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posted: 9/17/2012 5:04 PM

Durbin: Republicans will keep majority in House, Dems in Senate

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  • U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin

      U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin
    Gilbert R. Boucher II / gboucher@dailyherald

 
 

Illinois' senior U.S. senator says it's likely the U.S. House and Senate majorities will change little after the Nov. 6 election.

"I think it's likely we'll see an outcome similar to what we have today," Sen. Dick Durbin, of Springfield, said Monday. He went on to describe a "Democratic majority in the Senate but not 60 votes, and a Republican majority in the House but less than it is today."

Democrats currently hold the majority in the Senate 51-47, with two independents, and Republicans control the House 240-190, with five vacancies.

During a meeting with the Daily Herald Editorial Board, Durbin dismissed a recent report by Roll Call newspaper describing the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee as downsizing the list of seats it expects to gain in Illinois in November.

"I went through my briefing last week (with the committee)," Durbin said. "If anything it was more optimistic than before. I don't think they brought the number down."

Of the six races in play in congressional districts 8, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 17 in Illinois, Durbin described what he believes are two very likely wins for Democrats.

Durbin believes Hoffman Estates Democrat Tammy Duckworth has "the edge at this point" in the 8th Congressional District race against outspoken Republican Congressman Joe Walsh, of McHenry. He also said he expects Democrats to hold the 12th Congressional District seat in the race between Democrat Bill Enyart, of Belleville, and Republican Jason Plummer, of Edwardsville.

The others, which include the 11th District race between Republican Congresswoman Judy Biggert, of Hinsdale, and former Democratic Congressman Bill Foster, of Naperville, and the 10th Congressional District between Republican Rep. Robert Dold, of Kenilworth, and Democrat Brad Schneider, of Deerfield, he described as "tossups."

Following Illinois' March primary, Democratic Congressional Committee chair Steve Israel noted that the "road to the majority goes right through Illinois."

Spokeswoman Haley Morris reiterated those statements Monday, and described the party's efforts as on track and on offense. Those efforts include more than $6 million in reserved airtime in the state.

"Everything I've mentioned is in play at this point, and they're spending money in every race," Durbin said.

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