Illinois' 16th Congressional District elections, 2012
November 6, 2012
March 20, 2012
Donald A. Manzullo
|Candidate Filing Deadline||Primary Election||General Election|
Primary: Illinois has a mixed-hybrid primary system. Voters can change parties each year but must declare a party affiliation at the polls. Depending on which party is chosen, the voter will then be counted as registered for that party. Voters may change party affiliation at polls or caucus.
Voter registration: Voters had to register to vote in the primary by February 21. For the general election, the voter registration deadline was October 9. A "grace period" is also available, allowing voter registration until three days before an election.
- See also: Illinois elections, 2012
This was the first election using new district maps based on 2010 Census data. After the 2010 redistricting process, the 16th District covers all of Boone, Bureau, Grundy, Iroquois, LaSalle, Lee, Livingston, Ogle, Putnam counties and parts of DeKalb, Ford, Stark, Will and Winnebago counties. 
No Democratic candidates filed to run, leaving Manzullo to defend his seat in the March 20, 2012 primary election against Adam Kinzinger, a first-term incumbent Republican from Illinois' 11th congressional district who has opted to run in District 16 as a result of redistricting.
Kinzinger defeated Manzullo in the primary.
- 1 Candidates
- 2 Election Results
- 3 Race background
- 4 Impact of redistricting
- 5 Debates
- 6 Polls
- 7 Endorsements
- 8 Candidate voting records
- 9 Campaign themes
- 10 Campaign ads
- 11 Election history
- 12 Campaign donors
Note: Election results were added on election night as races were called. Vote totals were added after official election results had been certified. For more information about Ballotpedia's election coverage plan, click here. If you find any errors in this list, please email: Geoff Pallay.
General election candidates
March 20, 2012, primary results
|U.S. House, Illinois District 16 General Election, 2012|
|Republican||Adam Kinzinger Incumbent||61.8%||181,789|
|Source: Illinois Board of Elections "2012 General Election Official Vote Totals"|
|U.S. House, Illinois' 16th Congressional District Republican Primary Republican Primary, 2012|
Manzullo was a 20-year veteran Congressman who had won each of his 9 bids for re-election with over 60% of the vote. Kinzinger was a freshman Representative who was elected in a wave of Tea Party candidates. The Republican primary contest that pits the two against each other became a contest between the old school and the new wave of politics.
Kinzinger was endorsed by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Rep. John Shimkus. In a joint statement, the pair identified Kinzinger as "new breed of conservatism" and a key member of their team, giving Kinzinger their "enthusiastic endorsement" and "total support." He's also been backed by two other Republicans: Aaron Schock and Dave Winters. Schock, first elected to the House in 2008, calls Kinzinger a "rising star of the party" and publicly endorsed Kinzinger over Manzullo. Winters, a 17-year veteran of the Illinois House of Representatives has also endorsed Kinzinger over Manzullo. Winters found himself in a similar situation as Manzullo - challenged in a newly drawn district by a young member of his own party - and chose not to run. He explained "I think the idea of having a bright, young conservative congressman is good for the area, and the more we can have people get to know Kinzinger… the better it will be for us."
Manzullo, meanwhile, picked up key endorsements from several of the state's more conservative groups, including the Illinois Tea Party - the president of the Iroquois County TEA Party dubbed him "the true fiscal conservative" in the race and "an ethical man and a passionate conservative who always votes in line with his values." - the Illinois Conservatives, Illinois Citizens for Life, and Family-PAC Federal, the state's leading pro-family organization. He has also garnered support from the Larry Morrissey, Mayor of Rockford (the new 16th district's largest city). Morrissey, an independent who had never endorsed Manzullo in the past, emphasized Manzullo's consistent advocacy for the region and the city of Rockford. He called the primary election "an important time in our community's history," noting that the recent divisions from redistricting in the region pose a threat to the community's "strength of voice" in Washington, DC and urging voters to elect a candidate who "knows our community."
