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GOP operatives were hoping Ilya Sheyman would be the Democratic challenger, but he lost the primary to businessman Brad Schneider, a mainstream Democrat. The Jewish community is not unimportant in this district, and Dold is widely seen as a reliable supporter of Israel. But Schneider, a mainstream Democrat who contributed in the past to the district’s previous Congressman, now-Sen. Mark Kirk (R), has been active on pro-Israel issues as well.
While the numbers are tough for Dold, he has the right profile for the district, and Obama’s appeal may be less than it was two years ago, even in this upscale North Shore district. Still, the Republican looks to be a clear underdog.
Stuart Rothenberg is editor of the Rothenberg Political Report.