A couple months ago, my colleague Carol Felsenthal wrote an interesting post about the race in the 10th district, Republican Bob Dold versus Democrat Brad Schneider. It's worth revisiting, as it presaged the current state of the race. For instance:
if you go to the website of Dold’s challenger, Brad Schneider, there’s Ryan, front and center. “The new Romney-Ryan-Dold ticket,” Schneider’s website says, linking to a story from the Libertyville Patch that charges the trio will make “seniors pay more while extending unnecessary tax breaks to those who need it the least.”
It's not just Ryan who Democrats are trying to hang around Dold's neck. Why stop with Ryan when there's Joe Walsh, last seen making national headlines by denying that there's no such thing as a medically necessary abortion? The Democratic House Majority PAC and the SEIU is trying to kill two birds with the very heavy stone of Joe Walsh's candidacy, at a cost of $2.4 million.
It's an interesting tactic. Dold has a reputation as a moderate Republican, but he was redistricted into a Democratic district (though Dold, as a reasonably high-profile incumbent, has a big cash lead), the most Democratic seat held by a Republican. If they can push him to the right far enough, the idea is that he'll fall off the cliff. But Dold has an interesting new savior now (h/t Emmet Sullivan):
Seeking to reshape a national political debate he finds frustratingly superficial, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York is plunging into the 2012 campaign in its final weeks, creating his own “super PAC” to direct millions of dollars in donations to elect candidates from both parties who he believes will focus on problem solving.
Bloomberg's boutique PAC includes Dold; as the NYT points out, Bloomberg is passionate about gun control, which Dold favors, and the pro-choice Dold has also backed Planned Parenthood while bucking his fellow House GOP colleagues. Dold also got behind the Golden Goose Awards, a mature response to the irritating cherry-picking of silly-sounding scientific research in the name of smaller government:
“When we invest in science, we also invest in jobs. Research and development is a key part to any healthy economy,” said Rep. Robert Dold (R-Ill.) at Wednesday’s press conference. “It’s critical, and the federal government has an important role to play,” said Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Penn.), who described how injecting horses with snake venom might “seem peculiar” but led to the discovery of the first anti-venom.
The group also wants their colleagues–and the broader public–to understand that investing in science means that the research failures are part of the process, as well. “There has never been a scientific project with guaranteed success…a single breakthrough can counter a thousand failures,” says Cooper.
The DCCC has Dold one point behind Schneider. The most Democratic district with a Republican incumbent makes Dold vulnerable, but it's also a good place to be a moderate Republican… if he can survive his own party.