- Impact of redistricting
- Candidate voting records
- Campaign themes
- Campaign ads
- Election history
- Campaign donors
- See also: Redistricting in Illinois
Slow population growth required Illinois to lose one congressional seat following the 2010 census. With Democrats in charge of the House, Senate, and governorship, it was easy to pass a map beneficial to their party. According to an analysis by Politico, the new map could cost the GOP up to five U.S. House seats. GOP consultant David From said of the map, “It’s kind of a work of art, in the wrong direction. There’s a lot of creativity.”
Republicans filed suit against the map, but eventually saw it upheld in the courts. A federal court panel agreed with the Republican complaint that the map was "a blatant political move to increase the number of Democratic congressional seats," but said that Republicans "failed to present a workable standard by which to evaluate such claims."
The 16th District was greatly changed during redistricting, losing more than half of its previous area. The old 16th was in the northwest corner of the state while the new is a curving district from Rockford to Bureau County and east to the Indiana border. Fellow Republican congressman Adam Kinzinger, who has represented District 11 since 2011, was drawn into the 16th, leading to a primary faceoff between the two incumbents. Kinzinger said he decided to run in the 16th because it was made up of more of his old district than any other.
- 32 percent from the 11th congressional district
- 10 percent from the 14th congressional district
- 11 percent from the 15th congressional district
- 45 percent from the 16th congressional district
- 2 percent from the 18th congressional district
FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012 study
- See also: FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012
In 2012, FairVote did a study on partisanship in the congressional districts, giving each a percentage ranking (D/R) based on the new 2012 maps and comparing that to the old 2010 maps. Illinois' 16th District became more Republican because of redistricting.
- 2012: 47D / 53R
- 2010: 50D / 50R
Cook Political Report's PVI
In 2012, Cook Political Report released its updated figures on the Partisan Voter Index, which measures each congressional district's partisanship relative to the rest of the country. Illinois' 16th congressional district has a PVI of R+4, which is the 196th most Republican district in the country. In 2008, this district was won by Barack Obama (D), 51-49 percent over John McCain (R). In 2004, George W. Bush (R) won the district 57-43 percent over John Kerry (D).
Kinzinger and Manzullo met in a debate on February 21, 2012 in Watseka, Illinois. The candidates agreed on repealing President Obama's health care reform plan, scaling back the Environmental Protection Agency's regulations on farmers, increasing domestic oil and gas production, dedicating more resources to stopping illegal immigration, and fixing a "broken" federal government. The two areas in which the candidates differed the most were how to create new jobs and how to reduce the federal debt.
Kinzinger's opening statement:
Manzullo's opening statement:
Kinzinger/Manzullo debate, Part 3:
Kinzinger/Manzullo debate, Part 4: Kinzinger/Manzullo debate, Part 5:
|Don Manzullo vs. Adam Kinzinger|
|Poll||Don Manzullo||Adam Kinzinger||Undecided||Margin of Error||Sample Size|
|Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research|
February 6-7, 2012
|We Ask America|
February 19-20, 2012
|We Ask America|
March 11-12, 2012
|Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to|
Donald A. Manzullo voted with the Republican Party 92% of the time, which ranked 149 among the 242 House Republican members as of November 2011.Adam Kinzinger voted with the Republican Party 91% of the time, which ranked 174 among the 242 House Republican members in November 2011.
