Illinois Dems have freshmen members in their sights ahead of redistricting

For all the advantages Republicans can boast in some key states ahead of the upcoming redraw, Illinois is one state where Democrats are poised to completely roll over the GOP in the redistricting process. 


With control of the state legislature and the governor's office, Democrats have a lock on the process in Illinois, and observers fully expect them to use it. 

The targets are obvious — five incoming GOP members of the House and a rising star in the Republican party, Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.), who just won reelection to a second term. 

"I don't think any of them should be emptying their boxes and settling in just yet," Democratic strategist Eric Adelstein said of the state's newly-elected Republicans. "I can just about guarantee you they're not all coming back." 

GOP Reps.-elect Robert Dold, Joe Walsh, Adam Kinzinger, Randy Hultgren and Bobby Schilling are among the new targets, with one of the most likely scenarios being the merging of two GOP districts, potentially in the Chicago suburbs.  

Earlier this month, Schilling told The Ballot Box that he wasn't overly concerned about the damage Democrats could do in the 17th District given its Democratic lean. 

"The district that I'm in was gerrymandered back in 2000 and they literally went in and cut out specific neighborhoods," Schilling said. "So it's going to be difficult for them to make this any more Democratic." 

Schilling's defeat of Rep. Phil Hare (D-Ill.) last month was a big upset in a district already predisposed to favor Democrats. 

"It would be nice if I had a few more Republicans in there, but it will just mean that I'll have to work that much harder and get out to those people and reach out," Schilling said. "I wasn't expecting 2012 to be easy."

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