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Posts in "Ill.-17"
August 20, 2014
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The national political tide isn’t looking good for Democrats, but in Illinois this November, down-ballot candidates have an even bigger problem: the drag of Gov. Pat Quinn.
The Land of Lincoln is a hotbed of political activity this cycle, with Democrats defending three freshmen House incumbents and looking to pick-off one more — Republican Rep. Rodney Davis in the ultra-competitive 13th District.
All but one of those races take place outside of Chicago’s Cook County — the last bastion of support for Quinn and one of just three counties he carried in the state when he narrowly won the role in 2010. That geography is bad news for Democrats looking to tamp down losses in the midterms.
There was no clearer example of Quinn’s problems than last week’s Illinois State Fair, where elected officials, political operatives and party insiders from both sides of the aisle descended upon the Springfield fairgrounds for each party’s respective day of rallies.
On Aug. 14, Republicans flocked to the fairgrounds to support Bruce Rauner, the party’s wealthy gubernatorial nominee who rolled up to the rally on his Harley Davidson and then delivered a red-meat speech going after Quinn in front of a fired up crowd of supporters.
It was a stark contrast from Democrats’ gathering the day before, where instead of riling up his base at the fair, Quinn instead hosted a low-key picnic to pose for photos with a more mellow group of supporters, many of whom were bussed in from the Chicago area.
July 10, 2014
Freshman Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., raised $482,000 in the second quarter of this year, according to her campaign.
She will report $1.47 million in her war chest as she prepares to take on her Republican rival, former Rep. Bobby Schilling, in the 17th District. Full story
June 23, 2014
Democrats are gearing up to unleash the Clinton Dynasty.
They hope deploying the popular former White House occupants could help drum up money and hype in what could be a tough election year for the party. Democrats see the power couple as an asset, especially because Republicans have no singular unifying figure who can hit the trail.
But good thing there’s two of them.
Democratic operatives say each half of the Clinton duo appeals to different segments of the electorate — so assignments to races must be deliberate and strategic.
North of the Mason-Dixon Line and east of the Mississippi River is former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton territory — replete with voters who have already warmed to electing women to Congress. Former President Bill Clinton, party officials say, plays better in the South and Midwest, where he performed well with traditional Yellow Dog Democrats who relate to the party’s economic message but tend to be more conservative on social issues.
Together, Democratic leaders in the House and Senate say there are few areas where the Clinton duo wouldn’t have a positive impact.
“Both Clintons can go into any competitive district in the country and be enormously helpful to Democratic candidates,” Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel said. “The second Secretary Clinton is ready, we’d love to have her campaigning for House Democrats.”
June 10, 2014
The National Republican Congressional Committee has elevated 11 more candidates to “Young Gun” status, moving these prospects to the top tier of of their benchmark program for campaigns in 2014.
“Candidates that reach ‘Young Gun’ status have met a series of rigorous goals that will put them in position to win on Election Day,” NRCC Chairman Greg Walden said in a Tuesday statement. “Our job as a committee is to help elect Republicans to office that will serve as a check and balance on the Obama administration.”
All of the following, newly-minted Young Gun candidates have recently won their primaries. The NRCC does not publicly pick sides in primaries.
The 11 new Young Gun candidates are:
April 18, 2014
House Majority PAC, a super PAC with the aim of electing House Democrats, announced its first round of television reservations for the fall.
The reservations, totaling about $6.5 million, are for “the final weeks of the election in 24 districts,” a news release stated.
The super PAC during the 2012 cycle made its first round of reservations in early July in partnership with the Service Employees International Union.
“By placing these reservations early, we will make our dollars go further and ensure we have the air time to effectively fight back against the flood of Koch brothers’ dollars,” House Majority PAC Executive Director Alixandria Lapp said in a statement.
The super PAC is on offensive in six Republican-held districts and on defense in 18 Democratic districts. Often, releasing ad reservations to the press is a means to telegraph to allies, like the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, how outside groups intend to spend money.
Below is a breakdown of the buys, categorized by offensive and defensive targets:
April 11, 2014
Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos raised $403,000 in the first quarter, according to figures provided first to CQ Roll Call.
The freshman Democrat banked much of that haul, increasing her cash on hand to $1.1 million as of March 31, according to her campaign.
Bustos faces a rematch with Republican Bobby Schilling, the congressman she ousted last cycle. Bustos won by 6 points as President Barack Obama carried the district with 57 percent of the vote.
March 27, 2014
National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden is making a campaign swing through Illinois on Friday, headlining fundraisers benefiting four Republican challengers and one of the party’s most vulnerable members.
Walden will host separate fundraising events for all five Republicans in a state the party views as an opportunity to add to its House majority. That includes helping two former members ousted by Democrats in 2012 make it back to Capitol Hill in 2015.
“Chairman Walden is looking forward to highlighting our offensive opportunities in Illinois,” NRCC Communications Director Andrea Bozek said in a statement to CQ Roll Call. “Illinois is a competitive battleground state where Democrats will be forced to spend big money to defend their members.”
