In addition to the much-watched GOP presidential primary in Illinois, there’s also a hotly contested Democratic House primary in the state pitting two Jewish Democrats against one another.
In the suburban Chicago congressional district, 25-year-old activist Ilya Sheyman, a favorite of the left, is facing off against businessman Brad Schneider, who has been deeply involved in Jewish communal affairs.
Sheyman has hit Schneider over the latter’s past donations to Republicans, while Schneider’s camp is arguing that Sheyman would be the weaker Democratic candidate against the Republican incumbent, Rep. Bob Dold.
While Schneider has called himself the "true progressive," self-identified progressive groups — which represent the left wing of the Democratic Party — have rallied around Sheyman.
A Huffington Post headline called Sheyman’s primary campaign the "first test for progressives in 2012."
But a survey earlier this month conducted by Public Policy Polling, and paid for by two groups backing Sheyman, found him up by a wide margin over Schneider and a third candidate, businessman and Air Force reserve officer John Tree.