Schilling's bid for a second term is going to be much harder than his first attempt.
The current 17th earned the nickname "Rabbit on Skateboard" for its odd and obviously gerrymandered shape. The lines around the redrawn 17th are much cleaner, effectively moving the district into the northwest corner of the state. It also is more favorable to Democrats, and candidates are lining up to run against Schilling. State Sen. Dave Koehler, Freeport Mayor George Gaulrapp and East Moline Alderman Cheri Bustos are already in the crowded Democratic primary. Whoever wins the nomination will have an advantage over Schilling in the general election.
Incumbent: Aaron Schock (R)
2nd term (69 percent)
Rating: Safe Republican
Democrats went relatively easy on Schock by packing Republicans into this redrawn district.
Why did Democrats spare an up-and-comer like Schock? Some Republicans speculate it's because they want Schock to stay in the House instead of challenging Sen. Dick Durbin (D) in 2014. But given the make-up of this new district, almost any Republican could hold on to this seat until the next redraw.