While touting ultra-conservative values is a benefit in some states, Illinois has been moderate for many years. Now, some vulnerable Democrats are using the issue of abortion to nail their opponents on conservative views that might not sit well with Illinois women.
First, there is Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady. Far to the right of his opponent Govenor Pat Quinn, Brady is against abortion even in cases of rape and incest. He has also been deemed the most "anti-woman nominee ever to run for Illinois govenor" by Personal PAC President Terry Cosgrove. Quinn has already released several ads regarding Brady's conservative views, calling him "too extreme for Illinois." This week, Personal PAC "massively expanded its purchase" of television airtime for its ad titled "Jennie's Story." The ad features a rape victim who calls Brady's abortion stance "unthinkable."
Though Brady has said he would not make social issues a priority if elected, pro-choice groups are encouraging voters not to take that chance. This is happening in congressional races as well.
In Illinois' 8th Congressional District, incumbent Melissa Bean is facing Republican challenger and Tea Party favorite Joe Walsh. Bean is expected to win the district, but the Daily Herald reported earlier this week that Walsh's campaign has been "re-energized" after a few embarrassments early in the season. From the Tribune:
A campaign manager quit, then sued him for $20,000 in nonpayment. The national GOP considered his campaign a dead loss and refused to fund it; a former Eagles guitarist threatened to sue for copyright infringement over a song on Walsh's website.
Further, the 8th congressional candidate was criticized for not disclosing his Evanston condominium had gone into foreclosure, and two top-level staffers quit, claiming an exodus of volunteers went with them.
Despite the loses, the Herald reports that Walsh's more than 1,400 volunteers have been helping him gain support in his district. Days after that article ran, Bean released a new ad--calling Walsh "dangerous" for his anti-choice views.
Walsh, who does not have the funding to defend himself in a televised ad, made a video on YouTube, attacking Bean for the content of her ad. He accused Bean of using abortion to "try and scare women," but never denied his staunch anti-choice stance.
Even in the 10th Congressional District--where most residents consider themselves pro-choice--an allegedly pro-choice Republican is being targeted for his links to an anti-choice group.
Democrat Dan Seals' campaign released an ad linking Republican Robert Dold to the Illinois Federation for Right to Life--which opposes abortion in all cases. Though Dold says he does not share that view, the ad calls his campaign tactics "fundamentally dishonest."
WATCH the ad here: