Underwood for CongressCook Political: House Rating Changes: Post-Kavanaugh Polls Reveal an Even More Polarized Landscape ...
IL-14: Randy Hultgren (R) - Chicago north and west exurbs: Batavia, McHenry - Toss Up. A Siena College/New York Times poll taken the past week showed Hultgren leading Democratic nurse and former HHS official Lauren Underwood 47 percent to 43 percent. But the poll also found the four-term GOP incumbent unknown to 42 percent of voters, an ominous omen for a down-the-line conservative in a heavily suburban seat that voted for President Trump just 48 percent to 45 percent.
When Republican strategists express worry about getting buried by a "green wave" of Democratic cash, the expensive Chicago media market could be a prime example. Hultgren, not known for his pizzazz, had $1 million on hand at the end of June. But the 32-year old Underwood raised $2 million in the most recent fundraising quarter and could outspend Hultgren considerably in the final stretch.
Underwood has been up on air since mid-September with an ad talking about her pre-existing heart condition and how Hultgren's vote to repeal the ACA inspired her to run. This week, Hultgren and the NRCC felt compelled to respond with ads accusing Underwood of being "bankrolled" by state House Speaker Mike Madigan's machine and supporting a "government takeover of healthcare."
The big danger for Illinois Republicans: Gov. Bruce Rauner is getting trounced in his reelection race and could drag others down with him. A new Reuters/Ipsos/University of Virginia Center for Politics poll found Democrats leading the generic congressional ballot in Illinois 57 percent to 35 percent. That's particularly treacherous for GOP members who lack their own strong brand, such as Hultgren.