* The Hill looks at Illinois congressional contests…
At least four Illinois races this cycle are competitive, and Republicans are optimistic they can pick up at least one to two seats, especially with a robust GOP turnout operation backed by the wealthy Rauner.
One-term former GOP Reps. Bob Dold and Bobby Schilling are both in close rematches against Democratic Reps. Brad Schneider and Cheri Bustos, respectively. Republicans also hope to knock off freshman Rep. Bill Enyart (D) after unsuccessfully targeting the open downstate district in 2012, contending GOP state Rep. Mike Bost’s campaign is on the upswing.
* One reason why the national GOPs are optimistic is the unpopularity of Gov. Pat Quinn…
The GOP-aligned American Action Network released an automated poll last week that showed Dold up 42 percent to 39 percent in the rematch [with Schneider]. But in the governor’s race, in a district Obama won by 17 points, Rauner was leading Quinn 49 percent to 37 percent. Republicans expect similar, or even worse numbers, in from their governor in other districts in the state. […]
“We can tie Quinn to every single congressional race,” said one national GOP strategist
That poll and the expectation of tying candidates to Quinn doesn’t surprise me at all. I’m not so sure that works well in Illinois, though. Republicans tried hard to tie Democrats to Rod Blagojevich without much success.
* More from the poll…
President Barack Obama has a 44 percent job approval rating in the 10th district with 46 percent saying they disapprove and 10 percent not sure. […]
Schneider is vulnerable because in his second year as a House member, a large number of poll respondents—44 percent—have no opinion of how he is handling his job, with 28 percent approving and 28 percent disapproving. […]
* The candidate calls himself a moderate but then campaigns with Nancy Pelosi and the chair of the Democratic National Committee.
More likely 32 percent
Less likely 45 percent
Not sure 23 percent
* The candidate claims to be independent but votes with party leadership 90 percent of the time.
More likely 15 percent
Less likely 43 percent
Not sure 41 percent.
That district could easily wind up bouncing back and forth between the two parties for the rest of the remap cycle.
* Back to The Hill…
Democrats’ one saving grace could be Sen. Dick Durbin (D). The Senate majority whip is up for reelection but faces only nominal GOP opposition for a fourth term. As a downstate native who hails from Springfield, he’s always had a good image around the state and is a valuable elder statesman and party fundraiser.
I just don’t think as of yet that Durbin’s coattails will be long enough.