2014 Election Preview: Illinois

The filing deadline for candidates in Illinois passed last week now we have a pretty good idea who’s running for what. As the filing deadline passes for each state, we’re going to be posting an analysis post on the big elections coming up in 2014. So what does the Land of Lincoln hold in store for next year?


With the removal of IL Attorney General Lisa Madigan and former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley from the picture, it looks like Governor Pat Quinn’s once doubtful pursuit of the Democratic nomination is now assured. However, winning reelection in the general is another thing entirely. It’s a four-way race on the Republican side and Quinn gets no more than 41% against any of his possible GOP opponents. This is one of the best pick-up opportunities for the Republicans in 2014 and right now the race Leans Republican.

US Senate:

Our original analysis for this race was that incumbent Dick Durbin (D) was a shoo-in for a landslide reelection for a fourth term. But while his reelection is still beyond doubt, the entry of State Senator Jim Oberweis means that a landslide isn’t a forgone conclusion. A recent poll by PPP shows Durbin with only 51% support to Oberweis’s 36%. If this is Durbin’s margin on election day (a big if), it will be the closest race he’s had since he was first elected in 1996. Of course, for now this seat remains Safe Democrat and even with Oberweis it is hard to see how this race becoming competitive.

US House:

IL-8: The way things stand freshman Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D) is the favorite for reelection, but if Republicans have a good year in 2014 should could be in for an interesting race. Likely Democrat.

IL-10: Former Rep. Robert Dold (R) narrowly lost reelection in 2012 and now he’s seeking a rematch in 2014 with incumbent Rep. Brad Schneider (D). Given Schneider’s extremely small margin of victory in what should have been a good year for a Democrat, we rate this race as a Toss-Up.

IL-12: The district is dead even in the the Cook Partisan Voting Index, and a good year for the GOP could be enough to unseat Rep. William Enyart (D). Likely Democrat. 

IL-13: In 2012 Rep. Rodney Davis  won reelection by the skin of his teeth in a district that’s tipped toward the Democrats. While he likely do better in 2014, this seat isn’t out of reach for a flip. Leans Republican.

IL-17: It looks this race is going to be a rematch of 2012, with freshman Rep. Cheri Bustos (D) trying to hold on against former Rep. Bobby Schilling (R). A September poll from We Ask America shows Bustos with a slim 1-point lead over Schilling. It’s going to be a tough fight for Bustos, so we rate this race as Leans Democrat.


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