I know this has become conventional wisdom in some parts to claim too much money was wasted in IL-6, but the reality is all that money was a two way street. Republicans and their allies probably got close to $7 million spent on that race—all money that couldn’t be switched to races where their incumbents were running. By strongly contesting a long time seat, the attention paid to it pulled resources from other seats. Sure some of that money could have gone elsewhere for Democrats, but putting Republicans on defense is the whole point of the 50 State Strategy.
And no, I’m not having the Cegelis debate again. If anything, the time to win that District is in a Presidential year–same with 10 and 11. Part of the problem is that since there is little Democratic infrastructure in the area for 6, many of the Democratic votes for Kerry were Presidential election voters who called themselves independents and are more marginal voters. Trying to get them out there during a non-Presdintial year is like difficult when facing a fading, but still relatively strong Republican apparatus in the area.