Democrats Struggle To Make Inroads In Crucial Illinois House Districts

The state of Illinois has become a consistent cause of heartburn for national Democrats and, in particular, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Earlier this spring, Democrats had to come to terms with a high stakes, expensive primary between two Democrats in a pivotal north shore House seat (IL-10). A few months later in downstate Illinois, a four-time failed progressive Democrat declared his candidacy as an Independent, all while throwing a lot of shade at Washington Democrats (IL-13).

Now we head further south to Illinois’ 12th Congressional District, which Democrats drew after the 2010 Census to elect Democrats to Congress. Following an embarrassingly disastrous election for the Democrats in 2014, then-GOP State Rep. Mike Bost was elected to the seat and Democrats have been unable to recruit a legitimate candidate. After their prime recruit declined to run, Democrats found themselves stuck with a 30 year-old lawyer who has a whopping $65,000 in cash on hand for a would-be marquee House race.

Nathan Gonzales, a nonpartisan analyst at The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report, had some pretty rough analysis for Democrats:

“It’s surprising that Democrats haven’t found a top recruit in the 12th District… This is a district Democrats (in the Legislature) drew to elect a Democrat. They lost the seat in a terrible midterm election, but there shouldn’t be a lot of excuses as to why they can’t find someone to run in a presidential year.”

“It’s hard to see how Democrats get anywhere near a (U.S.) House majority without winning this seat.”