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The Republican In The Most Democratic District

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Robert Dold Facebook Page
    Bob Dold has a tough reelection climb because he's in a Democratic stronghold after redistricting switched his area's demographics.

    Which Republican congressman got screwed the hardest by House Speaker Michael Madigan’s remap? According to The New York Times, it’s Rep. Bob Dold. Dold is profiled in today’s paper as the Republican with the most Democratic district in the country. In 2008, 63 percent of the new 10th District’s voters went for Barack Obama.

    As a result, Dold is campaigning as an independent, touting his support for Planned Parenthood and a vote against the Republican transportation bill. The Times reported this awkward exchange between the congressmen and a group of retired blue collar workers at Fred’s Diner in Grayslake.

    “I’m rated by most organizations as the most independent member of the Congress,” Mr. Dold, a Republican freshman, told the group of retirees, many of whom had announced themselves as Democrats, and union-affiliated to boot. One or two smiled politely. A few stared at their uneaten pancakes.
    “Have you signed the Grover Norquist pledge?” asked Dan Groth, 74, referring to a promise not to raise taxes under any circumstances. “I did,” Mr. Dold conceded, and he quickly went on to tick off the bipartisan budget measures he had also supported, as Mr. Groth shook his head.
    “If you do get in, I’ll be watching what you do,” Mr. Groth said. “Good luck to you.”

    Here’s a charting listing the 2008 Obama vote in every current Illinois district.

        1st Bobby Rush-D                 81 percent
        2nd Jesse Jackson Jr.-D     81 percent
        3rd Dan Lipinski-D                58 percent
        4th Luis Gutierrez-D              80 percent
        5th Mike Quigley-D                70 percent
        6th Peter Roskam-R             51 percent
        7th Danny Davis-D                89 percent
        8th Joe Walsh-R                   62 percent
        9th Jan Schakowsky-D        69 percent
        10th Bob Dold-R                   63 percent
        11th Judy Biggert-R              61 percent
        12th Jerry Costello-D           55 percent
        13th Tim Johnson-R            55 percent
        14th Randy Hultgten-R        51 percent
        15th John Shimkus-R         43 percent
        16th Adam Kinzinger-R       50 percent
        17th Bobby Schilling-R        60 percent
        18th Aaron Schock-R           44 percent

    The only two districts that voted against Obama -- Shimkus’s and Schock’s -- got more Republican in the remap. Madigan concentrated Republican voters in those lost-cause districts in order to make the rest more Democratic. Schilling’s district went from 56 percent Obama voter to 60 percent, Walsh’s from 56 percent to 52 percent.

    In 2008, Mark Kirk won the 10th District, even though it went 61 percent for Obama. But he was a well-established incumbent who’d spent years building an independent image. It’s going to be tougher for Dold. 

    Buy this book! Ward Room blogger Edward McClelland's book, Young Mr. Obama: Chicago and the Making of a Black President , is available Amazon. Young Mr. Obama includes reporting on President Obama's earliest days in the Windy City, covering how a presumptuous young man transformed himself into presidential material. Buy it now!