The elephant in the room? The Democratic redistricting map is a thorn in the side of Republicans in Illinois.
One day after Illinois held its primaries, the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee is declaring the Democratic Party’s attempt to gerrymander itself back into a majority of seats in Illinois a failure. Although they are running in districts where the Partisan Voting Index, which measures an electorate’s political leanings, favors the Democrats, the RCCC says incumbents Joe Walsh, Bob Dold and Judy Biggert will win in November.
“Illinois State Democrats passed a 66% tax increase last year,” read a memo released to the media today. “Since that point, Illinois has struggled in job creation and has experienced a precipitous decline in year-to-year home values. Make no mistake - Republicans are on the offensive in Illinois. Our Republican members are more invigorated than ever and will stop at nothing to fight against Washington’s big government policies that have made our economy worse.”
Here’s the Republican Party’s explanation of why its candidates will win.
8th District: Rep. Joe Walsh, Republican, vs. Tammy Duckworth, Democrat (PVI: +5 Democratic)
Joe Walsh gives Republicans the best opportunity to win the 8th district. Walsh has dedicated his life to service and has become one of the most outspoken advocates for limited government and private sector job creation. Passionate about many issues, Walsh has been particularly vocal in urging Congress to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment. On the other hand, failed politician Tammy Duckworth is coming out of a nasty Democrat primary that pitted different elements of the Chicago machine against each other. Duckworth’s tremendous national and local press attention wasn’t enough to earn her a victory in the 2006 Democrat[ic] wave and won’t be enough to carry her across the finish line come November.
10th District: Rep. Robert Dold, Republican, vs. Brad Schneider, Democrat (PVI: +7 Democratic)
In 2010, Bob Dold quickly proved himself as a political force to be reckoned with as he currently represents the most Democratic district in the country held by a Republican Member. National Journal ranks Dold as one of the few members who is “closest to the ideological” center of Congress. Dold has also been recognized for his efforts to protect the environment and for his commitment to Israel's long-term security. A Member of the House Republican Israel Caucus, Dold has visited the region several times in Congress.
Dold’s challenger Brad Schneider, comes off a bruising Democrat primary where he didn’t break 50% over a 25-year-old. Endorsed by Nancy Pelosi, Schneider’s support for her national energy tax won’t bode well for Illinois families who are already paying record-high gas prices. In addition, Schneider is going to have a lot of ground to make up against Bob Dold’s fundraising prowess and retail campaign skills. Dold has a cash advantage of over $1 million compared to Schneider, a significant gap in what is sure to be a costly race.
11-th District: Rep. Judy Biggert, Republican, vs. Bill Foster, Democrat (PVI: +5 Democratic)
Voted by her peers as one of the ten most bi-partisan Republican members of the House, Judy is known for bringing members of both parties together to promote alternative energy technologies, U.S. competitiveness and to provide greater educational opportunities for homeless children. Outperforming McCain by nine points in 2008, Biggert will win a share of spilt-ticket voters. In addition, she also has the advantage of having 47% of her current constituents in her new district, compared to Bill Foster who has only represented about 26% of the new 11th.
Her Democrat[ic] opponent is failed politician Bill Foster. Foster must have missed the memo he received from Illinois families in 2010 when they rejected him for his massive spending plans, not to mention his vote to cut Medicare in order to fund his government takeover of healthcare. His job-destroying record will be a huge albatross around his neck for the next 8 months. Judy has $1.1 million COH and is well-positioned for victory here.
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