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No Illinoisans on initial GOP target list

Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013

* Notice the absence of any Illinois Democrats on this list. From The Hill

Promising to “stay on offense” in 2014, National Republican Congressional Committee Executive Director Liesl Hickey is out with a memo arguing it’s in a strong position heading into this election cycle, and outlining seven early targets for the committee.

The targets all hail from GOP-leaning districts that the GOP has carried in the past three presidential elections: Reps. Ron Barber (D-Ariz.), John Barrow (D-Ga.), Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.), Jim Matheson (D-Utah), Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.), Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) and Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.).

The memo points out that Mitt Romney carried 227 districts while President Obama won 208, a statistic that illustrates how difficult it will be for Democrats to capture enough House seats to retake control of the upper chamber. Much of that advantage came from successful Republican redistricting efforts after the 2010 election.

“As a result of redistricting, which favored Republicans, and this well-executed [offensive] strategy — the House is well-aligned and firmly in GOP control,” Hickey writes. “The national map of competitive House races looks very different headed into 2014. Namely, it’s smaller and Republicans have the upper-hand.”

Democratic congressional candidates won about a million more votes than Republicans, but still lost the House. Redistricting went the other way for the GOP here in Illinois, however, and that early list is a sign that the national GOP accepts the reality.

* This is not to say that there won’t be any targeted races here. I assume that the Republicans will be going after Brad Schneider in the 10th CD, who beat freshman Republican Bob Dold by just a handful of votes. Congressman Bobby Schilling may run again after losing to Cheri Bustos by six and a half points. And Bill Enyart obviously needs to watch his voting record because his district is so conservative.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


25 Comments
  1. - western illinois - Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 9:29 am:

    They may be trying to peel of votes from teh very few remaining conservadems. All but McIntyre won easily
    Obama won 208 districts and the dems now have 201 or 2 so are they making the case they should lose more seats?


  2. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 9:32 am:

    Now the NRCC thinks the ILGOP and our Congressional chances are …Irrelevent! “Oh, Illinois! I thought you meant the Idaho GOP or Indiana GOP …Nah, I think we should hold out powder, but take their money at our Chicago fundraisers …”

    Yeah ILGOP! Your disaster of leadership knows no bounds … to mock.

    To be fair to the Post, the only Dem seats that the GOP can hope to get back are, indeed, Schneider and Bustos, and “that’s the list”.

    If, if, IF, Jason Plummer decides to be the Dan Seals of the ILGOP and Jason’s Dad raises his allowance or gives him a cooler job title, that is going to lead to Disaster. A nine point loss is getting waxed.


  3. - Will Caskey - Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 9:36 am:

    That is extremely surprising. The FEC is testament that I am a fan of Cheri Bustos but I would not say she is in a strong position for the midterms. Maybe Schneider too but he probably has an easier time of it, his close win notwithstanding.


  4. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 9:39 am:

    Just to make even more clear, I think Schilling and Dold should be the opponents, they will have the best shots to win seats back, even though its a new district they have never won in, but they already have run in thos districts and have served, plus the built-in name ID from the last go.

    Anyone completely “new” against Bustos or Schnieder may have a more difficult time going against an incumbent, and with no trial run in that new district.


  5. - shore - Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 9:40 am:

    I would be stunned if they compete in any of those districts, not because they’re not winnable-foster, schneider, and duckworth were awful candidates for different reasons. Dold’s house was in the southern end of the old district which is now 25 miles from the heart of the new district-a big distance in the suburbs.

    For 20 years the NRCC’s deal has been to lose suburban districts rep’d by republicans by very very close margins and then not compete for them the next cycle figuring that a) they’re too expensive b) that gop incumbent’s popularity was based on his personal qualities a challenger can’t represent c) it’s much easier and less expensive to run ads tying a southern/rural/conservative democrat to national democrats than it is to play defense in the chicago suburbs d)the party brand is so awful-which is true-that no matter the gop candidate, it can’t win barring a wave like the one kirk, walsh and dold got in 2010.


  6. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 9:42 am:

    Illinois is not a place to send GOP money to when they’ll be playing defense in 2014, and focusing on winning the Senate.

    Illinois is a GOP wasteland. Like pouring water in a dessert.


  7. - western illinois - Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 9:48 am:

    I really did not think Bustos ran a very impressive campaign and she won easily . It is full of some of teh very few rural counties Obama won anywhere. I will say off year is a very different electorate.
    The dems had run some ads and the GOP must have decided it had to do something. The hurricane Sandy fight almost switched the US house. The remaning conservatives from the Northeast and Midwest are getting tired of the southern fried nonsense. Wait till Sandy Hook trutherism is brought up by some US house member
    In Illinois I am thinking March is going to become the real election


  8. - Larry Falbe - Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 10:01 am:

    “The Dan Seals of the ILGOP.” heh. That’s not a title I’d wish on anybody. I miss beating up on Dan Seals. He was a lot more interesting than Schneider, at least.


  9. - The Captain - Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 10:11 am:

    My expectation is that 10, 11, 13 and 17 will spend at least two years each under a Dem and a Republican during this map so I’d be shocked if those aren’t competitive races for the rest of the decade. Further the Republicans could get lucky in a non-pres year in 12 and they’d be wise to keep Duckworth busy at home instead of traveling the country helping other candidates.


  10. - Downstater - Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 10:21 am:

    “If, if, IF, Jason Plummer decides to be the Dan Seals of the ILGOP and Jason’s Dad raises his allowance or gives him a cooler job title, that is going to lead to Disaster. A nine point loss is getting waxed.” Recent press release- Plummer appointed to board of directors of $1 billion regional bank. Dad was Chair of bank board.


