Politics

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If Democrats want to retake the U.S. Senate, they'll need Illinois to do it, according to Matt Streb, a political scientist at Northern Illinois University.

The margin is five seats, or four if Hillary Clinton becomes president; that would allow her vice president to cast tie-breaking votes. Right now, polls show Illinois and Wisconsin leaning Democratic with seven other states too close to call.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

DeKalb County voters will choose their top prosecutor November 8th. State’s Attorney Richard Schmack is being challenged by Republican Rick Amato.

Incumbent Republican U.S Sen. Mark Kirk and Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth covered a variety of issues, including college affordability, how to make Social Security solvent, and the Iran nuclear treaty (Duckworth voted for it, Kirk did not) Thursday in Springfield in their only downstate debate.  

Both agreed that climate change is real, and caused by humans.  They differed on tax policy and Syrian refugees, and, in response to a question about the Common Core, Kirk suggested expanded school days.

Campaign websites, social media

The 69th District covers an area of far northern Illinois and includes the communities of Belvidere, Caledonia, Capron, Cherry Valley, Loves Park, Machesney Park, Roscoe, South Beloit, and Timberlane. Republican Joe Sosnowski has represented the district since 2010.

This year, Sosnowski is being challenged by Democrat Angelique Bodine of Poplar Grove. She says she’s running because of her frustration with the state budget impasse, and she pledges to stand up for working families.

Earlier this month, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan held a conference call in which he told Republican members that he would no longer defend Donald Trump. The call came three days after Trump appeared in a 2005 video using lewd and insulting language about women.

The Speaker, concerned about losing the House, freed members to disavow Trump or embrace him -- whatever it took to get re-elected.

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