According to the Cook Political Report Illinois Republican congressman Adam Kinzinger is the second most popular member of Congress in the entire country; New York Republican [mc_name name=’Rep. Peter King (R-NY)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’K000210′ ] is first.
If the rankings don’t make you question the validity of this list from Cook the methodology will.
The rankings were based upon the margin of victory of the last few elections for each candidate coupled with the districts Republican or Democrat leaning. Kinzinger’s 16th district is put as being R +4.
In the November election Kinzinger defeated Democrat candidate Randal Olson getting 70% of the vote. This was the second time in a row that Democrats in the Illinois 16th fielded completely token, if not outright joke, candidates. In 2012 no Democrat even ran in the primary, it took the efforts of Rockford based members of the Occupy Wall St. movement to effectively draft Wanda Rohl, an open socialist, to run against Kinzinger who ended up getting nearly 62% of the vote.
Kinzinger was among the new Republicans swept into office in the 2010 Tea Party wave getting 57% of the vote over Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson.
But make no mistake Adam Kinzinger is no Tea Partier nor conservative.
According to Conservative Review Kinzinger has the lowest rating of the entire Republican House delegation at 46%. For comparison Rep. Randy Hultrgen whose district now covers the Northwest suburbs and was also a part of the 2010 wave has a 78% rating from Conservative Review.
The reason Adam Kinzinger has been able to win by such wide margins has nothing to do with his popularity within the 16th district; It hasn’t been because of his support for amnesty, or his votes to raise taxes on the American people, or his opinion that Obamacare should be “fixed” instead of outright repealed, or his continual attacks on [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ], conservative organizations, and the Tea Party.
It has everything to do with the fact that his 2014 primary opponent David Hale, coordinator of the Rockford Tea Party, was grossly underfunded($5,000). It also has a lot to do with the fact that the 16th district is more than an R +4. Thanks to redistricting maps drawn by Democrat boss Speaker Michael Madigan the 16th CD is heavily Republican, all possible Democrat votes from the Rockford area where moved to the 17th CD, any possible suburban Chicagoland votes where all placed within other districts, leaving the 16th as possibly one of the most Republican congressional districts in the entire nation.
Sadly, it hasn’t hurt Kinzinger that he has been a favorite of the Republican establishment and a vocal mouthpiece for arming the Syrian rebels, criticizing Vladimir Putin and the Russians in their aggression in Ukraine, and has thrown his support behind a possible presidential run by Jeb Bush.
Want a real test of Adam Kinzinger’s popularity find some alternate reality machine and see what would have happened in this years primary if David Hale had Dave Brat’s money.