Supporters Shocked to See Dold Lose His Lead

At 8 p.m., Rep. Robert Dold's supporters were sure their candidate had the 10th Congressional race in the bag. An hour and 40,000 votes later, it all changed.

Rep. Robert Dold's supporters felt pretty good about their candidate's chances at about 8 p.m. on Tuesday night.

About 300 of Lake County's 309 precincts had reported as well as just over half of Cook County's 110, and the 10th District Republican Congressman lead by about 6,000 votes.

"I'm feeling very positive," Libertyville resident John De Reu said about Dold's reelection chances then. "I wish I were as positive about Mitt Romney."

Less than an hour later, with all of Lake County's precincts reporting and about 90 of Cook's 110, Dold still enjoyed a cushy 6,000 vote lead.

"I'm feeling very good," said Winnetka Village Board President Jessica Tucker.

Then Lake County's 40,000 early votes came in.

'Absolutely surprised'

Liz Vanlieshout paced around Viper Alley, taking laps from the stage decked out in Dold signs to the collapsable table filled with journalists. 

The Vernon Hills mother has a daughter working as a legislative aide for Dold, which brought this local election even closer to home.

"I am absolutely surprised," Vanlieshout said when she heard Dold had lost his cushy lead. "I don't know how this is happening."

Dold fell behind once the early votes came in, putting his opponent Brad Schneider in the lead by about 1,500 votes in Lake County and about 700 in Cook. The lead remained as the rest of Cook County's precincts reported.

Once those early votes got counted for Lake County, the confidence that Dold's supporters had been enjoying all night vanished. In its place: surprised eyes wandering the room, waiting for the concession speech.

'It happens'

In Lake County, the early and absentee votes are the last to get counted, according to Lake County Elections Administrator Cindy Pagano.

"All the precincts come in first, and then we add in all the early voting results and then the vote by mail," Pagano said.

Sometimes, as was the case with the 10th District Congressional race, those early votes can make all the difference.

"It happens," Pagano said matter-of-factly.

'Say it ain't so!'

At about 11 p.m., Dold walked on stage and thanked his staff, supporters and family. He encouraged attendees to remain engaged in politics even after he hands his position off to his opponent.

"There's too much at stake to grow disheartened," Dold told the crowd. "I hope you all continue to stay in touch, stay engaged."

When Dold announced that he had called Schneider to concede the race, a supporter yelled out, "Say it ain't so!"

One supporter had tears welling in his eyes and falling past his glasses. The mood was quiet and somber, a jarring change from the hour earlier when Dold had been leading by more than 6,000 votes.

"It's about the next generation," Dold said as he closed out his remarks. He then used an oft-repeated line from his campaign. "I'm confident America's best days are in front of us."

Stuart Tindall November 10, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Illinois got gerrymandered bad, but so did the rest of the nation. A majority of voters nationwide voted for Democrats in House races, yet the makeup of the House did not significantly change. Look for the same results for the rest of the decade.
Winnetka November 12, 2012 at 02:39 PM
What has occurred is the fundamental transformation of America just as our Divine Leader Obama designed. All that wanted to "make history" by voting a man to president based on the color of his skin-ignoring the content of his character exercised affirmative action on the highest level. The job of leader of the free world and the most free country(fast becoming less free) should have never been decided in this way. For many of you who believed with your vote in '12, you could correct the mistake you made in '08, its literaaly too late. Obama knew exactly what he was doing.He knew the minute he got elected he was racing the re-election clock. He topped off his tank of voters by increasing the welfare rolls(51 million now on food stamps and other plum entitlements) and moved the needle of non federal income tax payers to the 50% mark(it's likely a higher % now). He will punish the job creators with even higher taxes, while protecting the tyrannical monopoly the unions have on our industries, schools, municipalities-basically no aspect of our day isn't impacted by the unions. We look to history at this time of year as we remember our fallen heros. Our country was always at the moral forefront protecting life, promoting freedom, fighting fascism, tyranny, genocide and religious suppression. Our hard fought and won freedoms we hold most dear are being taken away. It's terrifying so many are fine with it. They'd rather get stuff then be free. Who will come to our rescue now?
Pedro B November 13, 2012 at 08:49 PM
This just proves my gut feeling about the guy. Sad to hear you are being taken advantage of by Dold. Before you file a claim, as chris has helpfully suggested, make sure you have a 'plan b' in the works for a new job. That's the main reason why folks don't file those claims unfortunately. The employers know they have them by the cojones(!) ;(
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