Dold, Schneider vie to represent 10th District in U.S. Senate - FOX 32 News Chicago

Dold, Schneider vie to represent 10th District in U.S. Senate

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The Northern Shore's 10th Congressional District is home to more ticket-splitting voters than just about anywhere else in Illinois.

They sent Republican Mark Kirk to Congress for many years, but about 62% voted for Barack Obama in 2008. In 2010, when Kirk moved to the U.S. Senate two years ago, they chose a Republican to replace him on Capitol Hill.

A Washington-based lobbying group gave boxing gloves to Democrat Brad Schneider in October, during a campaign stop at a deli in Northbrook.

They want him to fight any plan to reduce Medicare or Social Security benefits for seniors or to increase what they have to pay.

"What we can't do," Schneider said, "again Mr. Dold and the Republicans did - not once but twice - is try to turn the Medicare guarantee into a voucher program."

But freshman Rep. Robert Dold said his goal is to save entitlements.

"We need to make sure that we're strengthening the social safety net," Dold (R) said. "Medicare as we know it is going bankrupt in, now, 10 years. It was 12 years. It's now 10 years. My opponent is talking about taking more out of the federal government."

Seniors in the North Shore 10th District are paying careful attention.

Four years ago, they favored Barack Obama for President, but crossed over to the Republican column to send Mark Kirk to Congress.

Now a US senator, Kirk appeared with Dold in one of the campaign's final ads.

Brad Schneider and the two other Democratic candidates in those red-hot suburban congressionals were downtown last Thursday night, when Nancy Pelosi came to town for a fundraiser.

She's got to run the table in Illinois to have any chance of unseating John Boehner and becoming Speaker of the House again.

Illinois is so important to Capitol Hill's balance of power because six House seats are up for grabs for the state; right now, five are held by Republicans, and only one by a Democrat.

Those GOP districts are a big chunk of the 25 Democrats need to pick up nationwide. Latest polls by We Ask America and others currently indicate a 3/3 split. The 11th district is close.

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