Editor's Note: There are just 41 days until Election Day, and the NBC News political unit each day will profile the most competitive races this midterm season.
Rep. Robert Dold (R-IL) was barely ousted from his suburban Chicago seat in 2012 by just more than 3,000 votes. Now, he’s making a comeback bid against the man who beat him – Democrat Brad Schneider – and he’s doing it in a year when Chicagoan Barack Obama isn’t on the ballot. Dold, a former pest company head, tried to distance himself from national Republicans in the last election, and he’ll have to do the same again if he’s going to oust his old rival. One thing helping Republicans statewide in Illinois: Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn’s dismal approval ratings could drag down fellow Democrats downballot as he quests for re-election.