Biden campaigns with Quinn in Chicago

October 12, 2010 8:36:18 PM PDT
Vice President Joe Biden is the latest Washington powerhouse to try to build support for Illinois Democrats. He attended a rally for Governor Pat Quinn in Chicago Tuesday night.

Despite some high profile help, a new poll shows Quinn's campaign is struggling. The White House has taken note of the Democrats' dire situation here in the president's home state. Now they're sending in reinforcements.

"Reports of the death of the Democratic Party have been exaggerated," said Biden.

Vice President Biden came to Chicago to help Pat Quinn in what the governor has called "the fight of his life."

"I want to be the jobs Governor of Illinois today, tomorrow and forever. Our job is to get the people back to work in Illinois," said Gov. Quinn.

"We know how to create jobs. It's not that hard folks. If they would just get out of the way! It's putting all of you back to work, investing in the infrastructure of this country!" Biden told the crowd.

Democrats are busy shoring up their base - like those gathered at Union Hall on the near West Side Tuesday night - when they'd rather be reaching out to undecided voters. The reason: the economy.

"The fact is one year ago 40 percent of our membership was out of work. Now it's about 10 percent," said one speaker.

Still a new poll isn't pretty for Quinn. Republican State Senator Bill Brady now leads by nearly nine points, according to a survey done by Southern Illinois University.

"This is unheard of in these times that Illinois is in play for the Republicans," said State Rep. Jim Durkin, Illinois Republican state central committee.

Republicans say all this attention from the White House - the president was here last week, now the Vice President and Michelle Obama Wednesday - proves Illinois Democrats are desperate.

"What we're seeing right now is there are a lot of disenfranchised Democrats and many independents gravitating toward the Republicans this election," said Durkin.

The White House push for Illinois Democrats will continue Wednesday. Michelle Obama will be in town to raise money for Alexi Giannoulias' Senate campaign and local Democrats running for the House. It will be her first solo trip to campaign since she hit the trail for her husband in 2008.


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