The National Republican Congressional Campaign bought $1.7 million worth of television ads this weekend, and three of those ads are aimed at contested House races in the Chicago area.
There are only three competitive Congressional races in Illinois. Two Democratic incumbents, Debbie Halvorson and Bill Foster, are fighting for their political lives, in the face of stiff challenges by Republicans in moderate districts. And a third Democrat, Dan Seals, is running for the 10th district seat vacated by Mark Kirk, now the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate.
The NRCC targeted each of those Democrats in its new ad buy.
All the ads feature the same strategy: nationalizing the races by tying the Democratic candidates to unpopular Democratic politicians and policies in Washington. Nancy Pelosi features very prominently in two of the spots; the health-care reform bill also features in two spots.
Jobs and the economy also appear front-and-center in the ads. Even the ad attacking Dan Seals for his support of the public option makes pointed mention of the supposedly high costs of such a plan.
Judging by polling data, Halvorson appears the most vulnerable, with the district leaning toward her opponent, Adam Kinzinger. Bill Foster and Dan Seals are both running close races, with Randy Hultgren and Bob Dold neck-and-neck with the respective Democrats.
In the only other remotely competitive race in the state, incumbent Democrat Phil Hare faces restaurateur Bobby Schilling in the 17th District. Hare is expected to win that race, though not by a landslide; the NRCC did not target Hare in its latest ad buy.
Watch the new NRCC spots below.