Candidate Rick Santorum, for his part, was far outside Chicago yesterday, barnstorming through some of Illinois' smaller cities. Santorum is hoping that rural and more conservative voters will somehow push his campaign over the top, in a state where he trails in the polls and has again been vastly outspent by Mitt Romney.
The next primary election takes place in President Obama's home state of Illinois on Tuesday. While Republicans are looking to capture delegates in the presidential race, there are several House races on the ballot — mostly due to redistricting.
In one of the most closely watched of those races, U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is facing a challenge from fellow Democrat and former Rep. Debbie Halvorson.
The GOP will hold its primaries in Illinois and Louisiana this week. So maybe it's no surprise that residences there are being bombarded by political attack ads, the vast majority of them ending with phrases like this:
(SOUNDBITE OF A POLITICAL AD)
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Redistricting is forcing a handful of congressional incumbents of the same party to run against each other in primaries. On March 6, Rep. Marcy Kaptur defeated fellow liberal Democrat Rep. Dennis Kucinich in Ohio.
And next Tuesday, two conservative Republicans square off in Illinois.
The scene is the newly drawn 16th Congressional District, which covers mostly rural territory in the northern part of the state, curving around the suburbs and exurbs of Chicago, from the Wisconsin border north of Rockford to the Indiana border east of Kankakee.
Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 10:42 am
Credit Seth Perlman / AP
Illinois is in the worst fiscal shape of any state in the country.
Its pension system is $85 billion short of what it will need to pay promised retirement benefits, while it's already $8 billion behind on its everyday bills — money for schools, hospitals and private vendors for work already done and approved.
All of that could be good news next week — at least politically — says Illinois state Treasurer Dan Rutherford.