WASHINGTON - The top ten Republican 2014 races nationwide include Illinois' 10th and 17th CDs, a story in RollCall.com pointed out Wednesday. Hopes to strengthen the Republican majority in the U.S. House rest with ten nationwide races, and in Illinois that includes two Republicans that won congressional seats in 2010 only to lose them in 2012 - 10th CD's Bob Dold and 17th CD's Bobby Schilling.
Roll Call's assessment of the races line up with what DC insiders have been telling Illinois Review - that their priorities in Illinois are helping U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-15) keep his seat next November, seeing Dold and Schilling regain their seats, and working with State Rep. Mike Bost to beat Democrat Bill Enyart in the 13th.
While the NRCC is officially staying out of the multi-candidate GOP primary in the 11th, they have included State Rep. Darlene Senger in their "On the Radar" candidate listing.
Roll Call writes that Dold is #3 on the NRCC's top 10 listing:
3. Former Rep. Bob Dold, R-Ill. - Dold lost re-election last year largely thanks to redistricting. During the decennial redraw, Democrats moved wealthy and socially liberal parts of Wilmette and Kenilworth into the 10th District north of Chicago. Obama won the district by 16 points, and Dold lost to Democratic Rep. Brad Schneider by less than 1 percent.
Republican operatives cede Dold’s race will be tough in 2014, even though Democratic performance will probably drop off in the district without the president on the ballot. But they also argue that if any Republican can win there, it’s him. Dold was one of the more moderate members of the House GOP during his two-year stint in Congress.
Dold’s chances will be helped by his prolific fundraising: He had $819,000 in the bank at the end of September. Schneider trailed slightly, with $767,000 in cash on hand at that time.
6. Former Rep. Bobby Schilling, R-Ill.
Much like Dold, Schilling came to the House in the 2010 tea party wave, and he lost his seat two years later, largely thanks to redistricting.
Democrats moved parts of Peoria in the 17th District, folding large populations of Democrat-leaning, blue collar voters into it. Obama won the district by a 17-point margin last year.
Like Dold, Republicans say Schilling’s background — including his ties to organized labor — make him the kind of Republican who could win this district in a good year for the GOP. But they also caution that freshman Rep. Cheri Bustos — an adept fundraiser — will be a tough Democrat to beat.
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