CHICAGO (AP) – Less than two years after a tea party backed surge helped give Republicans a majority in Illinois’ congressional delegation, their gains are being jeopardized by a Democrat-drawn map.

One freshman Republican congressman has had to challenge a veteran GOP colleague in territory he doesn’t know. Other Republicans are scrambling to introduce themselves to unfamiliar voters in their own districts, now redrawn by the Democratic-majority Legislature to favor their party.

Amid partisan bickering from Washington to Springfield, Democrats and Republicans can agree on one thing: Illinois’ March 20th primary election may be critical this year as Democrats set out to reverse the GOP’s 2010 U.S. House victories.

Voters get their first chance to weigh in Monday when early voting begins for the primary election, which will set the stage for a November showdown.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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