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Posts in "Ill.-12"
September 3, 2014
DU QUOIN, Ill. — With more than 19 years under his belt as an Illinois legislator, state Rep. Mike Bost has seen it all on the campaign trail.
At a mid-August campaign stop, the Republican taking on Democratic Rep. Bill Enyart, one of the most vulnerable members of Congress, dished on door-knocking memories as he sipped a beer at the St. Nicholas Brewing Company. It’s a new craft beer joint here in a farming town of some 6,000 people, connected to Chicago and Carbondale via Amtrak’s Saluki train, and in the heart of the swingy 12th District.
Bost leaned over to an aide, smirking. “I’m going to tell her about walking precincts with my wife in Belleville,” he said, before relaying the tale of finding a pool of blood in a driveway and missing a fatal stabbing by just hours.
While he survived that experience, Bost admits his challenge this cycle may be the greatest he’s staked yet. But it’s one national Republicans are increasingly optimistic about.
Welcome to the general election: Labor Day has passed, nearly every primary has finished, and Roll Call has revised its monthly list of the 10 most vulnerable House members.
Since this feature last published in August, Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, R-Mich., lost his primary by a wide margin, while Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., barely survived his, defeating his primary foe by 38 votes.
That opened up two spots in the Top 10 — and there are a plethora of choices this cycle to fill their spots, plus more honorable mentions below.
House Democrats must net 17 seats to win the majority. But most of the names below are Democrats, symbolic of a cycle increasingly favorable to Republicans.
For now, here are the 10 most vulnerable House members in alphabetical order:
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.
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 17, 2014
The National Republican Congressional Committee has reserved $30 million in television airtime this fall, signaling it is preparing to go on offense in 17 districts and defend nine more.
The NRCC has put its marker down in many of the same House districts as its counterpart, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. It’s a good indicator of which races both parties think will be most competitive in November.
But there are a few competitive districts not included in the NRCC’s initial reservations, such as Iowa’s 3rd District — an open seat currently held by a Republican that is one of this cycle’s few Tossup races.
Also, the NRCC’s television reservations total $13.5 million less than what the DCCC has already reserved for this fall. The committees will likely shift and add more airtime as individual races develop during the rest of the cycle.
But the DCCC has raised more money than the NRCC this cycle. As of the end of April, the DCCC had $43.3 million in the bank, while the NRCC had $32.3 million.
Here are the districts where the NRCC has already reserved airtime for this fall:
May 29, 2014
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has reserved $43.5 million in television airtime in dozens of targeted House districts this fall — a signal the party is attempting to play defense and offense in a challenging midterm cycle.
The money is split across 36 districts, including 17 pickup opportunities, according to a DCCC aide. More districts and more money could be added to the reservations as the cycle progresses, the aide said.
The DCCC had $43.3 million in the bank at the end of April and has raised more than its Republican counterpart by large margins this cycle. The committee ended April with an $11 million cash-on-hand advantage over the National Republican Congressional Committee.
These ad reservations give insight into which members Democrats see as vulnerable, and which seats the DCCC sees as the best possibility to take in November. They also signal to outside groups where the the party might need help on the airwaves this fall.
However, parties can cancel or change these reservations until shortly before the advertisements air in most cases.
Here are the districts where the DCCC has reserved airtime:
May 22, 2014
GOP state Rep. Mike Bost had a 6-point lead on freshman Democratic Rep. Bill Enyart in a targeted Illinois House race, according to an internal poll conducted for Bost’s campaign and provided first to CQ Roll Call.
Bost garnered 43 percent to Enyart’s 37 percent, according to the poll, conducted by GOP polling firm The Tarrance Group.
The poll also found Enyart was not well established in his Illinois’ 12th District one year and five months into his term. Only 27 percent of voters approved of the job Enyart is doing, with half telling pollsters they were ready for new leadership in Congress.
May 12, 2014
National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden on Monday unveiled the first round of House GOP candidates elevated to “Young Gun” status.
The NRCC’s Young Guns program is the highest designation for recruits in either open-seat races or in districts where the GOP is on offense. The program allows the party to communicate to donors and the political world who are the most organized recruits of the cycle.
Candidates earn this status by demonstrating “their ability to build a formidable campaign structure and achieve important goals and benchmarks,” according to a news release.
“Candidates that reach ‘Young Gun’ status have met a series of rigorous goals that will put them in a position to win on Election Day,” Walden said in a 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.”
The new Young Guns are:
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:
September 12, 2013
The candidate: State Rep. Mike Bost, a Republican
The member: Bost is challenging freshman Rep. Bill Enyart, a Democrat.
The district: Illinois’ 12th District is located in the southwest corner of the state and is one of the most competitive congressional districts in Illinois. President Barack Obama won the district by a slim 2-point margin in 2012.
The candidate’s team: Julie Wadler (fundraising), Ben Burger, SRCPmedia (media), Tarrance Group (polling).
Illinois state Rep. Mike Bost, who garnered YouTube fame when his heated “Let my people go” floor speech on the state House floor went viral, said he could show that same passion in Congress, should he be elected next fall.
Bost is challenging freshman Rep. Bill Enyart, D-Ill., in the competitive 12th District next year. Last cycle, Enyart defeated his Republican opponent by a 9-point margin.
But many Republicans lamented that their nominee for this race last cycle was lackluster. They believe Bost — who has represented a large chunk of the district over his 20 years in the state legislature — will have a better shot in 2014.
July 29, 2013
Republican state Rep. Mike Bost will announce on Monday that he is challenging freshman Rep. Bill Enyart, D-Ill., in one of the state’s most competitive districts.
Bost’s campaign confirmed to CQ Roll Call that he will make his announcement at a series of stops throughout the 12th District, located in the southwest corner of the state.
June 5, 2013
National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden signaled that he plans to stay on offense in 2014 with the aim of expanding his party’s 17-seat majority.
In a Wednesday memo to the House Republican Conference obtained exclusively by CQ Roll Call, Walden says his committee will be “aggressively expanding the playing field” thanks, in part, to Democratic recruitment struggles.
“The question facing Democrats is how, if they are struggling on their home court, will they ever win the Republican-leaning districts they need to regain the majority?” Walden wrote to his colleagues.
He went on to highlight Democratic candidates who dropped their House bids early in the cycle, framing them as recruitment failures. He named-checked former candidates such as hotel magnate Jim Graves in Minnesota’s 6th District and former state Sen. Staci Appel in Iowa’s 3rd District.
Walden also cited promising polling in a handful of House seats held by Democrats, including:
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.