To: Interested Parties
From: Sacha Haworth, Great Lakes Regional Press Secretary
Date: March 15, 2016
RE: The Case Against Bob Dold
Tonight’s Illinois Primary results mark the beginning of the general election race for Illinois’ 10th Congressional District, and a rematch between Congressman Bob Dold and former Congressman Brad Schneider.
No matter how he tries to spin it, Bob Dold has always been happy to vote how he’s told when Republican leaders in Washington expect Republicans to toe the party line. After supporting the reckless Ryan budgets and the disastrous House Republican Budget, it’s no wonder Paul Ryan called him a fellow “strong Conservative” before handing him Aaron Schock’s coveted seat on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.
With Bob Dold, the Devil is in the Details
Clearly inspired by praise from Republican Party leaders, Bob Dold continued to say one thing to Illinois voters and another to Washington insiders when he introduced a measure to defund Planned Parenthood clinics for 90 days, while issuing a press release touting his “support” for a woman’s right to choose. Dold again sided with his fellow House Republicans on blocking common-sense gun safety measures by repeatedly voting to block debate on H.R.1076, the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act, again while proudly declaring his co-sponsorship of it. Dold played the same game with LGBT people, when, a week after voting with Republicans against more discrimination protections for LGBT workers, he touted his support for the Equality Act.
And despite publicly decrying the hate speech that Donald Trump has been spewing on the campaign trail, Bob Dold was a featured speaker at a closed-door briefing on Capitol Hill held by an anti-immigrant organization categorized as a hate group.
With Bob Dold, the devil is in the details.
Former Congressman Brad Schneider Holds Lead Over Dold
Former Congressman Brad Schneider is in a strong position heading into the general election. In 2012, as an unknown challenger, Brad beat Dold and went on to serve this district with distinction before narrowly losing it in 2014. The most recent polling shows that Schneider currently holds an 8-point lead over Dold, and holds double-digit leads among Independents and women. What’s more, more than a third of likely voters holds an unfavorable view of Bob Dold – even more so among Independents, women, and younger voters.
Brad Schneider has proven he will be well-resourced to take on Dold in November. Already this cycle he has raised more than $1.77 million, and his hauls of $4,838,454 in 2014 and $2,943,321 in 2012 show that Brad’s financial support runs deep in his district and nationwide.
IL-10 is a Democratic District – and Donald Trump Does Not Belong
Illinois’ 10th District is one of the most Democratic-leaning districts held by a Republican in the entire country. A presidential year only increases the odds in favor of a Democratic candidate: past years demonstrate increased turnout, especially among Hispanic, youth, and African-American voters. All of these demographics favor Democrats.
Thanks to the surge of Donald Trump, Republican Bob Dold is especially vulnerable. More than 17% of this district is Spanish-speaking – and a recent Gallup Poll noted that three of four Hispanics view Donald Trump negatively. Furthermore, according to US News, Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric has caused a “spike in new voter registration among Latinos upset by his rhetoric” that “could lead to his and other anti-immigrant candidates’ ultimate defeat.”
And try as he might to separate himself from Trump’s hateful speech, it will be hard for Dold to maintain any distance from his racially-charged rhetoric when Dold himself spoke to a hate group behind closed doors. As a Republican strategist recently put it:
‘“The top of the ticket is going to have a significant impact for House and Senate races and anyone who says otherwise is kidding themselves,” said Republican strategist Brian Walsh, a former spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.’
Conclusion: Bob Dold’s Reelection is in Peril
In 2016, Republican Congressman Bob Dold already faces an uphill battle. A larger Democratic electorate and Donald Trump’s continued rise has already damaged the Republican brand among voters. Bob Dold continues to try and pull the wool over his constituents’ eyes by literally saying one thing and doing another, but if past is prologue, voters in Illinois’ 10th District will hold Dold accountable for putting the priorities of Republican Party leaders ahead of their own.