  11. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 10:22 am:

    ===and Jason’s Dad raises his allowance ===

    Jason was just put on the board of directors at his father’s bank in Edwardsville.


  12. - MrJM - Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 10:28 am:

    With the National Republican Congressional Committee off the board, this looks like a perfect opportunity for a little Tea Party money/effort to go a long way (towards further damaging the GOP brand in Illinois).

    – MrJM


  13. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 10:34 am:

    I’d imagine Dold could raise money to attempt to reclaim his seat in a non-presidential year.

    Schilling might have it a little tougher. Six-and-a-half points is not a small number for an incumbent to lose by.


  14. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 10:35 am:

    ===Jason was just put on the board of directors at his father’s bank in Edwardsville.===

    “Look, Board-Member people… I can do this real good. I mean, just last week, I got to be the ‘Banker’ when Dad and I played Monopoly and I only messed up 4 times which was so cool…So, Dad says I’m in and stuff, so is that cool?”

    When will Jason stop using his Dad as an HR Department? Honestly, seriously. Can Jason Plummer get a job without Jason’s Dad as the HR Department? It is NOW, more than ever, a relevent question, and his “appointment” proves once again, Jason … can’t

    Pathetic!


  15. - Kana - Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 10:40 am:

    Note that all of the districts highlighted in this memo are “GOP-leaning districts that the GOP has carried in the past three presidential elections.” None of the IL districts fit that criteria and based on that would not be included.

    I’d be surprised if the national party put as many seats in play in IL as in 2012, but they’d get behind Dold or Schilling or a credible challenger to Enyart in an off-year (more cons.) election. Also like to point out that Hickey was an IL political operative prior to be in DC, so the IL seats will get the attention they deserve.


  16. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 11:10 am:

    Question: How many 30 year olds are on the Board of Directors at Billion Dollar Banks?

    I am looking forward to Jason to come back now … “I am now on the Board of Directors of a bank, creating jobs and helping businesses every day.”

    “At 30, did you apply?”

    “Dad said it was ‘cool’.”

    Jason will just never, ever learn.

    Please … run again!


  17. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 11:18 am:

    Dold tried to run as an Independent, but that didn’t work, too much Tea Party baggage. I suspect many former GOP districts will stay that way unless candidates willing to abandon the Tea Party run.


  18. - walkinfool - Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 11:38 am:

    It’s probably smart to focus more of their resources on guaranteeing their majority, than on targeting switches.


  19. - Conservative Republican - Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 11:50 am:

    Schilling and Dold may have a good chance at a comeback. Dem votes tend to drop off significantly in the mid terms, making the races a much better bet than 2012.


  20. - shore - Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 12:01 pm:

    Hickey was Kirk’s cos and ran his campaigns on and off for 10 years. She’s running the NRCC solely because of what she did working for him. They ran incredibly cautious, defensive, rose garden type campaigns. NRCC’s focus will be protecting the philly suburbs/nj/obama ca seats, saving freshmen with fat mouths from themselves, avoiding primaries like the castle-o’donnell fiasco on the senate side, and picking their spots. Majority parties first priority is protecting members and then member seats coming open. Last on that list are “expensive democrat leaning suburban seats in the president’s frontyard that will cost millions to win and millions to keep every cycle”.

    Seals, mocked here, ran a better campaign against kirk in 2006 than Alexi did in 2010 without any party support and was outside of quigley and rahm probably the best candidate Democrats have recruited to run for congress over the last 12 years. Goofy, but much savvier, smarter, and certainly more polished, than Bean, Enyart, bustos, duckworth, lipinski, halvorson. Had they taken him seriously in 2006 when they caught kirk sleeping, he would have won.


  21. - CU Voter - Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 12:30 pm:

    Kana is right. This list comes from a formula.

    From a distance I see it this way. Schilling as a candidate would make Bustos a target. Anyone else, probably not. Dold, would be a major target. Any other white male, probably not. Enyart, probably a big target. Unless it’s Plummer.


  22. - McLeaniac - Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 12:40 pm:

    I think the Dems could pick off Rodney Davis easily - all they need is a passable candidate that is not David Gill plus some Dem backing and Davis is GONE.


  23. - qcexaminer - Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 1:34 pm:

    Another thing to consider is that Cheri Bustos will actually have to vote over the next two years and not just parrot Dem talking points.

    At a recent press conference in the QCs, Cheri declined to state her opinion on the assault rifle ban. In the old 17th, this would have been a slam-dunk, but with the 17th now including parts of more liberal Peoria and Rockford, it’s gonna take the wisdom of Solomon to know how to appease the constituents of the 17th.

    Or maybe just vote “present”. lol

    Phil Hare lost his seat in part because he voted to the far left of the old 17th—he was more the congressman from San Francisco than the congressman from moderate Dem QCs. With this new area included, it will be fun to see how Cheri threads the needle—or doesn’t!


  24. - western illinois - Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 6:06 pm:

    She can be as Liberal as Hare Its all urban Illinois plus Galesburg which voted for Mosley Braun. All those red counties south of Warren are gone. Warren did vote foor concealed carry but not by the landslide of the bulde counties. Ogle was 50-50. The rural areas went for Schilling and that is not enough but it could be closer in an off year


  25. - wishbone - Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 10:47 pm:

    And gun control that focuses on the law abiding rather than the mentally ill mass killers will wash these Blue Dog Democrats away. Cuomo’s talk of confiscating guns will seal it. My fellow Democrats learned nothing from 1994.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* The other strategy
* Rauner latches onto term limits proposal
* Because Illinois is a real battleground state
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