASHINGTON — “Horrible.” “Shameful.” “One of the worst.”

Those are just some of the dire ways liberal Democrats have described one of their own members of Congress, who is in the last rounds of the fight of his political life.

Even in no-holds-barred Illinois — and even with the most expensive gubernatorial race in history on the ballot — the Democrat-on-Democrat violence in Tuesday’s congressional primary in Chicago’s Southwest suburbs stands out.

“I’ve done 25 or 30 races over the years, and I’ve never seen a party turn away from a lawmaker like this,” said Thom Serafin, a former Democratic consultant who is now an independent political analyst in Chicago.

As a moderate, anti-abortion Democrat, Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., is an endangered species, and many in his party are determined to hunt his kind into extinction.

Lined up against him, and in favor of more progressive opponent Marie Newman, in Tuesday’s contest are an all-star lineup of liberal groups and figures: Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America, the Service Employees International Union, the pro-LGBT Human Rights Campaign, EMILY’s List,, Indivisible, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and well-known former advisers to Barack Obama.

And in a practically unprecedented move, two of his colleagues — Reps. Jan Schakowsky and Luis Gutierrez — are working against a fellow member of their state’s congressional delegation.

“Dan Lipinski may have a D next to his name — but he doesn’t have true Democratic values,” Ilyse Hogue, the president, NARAL, said in a fundraising email sent by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. “He’s consistently undermined the rights of women, immigrants, and the LGBTQ community.”

Lipinski, who has served in Congress since 2005, has made no apologies for his votes. But he’s called some attacks on his record false and declared that he’s “a very proud and strong Democrat.”

“I understand that compromise is essential to getting things done,” he said in a radio interview with WGN. “And the party and the country cannot afford a Tea Party of the left.”

Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District, which Lipinski inherited from his power-broker father, is a vestige of old-school Democratic politics, composed largely of Catholics of Irish and Polish descent, as well as a growing number of Hispanics.

The elder Lipinski, Bill, served 11 terms in Congress before handing the seat to his son in a controversial move in which Dan replaced his father on the ballot between the primary and the general election.


U.S. News and World Report: In Chicago, a Democratic Incumbent Is Targeted by the Left

CHICAGO (Reuters) – U.S. Congressman Dan Lipinski is campaigning for re-election in Illinois with a bullseye on his back, targeted not by Republicans but a coalition of progressive activists in his own Democratic Party on a mission to steer it further to the left.

Lipinski is among more than a dozen congressional Democrats facing credible challengers, mostly with progressive agendas, in nominating contests that will decide the party’s candidates for the November midterm elections.

Democrats need to pick up 24 seats from Republicans to take control of the U.S. House of Representatives. But first, they must contend with an energized left wing trying to define the party through the candidates on its ticket.

Lipinski’s Chicago-area seat is considered a safe win for Democrats in the fall. The incumbent’s fate in the March 20 primary will gauge enthusiasm among Democratic voters for the party’s moderates and few remaining conservatives.

“We are willing to hold our own people accountable, as well as our more consistent enemies,” said Sasha Bruce, senior vice president of campaigns and strategies at NARAL Pro-Choice America, which advocates for abortion and reproductive rights.

Groups such as NARAL, the Human Rights Campaign, which promotes gay rights, and Indivisible, a nationwide network which formed last year to resist Republican President Donald Trump, say Lipinski’s socially conservative views are out of touch with the district that first elected him in 2004.

“My values, the district and the nation are all in alignment,” opponent Marie Newman, 53, said over coffee at a bohemian cafe in the district, which extends from suburbs to Chicago’s South Side.

Lipinski, who opposes abortion and voted against the Democrats’ signature healthcare reform law, “is over there,” she added, picking up her purse and moving it to another table.


Bilerico Report: Democrats need to start valuing quality over quantity before the midterm elections

If incumbent Democratic Representative Dan Lipinski loses his primary race in Illinois, the House Republican caucus loses a vote, and the Democrats gain one.

It’s tempting to call Lipinski a “Democrat In Name Only” (aka, DINO). After all, he votes against his own party twice as much as the average congressional Democrat. His positions on the issues don’t exactly align with the rest of the party.

Lipinski steadfastly opposes women’s access to safe, legal abortion services. One of the few remaining anti-choice Democrats in Congress, he opposes stem cell research, and has a 100 percent rating from the National Right to Life Committee.

Lipinski opposes the Affordable Care Act. He was one of the few Democrats who voted against it.

Lipinski opposes LGBT equality. He voted against protecting LGBT Americans from employment discrimination and opposes marriage equality. In 2016, he supported a Republican “religious freedom” bill to allow businesses to discriminate against LGBT Americans.

Lipinski opposes the DREAM Act and even favored building a wall at the Mexico border. He also opposed raising the minimum wage.

Is it any wonder that Democratic leadership steered clear of Lipinski until last month?

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) initially declined to endorse him. Democratic members of his own congressional delegation, like Reps. Jan Schakowsky and Luis Gutierrez, have broken with Lipinski, backing his primary challenger Marie Newman instead.

Newman, a former ad executive, is decided more progressive than Lipinski. She’s pro-choice, supports moving America to health care for all, advocates livable wages for working families. supports LGBT equality.

Running a campaign largely funded by small donations, Newman is now in a dead heat with Lipinski. A recent poll showed 43 percent of those surveyed back Lipinski and 41 percent back Newman. That’s a big jump for Newman, who was at 18 percent in an October poll.


College Media Network: In the Hot Seat: Marie Newman is giving Dan Lipinski a Run For His Money

It’s never easy to take on a Democratic establishment candidate as a newcomer. But former businesswoman Marie Newmanhas turned a normally quiet race for the third Congressional district of Illinois into international news.

She’s taking on longtime representative Daniel Lipinski in the primary on March 20. Lipinski has represented the district since 2005 after his father retired from the seat and convinced the Illinois Democratic Party to let his son take his place on the ballot.

Since then, Lipinski has consistently campaigned as a Democrat but governed as a Republican. Though he may not be exactly the same as members of the GOP, his presence in Congress is a threat to progressive values nonetheless.

Lipinski was the sole Democrat to vote against the Affordable Care Act in 2010. He is staunchly anti-abortion and has a long history of being against rights for the LGBTQ community.

His voting record reads more like a moderate conservative than it does a modern Democrat. To call Lipinski a Democrat is an insult to everything the party has worked towards throughout its history. He represents everything that Democrats have been trying to stop within the party and his backwards ideology is harmful to the country.

Newman is the first true challenger that Lipinski has faced since taking office. She has never held public office, but her campaign platform proves she intends to lead as a true progressive if elected. She started as a virtual unknown, but has since made a name for herself both in Illinois and then in the country as a whole. The Democratic primary has become one of the most talked about in the U.S. Newman was recently endorsed by Senator Bernie Sanders, and earned the support of Illinois representatives Jan Schakowsky and Luis Gutierrez.

Voters will have a choice between two polar opposite candidates running in the same party. For years, Lipinski has represented his district based on his own beliefs rather than those of his constituents. This primary battle is choice between a campaign powered by donations from Super PACS and the wealthy, or one powered by passionate people yearning for change.

In the age of President Trump, it is vital for the Democratic Party to work together to fight for better days. It’s evident that Lipinski cannot be trusted to uphold the party’s beliefs. Newman may not have the same experience or background in politics as Lipinski, but she gives voters a chance at a fresh start.

The most recent Public Policy Poll shows Lipinski with a  meager two-point lead over Newman with just about a week to go in the primary. These numbers have fluctuated throughout the race, but Newman’s surge in support proves she has the power to vote Lipinski out of office.