Dueling TV ads have hit the air in the suburbs' highest-profile battle for Congress as U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider tries to outline his Democratic Party credentials with voters and Republican Bob Dold tries to strike a more middle-of-the-road tone.
Schneider's ad out this week hits a few key points outlining what he thinks it means to be a Democrat.
"It means we have to protect a woman's right to choose and every person's right to choose whom to marry," the Deerfield Democrat says in the voice-over.
Dold's campaign hammered Schneider for the spot, and National Republican Congressional Committee spokeswoman Katie Prill tried to tie Schneider to his party's Gov. Pat Quinn.
"Brad Schneider is proudly declaring to Illinois families in the 10th (District) that he will stand with Pat Quinn," she said.
Dold is on the air with his own spot, which avoids both the words "Republican" and "Democrat."
"Who's to blame? Washington's favorite question. Bob Dold says just fix it," the voice-over says.
Schneider's camp responded.
"On virtually every key issue, Mr. Dold was a reliable vote the Republicans could count on," Schneider campaign manager Jamie Patton said.
The two candidates are staging their 2012 rematch in a 10th Congressional District that was drawn to try to favor Democrats, which could explain the varying strategies from both campaigns. Schneider ousted first-termer Dold in 2012 by just 1 percentage point, and Dold hopes this time will be different when President Barack Obama isn't on the ballot drawing Democrats to the polls.
The 10th District runs along the shore of Lake Michigan from the Wisconsin border south to northern Cook County and reaches out into central Lake County.