Peter Roskam, Sean Casten race close in final weeks of campaign

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The race between incumbent Republican Peter Roskam and Democratic challenger Sean Casten is one of the mostly hotly contested and closely watched congressional races in the country.

And the northwest suburban 6th District could be one of the races to tip the balance of power in the House to the Democrats.

The 6th Congressional District has traditionally leaned Republican, but Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump there by seven percentage points in 2016, which is why this race is getting so much outside attention and money. That's also why it's so close as we head into the final two weeks of the campaign.

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Roskam may need all the help he can get to win reelection, and having beaten Tammy Duckworth to win this seat in 2006, he remains confident.

"So I've been here before and I'm comfortable being here which is why I'm confident the 6th District will send me back to represent them," he said.

He and Casten both see this race as presenting a clear choice to voters.

Casten sees health care as a top issue, and in particular coverage for people with preexisting conditions.

He criticized Roskam for voting against Obamacare, which protected that coverage, but Roskam maintains that he supports coverage for preexisting conditions.

"I think the other one that probably comes up a very close second is concerns about the fiscal situation of the country and specifically the massive tax cuts that have created massive deficits," Casten said.

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Roskam was a key architect of the plan. He said it has brought $1 billion in tax relief to the district, making that a key issue for voters.

"They are interested in what is their tax burden and that closely related to what's the economic outlook for them and for their children. They want to see an economy that's very forward leaning and that's what they've got right now," he said.

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"Well, if they reach the border and they've got to be processed obviously which is why there's got to be a big effort to prevent them from reaching the border," Roskam said.

"But we need to treat them with decency and kindness, we need to make sure that they've got shelter, we need to absolutely keep families together as opposed to what we've been doing the Trump administration," said Casten.

With a Democratic surge energizing his campaign, Casten feels confident.

"We are not up by so much that we are going to rest before Election Day, but I feel really good about where we are, feel really good about the grassroots energy," he said.

Casten said his polling shows him up by about four points, which is the margin of error. On the flipside, Roskam said his polling gives him reason for confidence as well.

The key will be which side can do a better job of getting their voters to the polls.
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