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Local GOP launches final radio push
By Joseph Ryan | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 10/28/2008 1:49 PM | Updated: 10/28/2008 5:10 PM

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Illinois Republicans launched a radio ad blitz Tuesday to convince voters to back their party in state legislative races, even if they're leaning toward the other side for president.

"Change and hope means that you ought to vote Republican in this state," said state Sen. Dan Cronin, who heads the DuPage County GOP.

Republicans are struggling to hang on to several suburban legislative seats in million-dollar races as Illinois Democrats push to win a veto-proof majority in the state House.

In the top dozen races across the suburbs, the GOP has been outspent, on average, 2-1. The radio ad will run on several top stations in the Chicago market in the final week of campaigning.

The ad features a man and woman talking about dysfunction at the state Capitol and higher taxes.

"I wish Rod Blagojevich and Todd Stroger were on the ballot in next week's election," the woman says.

"You're going to vote for them?" the man asks.

"Vote for them? Look at the mess they've caused: higher taxes and wasteful spending," the woman responds.

Republican campaigns for state House and Senate have made a concerted effort to tie their Democratic opponents to Blagojevich and Stroger for months. Meanwhile, Democrats have targeted the GOP incumbents as out of touch.

The ad concludes, "If you want to make real change in Springfield, vote Republican for state representative and state senator."

The ad strikes to the core of the Republican conundrum this election season: a potential tidal wave of voters turning out for Barack Obama who may be inclined to vote Democratic down ticket.

State Sen. Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale said Obama is expected to win some of the suburban areas where the GOP has highly contested races.

But he said voters need to know that Democratic votes down ballot "is giving a rubber stamp and is giving more power to the Chicago Democratic machine."

The ad says it is paid for by Citizens for Change in Illinois, which is a group created by Republicans.