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WNIJ and NPR offer special coverage of Election 2016. WNIJ News field reporters and NPR editors nationwide update election news all night.Links to Race ResultsFollow the NPR Live Election BlogLocal County-By-County Election Results

Illinois GOP Chairman Encourages Trump To Criticize Opponent


The head of the Illinois Republican Party says he’d like to see Donald Trump criticize Hillary Clinton more at the next debate.

Tim Schneider says Trump can be rude.

But the candidate spent too much time reacting to Clinton’s answers at last night’s debate, and not bringing up things like Benghazi, or Clinton’s emails.

"So to me, it’s an easy choice," Schneider said.   "I choose rude over wrong."

Schneider’s trying to unite the state party behind Trump when the Republican governor and Republican U.S. Senator won’t commit to supporting the nominee.

But he says he could see a way for Trump to win Illinois because he has so much support downstate.

"You go down to Southern Illinois, and they’re Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump."  

Polls show Clinton is far ahead in Illinois.

Schneider also said Gov. Bruce Rauner’s money is helping the GOP compete in many campaigns where Republicans were not competitive before.

Republicans are targeting several incumbent Democratic state legislators to cut down on the supermajorities that Democrats hold in both the Illinois House and Senate.


The main difference this year is that Rauner has contributed $14 million from his campaign fund to the state Republican party to help those candidates compete.

"I think, for the first time in many years, we’re finally competing almost at an even level with the Democrats," Schneider said.

Schneider says he doesn’t foresee a compromise between Rauner and House Speaker Michael Madigan any time soon. He sees the best solution to that stalemate is for Republicans to win more House and Senate seats.

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