Both candidates served in the U.S. House of Representatives and both, therefore, have voted on the same legislation a number of times. Below is a table that displays the bills and amendments on which Manzullo and Kinzinger cast different votes.
|Bill||Bill Title||Date||Adam Kinzinger||Donald Manzullo|
|HR 2112||Appropriations for Agriculture, Rural Development, and the Food and Drug Administration||Nov. 17, 2011||Did not vote|
|H Amdt 853||Requires Crowdfunding Intermediaries to Disclose Methods of Compensation to Investors||Nov. 3, 2011|
|H J Res 68||Authorizing Limited Use of US Armed Forces in Libya||June 24, 2011|
|HR 1249||Patent Law Amendments||June 23, 2011|
|H Amdt 414||Prohibits Usage of Funds in Contravention of the War Powers Resolution||June 13, 2011|
|H Con Res 51||Removing Armed Forces from Libya||June 3, 2011|
|HR 2017||Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act||June 2, 2011||Did not vote|
|H Amdt 398||Prohibiting the Use of Funds for Transportation Security Administration Collective Bargaining||June 2, 2011||Did not vote|
|S 990||Patriot Act Extension||May 26, 2011|
|HR 830||Terminating the Federal Housing Administration Refinance Program||March 10, 2011||Did not vote|
|H Amdt 155||Prohibits Use of Funds for Step Increase for General Schedule Employees||Feb. 19, 2011|
Both candidates identify the same five issues on their campaign websites: the economy, spending/fiscal responsibility, health care, energy, and immigration. The issues are listed here in the order they appear on their respective websites.
Kinzinger discussed "several things Washington must do in order to help get our economy moving forward."
- Tackling our debt head on and eliminating unnecessary spending
- Reducing the size and scope of government and reining in out-of-control regulations
- Simplifying the tax code
- Enacting the three pending free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea
- Increasing energy production here at home – making out nation energy secure, lowering the cost of gas and creating new domestic jobs
Kinzinger advocated for the expansion of domestic oil production and "aggressively" exploring other energy resources, including wind, nuclear, coal, off-shore oil, natural gas, and oil shale in order to "reduce our foreign dependence and stop relying on countries that do not share our national interests."
Kinzinger called for "independent" voices to vote against the bank bailout (TARP) and bailing out Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac. He believes new spending should be limited to "critical national security and infrastructure needs."
Kinzinger voted to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. His solution to increasing the number of people with health insurance is lowering costs and lowering the price of premiums by "allowing associations and small businesses to band together, enacting tort reform, permitting Americans to buy insurance across state lines and implementing full Federal tax deductibility for qualified medical expenses."
Kinzinger understands the first step in solving the nation's immigration problem to be securing our borders. He views the National Guard as playing an "important support role" in that process.
Manzullo believed improving the manufacturing sector is the key to reinvigorating the nation's economy and has developed a detailed 10-point American Jobs Agenda that is "focused on creating economic opportunities to put the people or northern Illinois and the rest of American back to work."
- Reform the tax code to help U.S. companies create jobs, put Americans back to work.
- Level the playing field for American companies doing business in the global marketplace while reforming our export control policies to help U.S. companies sell more goods overseas, create American jobs.
- Review and eliminate burdensome and unnecessary government regulations that stifle economic growth and cost American jobs.
- Continue to educate fellow Members of Congress on the importance of American manufacturing to our economy through the bipartisan House Manufacturing Caucus Rep. Manzullo co-founded with Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) in 2003.
- Reform our government procurement policies and require federal agencies to follow "Buy American" laws to ensure our government is doing business with companies in the United States.
- Make health care more affordable and accessible to Americans without a government takeover that would cost millions of jobs, reduce quality and choice, and increase our debt for generations to come.
- Enact an “all you can create” energy plan that promotes innovation, conservation, and responsible production of energy as a way to achieve America’s energy independence and a cleaner, healthier planet because every one cent increase in the price of gasoline removes $1 billion from the U.S. economy.
- Get basic infrastructure projects rolling, away from Washington in-fighting.
- Consolidate and streamline America’s job training programs to eliminate overhead and deliver more services to those seeking to upgrade their skills in their job search, with a particular focus on helping post- 9/11 veterans find employment.
- Secure America’s borders, create mandatory work authorization verification, and reduce illegal immigration through interior enforcement.
