Is Roskam Worried About a ‘Blue Wave’ in Illinois’ 6th District?

Republican U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam is running for his seventh term in Illinois’ 6th Congressional District, but not without stiff competition from the left.

If voter turnout is any indicator, there may be a so-called Democratic “blue wave” brewing in the district, which covers suburbs west and northwest of Chicago in DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Cook counties.

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More than 68,000 voters cast ballots in the district’s Democratic primary last month – an increase of more than 600 percent compared to the turnout of fewer than 9,000 voters in the Democratic primary during the 2014 midterm elections – although both Roskam and his Democratic challenger Michael Mason ran unopposed in their primaries that year.

Clean energy entrepreneur Sean Casten beat out six other Democrats in the crowded primary to face Roskam in November.

In courting votes from moderate Republicans and a GOP base that fervently supports President Donald Trump, Roskam may need to walk the line in a district that Hillary Clinton won by 7 percentage points during the 2016 presidential election.

According to the political analyst website 538, Roskam votes in line with Trump’s position 94.2 percent of the time – those votes include a GOP tax overhaul plan, a repeal of the Affordable Care Act and a bill aimed at limiting federal funds to sanctuary jurisdictions like Chicago.

But Roskam’s seat has been solidly red since the mid-‘70s and he’s faced tough races in the past – like his first win for the 6th District Congressional seat in 2006, when he beat now-Sen. Tammy Duckworth by less than 3 percentage points.

And Roskam’s campaign war chest is more than triple that of Casten’s – although the Chicago Sun-Times said his Democratic opponent has fundraisers lined up in Illinois and Washington.

Some of Roskam’s constituents have criticized him for being difficult to reach. The Republican congressman has said in the past he prefers town hall meetings via phone versus in-person, “circus meetings,” according to the Chicago Tribune.

News of Roskam’s appearance on Chicago Tonight prompted a hefty number of comments and questions via our website contact form, our Facebook page and on Twitter. We’ll share some of those during the show, as Roskam makes his case for a seventh term in Illinois’ 6th Congressional District.

As always, you can add your voice to the conversation by commenting on this story.

Follow Evan Garcia on Twitter: @EvanRGarcia

Related stories:

2018 Primary: 6 Congressional Districts to Watch

Roskam on GOP Tax Bill: ‘Best Way to Grow Economy’

Key Illinois Republican Predicts Passage of Health Care Law

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