CHICAGO (AP) — Some Illinois Republicans who rode a partisan tea party wave to take five U.S. House seats away from Democrats two years ago are wooing voters with a different approach this election. They're preaching unity and compromise.
To take back most of those seats, Democrats are counting on a big turnout in President Barack Obama's home state, new congressional boundaries favoring their candidates and big advertising dollars. They even claim hopes of retaking the House if they make similar gains in New York and California.
Republicans are pushing back hard, but with a softer message.
Pizzeria owner Bobby Schilling was a tea party-supported GOP winner in 2010. He now describes himself as center-right and says in a TV ad that being a congressman is not a "Democrat or Republican issue."