With two days left, Duckworth’s campaign is no longer trying to reach out to Republican voters, but instead ensuring that voters identified as Democrats, likely Democrats and independents show up on Tuesday. In the district drawn by Democrats, independents could play a critical role.
“They’ll vote one way in one election, a different way the next, or they’ll split a ticket,” Duckworth said.
In the 10th District race, Democratic challenger Brad Schneider is counting on 13 “staging locations,” some sponsored by the campaign and others by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, to bring out his supporters
through phone calls and canvassing.
Residents of the North Shore district also can expect robocalls alongside the live voices on Schneider’s behalf, said campaign manager Reed Adamson. On Sunday, Schneider dropped by a Grayslake call center that resounded with a cacophony of volunteer voices. He took a phone from one and spent several minutes chatting with a prospective voter.
“I’d love to earn your vote on Tuesday,” Schneider said.
In the 10th District, the New Prosperity Foundation has reported spending more than $14,000 to conduct robocalls on behalf of Republican Rep. Robert Dold. Like Schneider’s campaign, Dold’s volunteers are also using calls and visits to target particular voters and turn out supporters. Dold’s campaign also will use automated calls.
As Dold’s tour bus blasted upbeat music outside on Sunday, the freshman lawmaker worked his way around Cubby Bear North in Lincolnshire, talking to prospective voters in Bears gear. Dold, who played quarterback at New Trier Township High School, kept one eye on the game and periodically exhorted players to outrun a defender or cover up a fumble.
“I already voted for you,” one man called out from a booth.
“Bless you,” Dold said.
In the 11th District contest, the campaign of Democratic challenger Rep. Bill Foster began robocalls in which former President Bill Clinton endorses the former congressman and scientist as having the “kind of common sense experience and leadership we need in Washington.”
During a stop outside of a Joliet church, one of four he visited in the district Sunday, Foster joked that he should have recorded, “I'm Bill Foster, and I'd be crazy not to endorse this message” at the end of Clinton's call.
Republican Rep. Judy Biggert dismissed the robocalls as a frantic move from a trailing campaign.
“I hear he has the endorsement of President Clinton. Big deal,” said Biggert, dressed in a Bears shirt during a stop Sunday at a packed Bolingbrook bar. “All politics is local, and I've gotten endorsements from all of the papers, plus (U.S. Sen.) Mark Kirk and the chamber of commerce and many others. That's what's important.”
Foster's campaign also disclosed to federal election officials Sunday that he had lent his campaign $500,000, most of which is being used to air a new ad critical of Biggert.
Records show the New Prosperity Foundation has reported spending $17,293 for robocalls on behalf of Biggert, while the House Majority PAC listed $11,870 for calls on behalf of Foster.
Tribune reporters Bill Ruthhart and Monique Garcia contributed.