State of the Race 2016: U.S. House of Representatives, Illinois's 10th District


Date: January 4, 2016
To:  Interested Parties
From:  Magen Ryan, Campaign Manager, Schneider for Congress
Re:  State of the Race 

As we begin 2016, Brad Schneider starts the election year in a stronger position than either of his two previous races.  In the general election contest against incumbent Robert Dold, the most recent polling gave Brad an 8 point lead, by far the largest favorable margin in the 4+ years.  In this year's primary contest, Brad maintains a dominating lead. 

These poll numbers reflect Brad’s grassroots support. Brad is a proven progressive leader who has continued to build upon his strong support network and is in an extremely strong position to take back IL-10 for the Democrats.

1.  Brad is Well Positioned to Beat Republican Rep. Bob Dold 

The 2016 general election in IL-10 will again be one of the nation’s most hotly contested races.  In 2012, Brad became the first Democrat to win in IL-10 since 1978, and is the only Democrat to ever represent the eastern half of Lake County (Deerfield, Highland Park, Waukegan) in the House.  Although Brad lost by 2.6% in 2014, Governor Quinn lost the district by 16%, meaning Brad is the first Democratic Congressional candidate to out-perform the top of the ticket in this district. This year, with Democratic turnout projected to be substantially larger than 2014, presumptive Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton should win the district by at least 16 points. 

2.  Brad is the Prohibitive Favorite to Win the Democratic Primary

Brad is facing a challenge from a self-funding primary opponent in Highland Park, Mayor Nancy Rotering.  October’s poll showed Brad handily beating his opponent. Primary Voters choose Brad at more than a 3:1 vote ratio. More than 9,500 grassroots activists support Brad, and more than 100 elected endorsers are working to ensure a strong finish in March. (See the attached polling memo from October and list of key endorsements.)

3.  Brad's Support is Deep and Wide

Brad's strength heading into the election year is built upon the broad base of support he has across the district, and throughout the Democratic Party as a whole. Upon announcing his candidacy, more than 9,500 grassroots supporters signed on as early endorsers of Brad's campaign.  These supporters were joined by an overwhelming majority of the Democratic elected officials representing the Tenth District, including Secretary of State Jesse White, Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle, six state senators, two state representatives, seven mayors and village presidents, four Lake County Board members, and many more municipal leaders.

Brad’s former colleagues in the House have overwhelmingly endorsed and contributed to his candidacy. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) broke their own rule of staying out of primaries and endorsed Brad. He has earned the support of Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Whip Steny Hoyer, Assistant Leader Jim Clyburn, Caucus Chair Xavier Becerra, Caucus Co-Chair Joe Crowley, DCCC Chair Ben Ray Lujan and DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.  They are joined by dozens of other members in supporting Brad, sixty of whom have financially supported his campaign. 

Brad received the endorsement of the New Democrat Coalition, a group in which Brad was an active member when in Congress.

Brad also continues to build an unequaled support base among labor groups.  Going into 2016, he has already earned the support of the Lake County Federation of Teachers, Illinois Letter Carriers, Plumbers, Pipefitters, IBEW, UAW, SEIU, Iron Workers, SMART, and many others.

Finally, in a district with a large Jewish population, Brad has earned the endorsement of the National Democratic Jewish Council (NJDC) and JACPAC.

4.  Brad is an Established Fundraiser Who Can Raise the Resources to Win

In the first 2 quarters after announcing his candidacy last April, Brad raised more than $1,040,000, more than matching the combined total Rotering raised and personally contributed to her campaign in the previous three quarters.  

Before the end of 2015, Brad had received more than 23,000 contributions from more than 10,000 individuals.  The average donation to the campaign is less than $50 and the median is less than $10. Brad will continue raising funds from these supporters through both the primary and the general campaigns.

5.  Brad has Strong Volunteer Support

While it is incredible to have the support of so many people so early, the key to victory in 2016 will be the dedication and hard work of countless people around the district.  In 2014, more than 1,500 people volunteered time for Brad's campaign.  In 2015, more than 150 people contributed time to host house parties, send out mass mailings, walk in 25 parades, and help Brad maintain his active presence throughout the district.  

Team Brad has great momentum heading into 2016 and will continue to build on that through the March 16th primary and onward to the November 8th general election.