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posted: 7/17/2011 8:03 AM

Ill. is key battleground in congressional election

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Associated Press

A Democratic congressional leader says the upcoming election will be all about Medicare, but Republicans say it's really about jobs and spending.

Rep. Steve Israel of New York told The Associated Press Saturday that Democrats will continue to drive home the message that Republicans should be held accountable for voting to reshape Medicare.

Andrea Bozek, spokeswoman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, says Democrats' chances will actually be judged by what she called "job-destroying policies."

And she says Republicans' record of cutting spending will resonate with Illinois families.

Illinois is considered a key battleground state in next year's congressional elections.

Democrats need 24 seats to regain control of the House.

Israel says he believes the party can pick up as many as five seats in Illinois.