Illinois GOP seeks to make gains in statehouse
7 months ago
Republicans need to pick up a dozen seats — six in the state Senate and six in the House — to win a majority in either chamber for the first time in a decade
The state's unemployment rate is above 9 percent, Democrats in the Illinois Capitol have been in charge as budget and pension deficits soared, and Republicans are energized by Mitt Romney making it a close race against President Barack Obama.
Still, the odds are stacked against the Illinois GOP when it comes to challenging Democrats for control of the General Assembly.
Republicans need to pick up a dozen seats — six in the state Senate and six in the House — to win a majority in either chamber for the first time in a decade. But they're trying to do that in new legislative districts drawn by Democrats to help Democrats.
Republicans also have relatively few opportunities to make up ground. All 177 House and Senate seats are in play on the Nov. 6 ballot, but nearly half are uncontested. Of those, according to election records, Democrats are assured 45 seats, Republicans 39.
The GOP is targeting about two dozen races. In the Senate, they're even pounding a handful of entrenched Democratic incumbents over their votes for increased taxes, budget borrowing and pay raises.