The fundraising beneficiaries are:
November 21, 2013
The National Republican Congressional Committee announced on Thursday 36 candidates who have achieved the committee’s “On the Radar” status.
This ranking is the first of three levels of the committee’s fundraising and infrastructure program. Earning this status means the NRCC “will help to provide candidates and their campaigns the tools they need to run successful, winning campaigns against their Democratic opponents,” according to an NRCC release.
The final level is “Young Gun” status.
“These 36 candidates all provide a stark contrast to their liberal opponents, whose support of ObamaCare and this Administration’s big-government, job-destroying agenda has taken a toll on the American people,” NRCC Chairman Greg Walden said in a statement.
Four of those rated are former members who lost re-election bids in 2012: former Reps. Robert Dold and Bobby Schilling of Illinois, Frank Guinta of New Hampshire and Nan Hayworth of New York.
Some of the other challengers are running in the same districts.
October 16, 2013
Updated 3:09 p.m. | Ring, Ring: It’s the voters.
This week, House Democrats have started a round of automated phone calls that allow recipients to connect directly to the campaign offices of their Republican opponents. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will target 16 GOP challengers in competitive districts with the calls, according to a party source.
The political benefits of this tactic are unclear. But it has the potential to be pretty annoying.
Callers are read a negative profile of the Republican that accuses him or her of supporting the shutdown. Then the caller is given the option to be transferred to the GOP candidate’s campaign to tell their office that “the shutdown is hurting our families” and the candidate “shouldn’t be part of the problem.”
Here are the targeted GOP challengers:
July 8, 2013
Former Rep. Bobby Schilling, R-Ill., announced on Monday that he will challenge freshman Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., to a rematch in Illinois’ 17th District.
“Incumbent Congresswoman Bustos has proven during her time in Washington that she doesn’t understand or feel the pain of middle class families,” Schilling said in a news release announcing his bid. “We need a true representative fighting for us in Washington and incumbent Congresswoman Cheri Bustos has refused to act.” Full story
June 10, 2013
Former Rep. Bobby Schilling, R-Ill., is eyeing a rematch with freshman Democratic Rep. Cheri Bustos in Illinois’ 17th District, according to a local report.
Schilling, who lost to Bustos in 2012 by 6 points, told the Quad City Times that his race last cycle was “an impossible task” with President Barack Obama on the top of the ticket.
But in a midterm election year, where turnout favors the party not in the White House, Schilling said he is “leaning toward” a rematch.
March 5, 2013
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel named 26 of his colleagues to the Frontline program, a committee program designed to protect their most vulnerable incumbents.
“We call this program Frontline for a reason – these Members are on the vanguard of protecting and expanding the middle class,” Israel said in a written statement released Tuesday morning.
“While the 2014 campaign will be dominated by a strong offense taking on the Tea Party Republican Congress, our success begins with our Members,” added Israel, a Democrat from New York. “These battle-tested men and women have proven time and again that they can win because no one better reflects the values of their districts.”
Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn. will spearhead the program as its chairman. He’s a Frontline alumnus as recently as the 2012 cycle.
Otherwise, the list includes several freshman members and Blue Dog Democrats:
November 6, 2012
At least three GOP House incumbents lost their seats in Illinois tonight, according to Associated Press projections.
Here is a roundup of the competitive Illinois House seats as of late tonight:
Veteran Tammy Duckworth (D) defeated Rep. Joe Walsh (R).
Former Rep. Bill Foster (D) over Rep. Judy Biggert (R).
Retired Army Maj. Gen. Bill Enyart (D) defeated businessman Jason Plummer (R).
Former East Moline Alderwoman Cheri Bustos (D) defeated Rep. Bobby Schilling (R).
The only outstanding competitive Illinois race is for the 10th district. Almost 99 percent of precincts were reporting, but it was too close for the AP to call. Democrat Brad Schneider is challenging Rep. Robert Dold (R). Schneider was up by 1 point as this was posted.
The race for the 13th district between Rodney Davis (R) and David Gill (D) was also too close to call.
October 30, 2012
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. — Democratic hopes of winning the House majority have been quashed, but in this northern Chicago suburb’s crowded village hall on a Saturday morning, one can see the glimmer of what might have been.
At this single location, early voters wait an hour to cast ballots in one of three redrawn Congressional districts. The hall serves as a symbol of the extent to which Democrats redrew the lines of the state’s map to their advantage.
Throughout the cycle, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.) repeated these words: “The road to the majority runs through Illinois.” But less than week before Election Day, it’s clear that Democrats won’t net the 25 seats needed to regain the Speaker’s gavel, and it’s equally clear they won’t make as many gains in Illinois as they had hoped. Full story
October 16, 2012
The independent expenditure arm of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee today made a new round of television ad buys in seven districts, including two New York seats where the DCCC has not previously purchased air time.
With three weeks to go before Election Day, the DCCC and the National Republican Congressional Committee have been shifting money away from races that appear less competitive and toward ones that now pop a little brighter on the committees’ radars.
According to a Democratic source with knowledge of the buys, the DCCC has placed new advertising dollars on broadcast TV in the following districts: Full story