Illinois Republicans say the state budget and national economy are key to their political fortunes next year.
They hope to chip away at the Democratic majority in the state legislature and protect the congressional seats they picked up in 2010.
As they gathered at the Illinois State Fair on Thursday, Republican leaders accused Democrats of mismanaging the Illinois budget. They criticized the recent income tax increase and Gov. Pat Quinn's proposal to borrow money to pay overdue bills that are piling up.
They're also targeting President Barack Obama's handling of the economy.
Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka called Obama "baggage" that Democratic candidates will have to carry.