* 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.