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Robin Kelly
In the end, it wasn't even close. Sure, there are votes here and there still left to be counted, but our very own Robin Kelly won a solid majority of the vote while no one else even cracked a quarter. She still has to win the general election, but in this district, that's a formality. Republicans don't exist in meaningful numbers.

It was just a month ago when we engaged—the NRA was boasting that the two front-runners were both big supporters, and Kelly was struggling to gain traction in a field of about 2,000 people (what, was the filing fee $20?). But your action, engagement, and contributions (over $113,000 from more than 6,400 of you) helped Kelly emerge from the scrum with solid momentum, wind at her back. Bloomberg's Super PAC beat the crap out of Debbie Halvorson for her NRA affiliation. CREDO rolled out their ground operation on Kelly's behalf (and proved themselves in blustery winter conditions). Elected officials jumped aboard, endorsing Kelly. Toi Hutchinson dropped out when Bloomberg began targeting her and also endorsed Kelly.

At one point, Daily Kos supporters made up 85 percent of Kelly's donors. Just ponder that!

Halvorson had this weird desire to be considered "the favorite in the field". She repeated that ad nauseam, as if saying it over and over again would make it so. So she cheered loudly this morning when wingnut radio station WCKG AM, home of Alex Jones and that guy who had himself waterboarded to prove it wasn't torture (then had to admit it was), released a "poll" showing, well, showing this:

The campaign of 2nd Congressional District candidate Debbie Halvorson got a boost today with the results of a new poll of 500 voters likely to cast a ballot in the upcoming election.

The former congressman, D-Crete, now leads with 21 percent of the vote, with former front-runner Robin Kelly polling 17 percent.

In a prepared statement, Halvorson said the "results of this latest poll confirms what other polls — outside the Robin Kelly campaign — have indicated," that she is the favorite in the field. Halvorson noted her "record of attracting over 7,000 jobs during my two years in Congress" has been a positive factor [...]

Pollster Rod McCulloch said that Halvorson’s opponents’ negative advertising about Halvorson regarding issues involving gun control may have backfired.

Good to see conservatives continue trying to defy reality.

The problem for them is that with elections, there's no muddying the waters. Reality is pretty assertive. And in this case, the reality is that we helped the voters of IL-02 send a clear message on sensible gun regulations. It's a new playing field, we're on the offensive, and we're not stopping now. And if you think that the message resonated only because this was an urban district, 2014 will prove otherwise as the message resonates just as strongly in suburban districts. Personally, I can't wait to see what we, our progressive allies, and Bloomberg's Super PAC can accomplish next year.

So pat yourselves on the back for a job well done, but don't get too satisfied, because the battle toward a sensible Congress will continue as long as Republicans (and what's left of the Blue Dogs) have any say in policy. Our job is to render them impotent, so keep fighting!

7:03 PM PT (Kaili Joy Gray): You can watch the livestream of Kelly's victory speech here.

7:30 PM PT: From her victory speech:

I've also got to give a very, very special shout out to the Daily Kos family and the entire netroots community.

You embraced this campaign.  You adopted this campaign.

You fueled us with people power and you stood up and fought the NRA with us.

You are the reason we made it as far as we did.

She's talking about you!

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 06:37 PM PST.

Also republished by Land of Lincoln Kos, Shut Down the NRA, and Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

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