A lot of people have asked “can he win”? The answer to that right now is probably. In 2008, when Schilling challenged former Rep. Phil Hare, the Rock Island Republican won his county by 994 votes (Schilling-23,054 and Hare-22,060). Despite this, in 2012, in the matchup between Democrat Cheri Bustos and Schilling, Schilling lost Rock Island County by a margin of 6,629 votes. This clearly seems that Schilling lost support in his home county, but he actually received 28,789 votes (increase of over 5,500 votes). Cheri Bustos though received 35,418 votes (an increase over Hare’s numbers by over 13,000 votes). A total of 64,207 votes were casted in 2012 compared to only 45,114 in 2010. Therefore, it is very reasonable to expect that in 2014, the amount of votes that are casted will go back down closer to the 45,000 range because of it being an off year election and therefore lower voter turnout. If Democrats stay home, the Republican candidate can possibly win Rock Island County and have an easier time winning the 17th.
Another question being asked is ‘why was it lost in the first place?’ The district went from a Democratic +3 district in 2010 to a Democratic +7 district in 2012. Only 47 percent of the old 17th District from 2010 was placed in the new district in 2012 meaning the incumbent advantage was erased in over half of the district. There were over 90,000 more people that voted district wide in 2012 than in 2010 and in a Democratic leaning district an increase in 90,000 votes is a toxic statistic to any Republican candidate. Obviously, the reason for so many more ballots being cast is because it was a Presidential year. President Obama is still very popular in Illinois and he gave every Democratic candidate in Illinois a bit of a bump with having his name alongside them on the ballot.
Can the 17th district be reclaimed by Bobby Schilling? That is the million dollar question (more likely multi-million dollar question if he does run.) I am confident he can. Even though the numbers show that the district now leans farther to the left, Schilling was able to win in 2010 because he was an independent mind strong enough to stand up to outside pressure. Schilling showed that time and time again in Congress and could have the opportunity to do so some more if he takes the opportunity next year.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Illinois Conservatives Endorse Six Candidates for General Election
Today the Illinois Conservatives have announced their first six endorsements of the general election cycle. The six are Bill Brady (Governor), Jason Plummer (Lt. Governor), Don Manzullo (16th Congressional District), Bobby Schilling (17th Congressional District), Cedra Crenshaw (43rd State Senate District), Sam McCann (49th State Senate District).
All six of these candidates are strong conservatives ready to make a difference for the people of Illinois.
All six of these candidates are focused on bring down taxes, fixing the state and national budget crisis, creating jobs, and are pro-life. These are some of the many reasons why the Illinois Conservatives have chosen these six to be the groups first endorsements of the general election.
Bill Brady, Jason Plummer, Cedra Crenshaw, and Sam McCann will be able to work together in Springfield to fix many of the problems facing our state. These four will be strong voices against the Madigan Machine.
Don Manzullo and Bobby Schilling will stand up against Nancy Pelosi and her liberal agenda and bring a conservative voice to Washington DC.
The Illinois Conservatives that is primarily on facebook with over 2,875 members statewide. If you would like to join visit facebook.com and search Illinois Conservatives.
Zachary S. Oltmanns
President of the Illinois Conservatives
15th Congressional District (-R- Tim Johnson)
Many few Tim Johnson as the most moderate Republican from Illinois outside the Chicago area. This district has been represented by the GOP since 1977. This district also voted for Bush both times and McCain in 2008. Tim Johnson is being challenged by David Gill. The GOP is poised to hold this seat. Johnson holds the money advantage $192,497 to Gill’s $17,114. Not a real strong conservative in the race but Johnson would be better then another yes vote for Obama.
16th Congressional District (-R- Don Manzullo)
Don Manzullo looking strong as usual in the 16th. The Incumbent Manzullo has $429,324 on hand. Democrat challenger George Gaulrapp has only $5,302 on hand. George has gotten very little help from the Democratic Party as well. Manzullo has served this district since 1993. He has stood opposed to moving suspected Terrorist to the Thompson Prison. Manzullo has gotten over 66% of the vote since 2000. An easy win for Manzullo and the GOP. Great win for conservatives!
17th Congressional District (-D- Phil Hare)
The 17th district is another district here in Illinois that the GOP hopes to pick up. A new poll came out showing GOP Challenger Robert Schilling beating the Incumbent Hare 45-32. Hare is a big Pro-Choice democrat. Him and the Speaker work hand and hand on most issues. During the Obamacare drama Hare was caught saying “I don’t worry about the constitution on this to be honest.” This shows just how far out there Mr. Hare is. As conservatives we need to elect Bobby Schilling.
18th Congressional District (-R- Aaron Schock)
Aaron Schock looks like a lock to win re-election. Also, this district hasn’t been represented by a Democrat since 1939. Most consider Aaron to be a fiscal conservative but more moderate on the social issues. Aaron is facing Deidre Hirner. Hirner has $16,727 to the Incumbents $430,736.
19th Congressional District (-R- John Shimkus)
John Shimkus looks like another safe Republican here in Illinois. He is facing a very light challenger in Tim Bagwell. The FEC report shows that Bagwell has $4,546 in the bank compared to the Incumbents $1.4 million. Bagwell and Shimkus faced off back in 2004 with Shimkus prevailing 69%-31%. Look for Shimkus to easily be re-elected in the 19th.