Streb: Uphill Battle for GOP Senate Nominee

Mar 7, 2014

Republican U.S. Senate Candidates Doug Truax, left, and Jim Oberweis
Credit Campaign websites

Whoever wins the Republican primary for U.S. Senate will have an uphill battle this fall, according to Matt Streb. The political scientist at Northern Illinois University says incumbent Democrat Dick Durbin has $5 million in the bank and is "very popular" in the state.

Durbin is unopposed in the March 18 primary. The men who would replace him are Jim Oberweis, a state Senator, and West Point graduate Doug Truax.

"Truax has tried to make this race about electability," Streb says. "He's essentially saying, `Look, Oberweis has had his shot.'" Streb notes Oberweis lost six elections before winning his state Senate race in 2012.

"It's an interesting strategy," says Streb, "but Truax doesn't have the money." Another problem for Truax, according to Streb: lack of name recognition among Republican voters.

Streb says Oberweis is well-known and has plenty of cash, loaning his campaign a half-million dollars last year. But Oberweis shouldn't expect money from national donors.

"There are lots of Senate races where Republicans think they can pick up seats this fall," Streb says. "Illinois is not one of them. So you're going to see the Republican money being spent elsewhere."

During an interview with WNIJ, Streb discussed how the Governor's race is affecting the Senate race. You can hear that discussion by clicking the audio link above.

Monday, Streb analyzes the primaries in Illinois' 16th and 11th congressional districts. Listen during Morning Edition at 6:35 and 8:35. Then return here for more information.