Manzullo supported the Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. He had introduced legislation requiring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to "pay back what the owe the taxpayer" and to "cut spending on an unnecessary foreign aid program." He advocated making the 2001/2003 tax relief permanent in order to stabilize the tax burden for businesses, simplifying the tax code, and making business tax rates more competitive on the global market.
Manzullo voted to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. He advocated the repeal of that legislation and the passing of "smaller, understandable" bills that make incremental changes to our health care system. He outlines key elements of reform:"
- A. Medical lawsuit reform to reduce costs and discourage unnecessary tests that CBO estimates would save $54 billion in federal spending;
- B. Allowing individuals to purchase health care insurance across state lines in the search for the best and most affordable plan;
- C. Allowing the self-employed to purchase health care insurance before paying the Social Security/Medicare payroll (FICA) tax, effectively reducing their premiums by 15 percent;
- D. Giving individuals the same tax treatment to purchase health insurance as employers;
- E. Providing more tax incentives to encourage individuals to purchase consumer-driven Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), which have reduced health care costs considerably for many Americans;
- F. Creating refundable tax credits to help low-income American purchase health insurance;
- G. Enhancing state high-risk pools to provide more coverage for those with pre-existing medical conditions;
- H. Eliminating yearly and lifetime caps on health insurance payments;
- I. Allowing dependent young adults to remain on their parent’s health insurance plan until age 26;
- J. Preserving high-quality health care through America ’s community health centers so that low-income individuals do not visit the hospital emergency room for routine outpatient care."
Manzullo advocated an "all you can create" energy strategy that will promote "innovation, conservation, and responsible production of energy as a way to decrease our dependence upon unstable foreign sources of energy." He believes in the "environmentally-sound" extraction of oil and gas, expansion of the nation's nuclear energy capacity, and open Yucca Mountain in Nevada to "safely dispose of spend nuclear fuel." He does not support taxpayer-funded subsidies to develop any source of energy.
Manzullo had introduced legislation to provide a tax deduction for energy-intensive businesses "to better insulate their facilities" and is opposed to cap and trade.
Manzullo opposed "all forms of amnesty" including the expansion of current visa policies. He advocated strengthening our border security and interior enforcement first and opposes "incentives, such as the so-called DREAM Act, to induce foreign residents to enter and stay in America illegally."
|U.S. House of Representatives, Illinois' 11th Congressional District, General Election, 2010|
|Democratic||Deborah L. Halvorson Incumbent||42.7%||96,019|
|U.S. House of Representatives, Illinois' 16th Congressional District, General Election, 2006|
|Republican||Donald Manzullo Incumbent||66.4%||125,508|
|Democratic||Richard D. Auman||33.6%||63,462|
|U.S. House of Representatives, Illinois' 16th Congressional District, General Election, 2004|
|Republican||Donald Manzullo Incumbent||69.1%||204,350|
|Democratic||John H. Kutsch||30.9%||91,452|
|U.S. House of Representatives, Illinois' 16th Congressional District, General Election, 2002|
|Republican||Donald Manzullo Incumbent||70.6%||133,339|
|Democratic||John H. Kutsch||29.4%||55,488|
|U.S. House of Representatives, Illinois' 16th Congressional District, General Election, 2000|
|Republican||Donald Manzullo Incumbent||66.7%||178,174|
|Democratic||Charles W. Hendrickson||33.3%||88,781|
|U.S. House of Representatives, Illinois' 16th Congressional District, General Election, 1998|
|Republican||Donald Manzullo Incumbent||100%||143,686|
|U.S. House of Representatives, Illinois' 16th Congressional District, General Election, 1996|
