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Budzinski makes “Red to Blue” program

Thursday, Mar 10, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Ally Mutnick

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has tapped a dozen challengers for the initial roster of its “Red to Blue” program for top-tier candidates, offering an early look at how it views the House battlefield with redistricting nearly complete.

Republicans only need to flip five seats to undo Democrats’ razor-thin majority and capture the House in November — but Democrats can stretch that number by flipping GOP-held seats the other way, and capitalizing on those opportunities will be a key part of any path to keeping the House during President Joe Biden’s first midterm.

The majority of the program’s roster is running for seats that became much more favorable for Democrats under new redistricting maps. Biden carried 10 of the 12 target districts in 2020.

“I think it’s going to be mostly about defense,” DCCC Executive Director Tim Persico said, speaking about Democrats’ midterm strategy. “But,” he added, “it’s important to play offense.”

* Nikki Budzinski…

Today, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) announced it was adding Nikki Budzinski to its first list of “Red to Blue” candidates - one of only 12 in the country to be added. Budzinski’s addition to the coveted list signals the growing momentum building behind her campaign and that she’s well-positioned to flip this open seat in November.

Red to Blue is a highly competitive battle-tested DCCC program that arms top-tier candidates, who have the best chance to flip seats from Republican to Democrat, with organizational and fundraising support to help them continue to develop strong campaigns. Through the Red to Blue program, the DCCC also provides strategic guidance, staff resources, candidate trainings and more.

Budzinski made the following statement: “I am proud of the grassroots, issues-focused campaign that we have built. The path to holding our house majority runs through winning IL13, and I am thrilled to have the DCCC’s support in that effort. I look forward to continuing to work hard, meet voters, and be a tireless champion for working families in Congress.”

This will also likely help in her primary race, which she’s the overwhelming favorite to win.


Hi there –

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee just added IL-13 Candidate Nikki Budzinski to its “Red to Blue” frontline list.

Politico noted President Biden carried this district previously by 11 points.

This move signals Democrats know what we do: Nikki Budzinski is extremely vulnerable and will need all the help she can get.

NRCC Comment: “Democrats realize their unending crises and failing socialist agenda are putting previously safe congressional seats in jeopardy, and vulnerable candidate Nikki Budzinski should be worried.” – NRCC Spokeswoman Courtney Parella

I mean, they had to say something, I guess.

* Roll Call

Democrats had a 13 to 5 advantage in the congressional delegation coming into the cycle, with Illinois losing one seat through reapportionment. If all the races go as planned by Democrats, they’ll start the next Congress with 14 members, compared to three Republicans. That would be a small step to helping Democrats maintain their slim majority nationwide, since Republicans need a net gain of just five seats for a majority.

Competitive races in the 6th, 13th, 14th, and 17th districts will decide whether Democrats drew a successful gerrymander, or a so-called dummymander, a map that benefits the party it was intended to hurt. In a great GOP cycle, Republicans could end up with one more seat from Illinois than they started with. […]

13th District (Open; Rodney Davis, R)

Democrats redrew this district to be significantly more Democratic, pushing Davis to run in the 15th District. Considering Biden would have won the seat with 54 percent, the Democratic primary is critical because the nominee will start the general election with the advantage.

The Democratic front-runner is Nikki Budzinski. The labor activist and former executive in the Office of Management and Budget had $730,000 in the bank on Dec. 31. On the Republican side, candidates include Jesse Reising, a former DOJ prosecutor and current partner at Kirkland & Ellis, philanthropist Regan Deering and others. The 13th was designed to be a Democratic pickup, but Republicans could hold it under the right conditions. Initial rating: Lean Democratic.

Rodney Davis wasn’t pushed to another district. The Democrats drew a district for him. Mary Miller shifted to the district where Davis already lived. The whole idea that a district’s assigned number has anything to do with anything is not exactly deep thinking. “I must stay within the boundaries of 13 even though I no longer live in 13 because that’s always been my district’s number!” said nobody, ever. Sorry, but I’ve seen this so many times from DC types that it’s starting to bug me.

…Adding… As a subscriber just pointed out, before the last redistricting, the 13th District was represented by Judy Biggert. Nobody thought Rodney was running in the suburbs in 2012.


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