Veteran Democrat Dick Durbin is asking Illinois voters to send him back to Washington where he says he has a lot of work left to do in the U.S. Sentae.
Just shy of 70-years-old and after 32 years in Washington, Durbin puts in the hours and logs the miles pursuing a fourth term with a vigor more appropriate for a newcomer than the senate’s #2 Democrat.
“We're troubled because people are struggling,” Durbin says. “They're not making enough money. There are good-paying jobs unfilled in Illinois. I know where they are and I know that we're just not linking up the people that need a job with the job openings. But there's a bridge to that. There are job-training programs and community college programs that are working. And i think if I do a better job and work harder at this, more people can get into those jobs."
But it’s the state of the economy that’s given ammunition to Durbin’s opponent state senator and dairy magnate Jim Oberweis.
And that is just one of the issues setting apart two very different candidates.
"This notion my opponent has that we don't need the Affordable Care Act, we don't need the affordable health insurance, we don't need to have an increase in the minimum wage, we don't need to help families pay for college education … Who is he talking to?"
A Chicago Tribune poll last month had Durbin 23 points ahead in the race to keep his job. The senator says he doesn’t believe that poll or any other he didn’t commission himself and in the homestretch, plans to keep campaigning like he’s a couple of points behind.
The election is Nov 4th.