Daily Beast: “Democratic Dreams of Big Wins in Illinois Fading.” Even cheating doesn’t help Dems on Obama’s home turf.
The fact that Walsh is very much alive heading into the final weeks of the campaign suggests a possible Election Day stunner on President Obama’s home turf: Despite the president’s own assured victory in Illinois, more Republican congressmen may survive than ever imagined after Democrats vividly shafted the GOP in redrawing congressional districts.
Going into this cycle, the state’s congressional delegation consisted of 11 Republicans and eight Democrats. Since its population grew less than many others in the last decade, the state had to lose a seat. Democrats, who run the legislature, got to draw the map. And they were brutish in undermining Republicans. Even a three-judge federal panel, which heard a legal appeal by the GOP, conceded the party in power’s handiwork reflected “a blatant political move to increase the numbers of Democratic congressional seats.”
The map split Rockford, even though it’s “been within a single district since 1850,” the court wrote. Bobby Schilling, a freshman Republican in the 17th who ran a pizza restaurant before heading to Washington, found that just 51.9 percent of his constituents were in his new district. Adam Kinzinger, a young former fighter pilot and freshman incumbent, found just 20.5 percent of his constituents in what was slated as his new bailiwick.Similar situations abounded for Republican congressmen, prompting one, Tim Johnson, to retire and Kinzinger and Manzullo to face a primary against one another (Kinzinger would win). testimony underscored the active involvement of the Washington-based Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in creating the Illinois map, including emails about “how to destabilize Republican incumbents” and one that heralded that its aim was “seemingly accomplished” by the map.
But interviews with campaign consultants and party officials on both sides suggest that, with less than a month to go, the Democrats’ belief that they could recapture five, even six, Republican seats appears to be folly.
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