CHICAGO (CBS) — Democrats are hoping to tip the balance in Congress by winning some House seats from Republicans who currently hold a comfortable edge.

WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports some Illinois races could hold the key to the success or failure of the attempt.

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Illinois Democrats redrew Congressional Districts to put their candidates in the best position to capture Republican seats, though the GOP has been competitive in several cases.

The headline race is in the 8th District, where wounded Iraq war veteran and Democrat Tammy Duckworth is trying to unseat incumbent Tea Party stalwart Joe Walsh in a race that’s been bitter–and expensive.

The contentious 11th District race pits incumbent Republican moderate Judy Biggert against Democrat—and one-term former Congressman—Bill Foster, a scientist.

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In the North Shore’s 10th District, Republican Bob Dold, another moderate, is facing a well-funded challenge from Democrat Brad Schneider.

Republican incumbents Peter Roskam and Randy Hultgren also have targets painted on their backs, but were running strong.

Republicans hold a 242-193 advantage in the House. Nationwide, Democrats are expected to gain about five seats.

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LISTEN: WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore Reports