CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- As the Republican National Convention heads into its climactic day with President Trump accepting his party’s nomination from the White House, the head of the Illinois GOP is remaining confident that the events of this year are favoring his candidates.
Tim Schneider, who chairs the Illinois Republican Party, said violence on the streets of Chicago and looting downtown has so many people thinking of leaving Illinois that moving companies will be busy. And COVID-19 restrictions are hampering business.
Schneider believes that will foster distrust of Democrats. And he said more downstate voters are likely to vote Republican; but he also admits, the Illinois GOP isn’t raising money the way it used to.
"We have a real opportunity to win a few congressional seats in Illinois. Yeah, do we have a harder time raising money? We sure do, because we earn our money the old-fashioned way. We earn it. We don't trade deals with major utility companies in exchange for jobs and contracts and cash for our party," he said.
He is referring to an alleged scam involving Commonwealth Edison and implicating Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, who denies wrongdoing.
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Meanwhile, would-be delegate and congressional candidate Jim Oberweis is talking about support for President Trump in the western suburbs.
Republican hopeful and State Senator Jim Oberweis hasn't seen or been seen on the GOP convention broadcast, though other candidates and Catalina Lauf, a woman he defeated in the primary have.
Was Oberweis invited to appear? He clearly did not want to say.
"We are focusing 100 percent on what we have to do to get this congressional seat back, and I believe that is the thing that I can do that will most help our country," he said.
Oberweis said he’s been campaigning hard to oust freshman Democratic Congresswoman Lauren Underwood, and not really watching the convention. And he said he learned something while out campaigning.
He said he’s heard some people say they are voting against President Trump, rather than for Democrat Joe Biden.
"It's been amazing when I knocked on doors - very, very few people are going to vote for Biden. Everybody that I am talking to is either going to vote for Trump or against Trump," he laughed.
He believes the President’s rhetoric, his temperament, and his tweets have been a problem for some people. And, he admits, those things matter.
"Yeah, I wish that it were different. I wish we had someone with a temperament of a Ronald Reagan, who was still able to get the kinds of things done that President Trump has gotten done. That would be the homerun," he said.
But Oberweis stressed he believes President Trump has done a lot of good things.
Republican Congressional Candidate Jeanne Ives knows she’s in a tough fight to oust Democratic incumbent Congressman Sean Casten. But, the former State Representative, and one-time candidate for Governor told an Illinois Republican Party livestream Wednesday night that everything happening in the Chicago area is giving the GOP momentum.
"It's already very parulis here, especially under COVID, the lawlessness, you should see the city of Chicago is a deserted place on beautiful summer days; all of that malfeasants, all of that lack of understanding, all of our past sins in terms of budgeting are catching up to us now in the midst of a crisis. No rainy day fund, no way to weather the storm here, Chicago is bankrupt," she said.
Downstate Congressman Mike Bost urged everyone watching the online discussion to help Ives win.