* Politico has a big profile of Mike Bost today…
He’s preoccupied by the scrutiny into what’s become known simply as “the dog story” — the resurfacing of which, he insists, is the work of Democrats trying to damage him. As he pulled into his driveway on Sunday afternoon, after showing a POLITICO reporter around his neighborhood, his Labradoodle, Betty, darted in front of his car.
“What if I killed a second dog in front of a reporter?” he joked darkly as Betty scampered up the steps to his house.
During a parade in Mt. Vernon on Saturday, nearly a dozen people told Bost they’d seen the ads about his temper. But most of them seemed unconcerned. “I see you on TV,” one man said to laughter from the candidate. “Don’t you be getting mad at me!”
Another voter said the ads made her want to vote for Bost. “About time someone got mad,” she said.
* Let’s move along to Charlie Cook…
IL-10: Brad Schneider (D) - Chicago north suburbs: Lake Shore
Toss Up. Schneider unseated Dold by just a point in 2012 with the help of President Obama’s 58 percent showing in this district, but some voters still think Dold is the incumbent. Unlike in 2012, Schneider has outraised Dold. But this year, Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn may not carry the 10th CD. Most polls continue to show the race tied or within the margin of error. It’s a total coin flip once again.
IL-12: Bill Enyart (D) - Southwest border: East St. Louis, Carbondale
Toss Up. Even though Enyart won by nine points in 2012, both parties now consider him the most vulnerable Democratic incumbent in the state. GOP state Rep. Mike Bost has simply outworked Enyart so far, and Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn is about to get clobbered in Downstate Illinois. Enyart benefited from a late surge in 2012, and Democrats have tried to pull out all the stops here once again.
In September, as expected, Democrats launched ads using infamous footage of a Bost temper tantrum on the floor of the Illinois State House. Some GOP operatives believe Bost’s outrage at the legislative leadership is actually shared by most voters in the 12th CD, so Bost tried to spin it to his advantage. Republicans believe Bost is still leading the incumbent, but it’s anyone’s guess.
IL-17: Cheri Bustos (D) - West: Rock Island, parts of Peoria and Rockford
Lean Democratic. Democrats are much more confident about Bustos’s reelection prospects than those of several others in the state. This is a Democratic-leaning seat by design, and Bustos is an energetic campaigner who has styled herself as a Blue Dog. However, Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn is badly behind in this district, and Bustos got some bad press for failing to forgo her congressional pay during the shutdown as promised.
Meanwhile, former GOP Rep. Bobby Schilling is back for the rematch with a new campaign team that includes experienced hands rather than his son, who managed the 2012 race. Republicans aren’t expressing as much enthusiasm for this race as they did a month ago, and a new We Ask America survey showed Bustos leading 55 percent to 39 percent. It’s not one of the GOP’s better opportunities at the moment.
* Lynn Sweet…
Rep. Bill Foster D-Ill., a physicist, is running his first television spot in his race against state Rep. Darlene Senger, an upbeat piece starting Friday that portrays him as a little boy fixing an old TV set — with dials — and as a young scientist studying proton decay.
The two Naperville residents are battling for the 11th Congressional District seat, turf that includes portions of the western suburbs, including large chunks of Aurora, Joliet and Naperville.
The ad goes on to show the adult Foster who says his priorities in Congress are raising the minimum wage and changing the law so student can refinance student loan debt.
* The ad...
Kind of a weird segue to the minimum wage, but whatevs.