Republican Bob Dold regained his former congressional seat Tuesday night with a victory over Democratic Rep. Brad Schneider in Illinois 10th congressional district.
Dold had previously held the seat, representing voters in the Northern suburbs of Chicago, for one term before losing to Schneider in 2012 by just 3,326 votes.
Many attributed the 2012 result to a combination of Obama’s presence on the ballot, which boosted Democratic turnout, and re-districting, which brought more registered Democrats into the traditionally independent district. (RELATED: Democrats Launch Campaign against 19 House Republican Targets for 2012)
In September, Dold told the Daily Herald that he was optimistic about his chances, because, “We don’t have President Obama at the top of the ticket this time…and Congressman Schneider now has a record.”
“We lost the last election by seven-tenths of 1 percent (with) President Obama, favorite son of Illinois, at the top of the ticket,” Dold added. (RELATED: Illinois GOP Voters Opt For Freshman Over Veteran)
In early October, a We Ask America poll showed Schneider with a 2-point lead, but in the final pre-election poll, released on October 22, Dold led Schneider by just over two points, 47-45, with slightly less than 8 percent of voters undecided.
Bipartisanship was among the biggest issues in the campaign, with Dold claiming that, “One of my hallmarks in being a member of Congress was the ability to work across the aisle,” as evidenced by his voting record.
Schneider’s campaign sought to counter that message by describing Dold as “a reliable Republican” in public statements and campaign literature, with one pro-Schneider ad even calling Dold “a tea party loyalist.”
According to Open Secrets, Schneider had raised a little more than $4 million as of October 15, compared to a little more than $3 million for Dold. However, Dold had about $1 million left in his war chest at that point, about twice what Schneider did.
Super PACs have also spent millions more on ads for and against both candidates, including “a $1.9 million television ad campaign supporting Mr. Dold” funded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s super PAC Independence USA, Crain’s Chicago Business reported recently.
In total, Dold benefited from about $5 million in spending by outside groups on pro-Dold and anti-Schneider ads, compared to about $3.25 million for Schneider, all of which went to ads attacking Dold.
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