|Republican||Donald Manzullo Incumbent||60.3%||137,523|
|Democratic||Catherine M. Lee||39.7%||90,575|
|U.S. House of Representatives, Illinois' 16th Congressional District, General Election, 1994|
|Republican||Donald Manzullo Incumbent||70.6%||117,238|
|Adam Kinzinger (2012) Campaign Finance Reports|
|Report||Date Filed||Beginning Balance||Total Contributions|
for Reporting Period
|Expenditures||Cash on Hand|
|Pre-Primary||March 8, 2012||$651,089.28||$243,674.14||$(579,956.92)||$314,806.50|
|April Quarterly||April 13, 2012||$314,806.50||$264,242.08||$(351,750.94)||$227,297.64|
- United States House of Representatives elections in Illinois, 2012
- United States House of Representatives elections, 2012
- Campaign finance at OpenSecrets.org
- Politico "2012 Election Map, Illinois"
- Illinois Board of Elections "2012 Election Calendar," Accessed July 21, 2012
- Illinois Board of Elections "Registering to Vote in Illinois," Accessed July 21, 2012
- June 2011 Illinois Redistricting "Map" Accessed July 23, 2012
- Politico "Congress 2012: The 5 ugliest member vs. member battles" Accessed April 18, 2012
- Daily Herald "Manzullo to run in redrawn 16th District" accessed December 15, 2011
- ABC News 7 "Election Results Primary 2012" accessed March 20, 2012
- Illinois State Board of Elections "Candidate List" accessed December 27, 2011
- Politico.com, "Cantor endorses Kinzinger over Manzullo," March 8, 2012
- The Journal Star, "Schock continues to back Romney for GOP nomination," January 17, 2012
- Rockford Register Star, "Chuck Sweeny: Dave Winters backs Don Manzullo's opponent," January 30, 2012
- Morris Daily Herals," Manzullo earns Illinois Tea Party endorsement," February 7, 2012
- Illinois Conservatives: Endorsed candidates," accessed February 17, 2012
- Illinois Review, "Illinois citizens for life endorses Manzullo," January 26, 2012
- Family PAC Federal, "Endorsements," accessed February 17, 2012
- YouTube.com, "Rockford Mayor Larry Morrisey endorses Rep. Don Manzullo," February 13, 2012
- Politico, "Illinois Republicans brace for bloodbath," June 2, 2011
- BusinessWeek, "Illinois Republicans Lose Challenge to New Congressional Map," December 16, 2011
- Don Manzullo for Congress, "Manzullo to run for re-election in new 16th District — Bureau County Republican," January 4, 2012
- WJBC, "Kinzinger to run in 16th District," December 15, 2011
- Moonshadow Mobile's CensusViewer "Illinois' congressional districts 2001-2011 comparison"
- Labels & Lists "VoterMapping software voter counts"
- "2011 Redistricting and 2012 Elections in Illinois," September 2012
- Cook Political Report "Partisan Voting Index Districts of the 113th Congress: 2004 & 2008" Accessed October 2012
- The Daily Journal, "Iroquois County: Manzullo, Kinzinger take aim in debate," February 22, 2012
- Rockford Register Star, "Chuck Sweeney: Don Manzullo and Adam Kinzinger debate," February 22, 2012
- Chicago Tribune, "For the Republicans: Kinzinger," February 24, 2012
- OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
- OpenCongress "Voting With Party"
- U.S. House of Representatives Clerk, 112th Congress - 1st session (2011) roll call votes," accessed February 10, 2012
- U.S. House of Representatives Clerk, 112th Congress - 2nd session (2012) roll call votes," accessed February 10, 2012
- ElectAdam.com, "Issues," accessed March 2, 2012
- Manzullo.org, "Solutions," accessed March 2, 2012
- U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010"
- U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010"
- U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008"
- U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2006"
- U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2004"
- U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 2002"
- U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2000"
- U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1998"
- U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 1996"
- U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 8, 1994"
- FEC Reports "Adam Kinzinger Summary Reports" Accessed July 13, 2012
- FEC Reports "Pre Primary" Accessed July 13, 2012
- FEC Reports "April Quarterly" Accessed July 13, 2012