Illinois Primary Wrap-Up

Tuesday was the Illinois primary election and the results were as follows:

Governor: The Illinois GOP selected businessman Bruce Rauner to be their nominee in this year’s governor’s race. Polls had him with a lead in the double digits going into the primary, but he was only able to narrowly avoid an upset by winning 40% of the vote compared to 37% for his nearest rival, Kirk Dillard. This may partly be due to heavy spending against Rauner,to the tune of $3 million, by unions who fear that he might become the next Scott Walker. This race currently Leans Republican, but we’ll have to wait and see what damage the unions can do to Rauner between now and election day.

Senate: Republican State Sen. Jim Oberweis defeated businessman Doug Truax to win the right to challenge Sen. Dick Durbin for his seat in the US Senate. Oberweis has globs of money to spend and while he remains the big underdog, I wouldn’t underestimate his ability to get under Durbin’s skin and put a scare into the Democrats. With the Senate picture as bleak as it is, the last thing the Democrats want is to have to spend money for what is supposed to be a safe seat. That being said, it is hard to see how Durbin actually loses reelection and this race is currently Safe Democrat.


IL-08: Veteran Larry Kaifesh easily won the March 18th primary fight against and will face freshman Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D), a fellow veteran. The race was previously rated Likely Democrat, but with with a GOP nominee selected, we can make a better guess as to the outcome of this race. Kaifesh had cash trouble during the primary, with his opponent raising almost twice as he did. In addition, his website looks like something out the 1990s and uses phrases like “conservative values” in a D+8 district. Thus, we change this race to Safe Democrat

IL-10: There was no competitive primary in this district, leaving former Rep. Bob Dold (R) as the challenger against current Rep. Brad Schneider (D). Nothing has changed since our last analysis and this race remains a Toss-Up.

IL-11: State Rep. Darlene Senger is the Republican nominee against Rep. Bill Foster (D) in this D+8 district. It is a long shot by any means and Senger will have to step up her game if she wants to be competitive, particularly when it comes to fundraising. Until that happens, this race is Likely Democrat.

IL-12: Illinois’s 12th District, which split its vote in the 2012 presidential election, is one of the most competitive in the nation and it is currently represented by Democrat Bill Enyart. The question is whether the Republicans have a candidate that can win it. The candidate they do have, State Rep. Mike Bost (R), has electoral experience and has proven to be an adequate cash collector. Meanwhile, Enyart has shown some really weak fundraising numbers this election cycle and if Bost runs a well-organized campaign, he will be in pretty good shape by November. We’re moving this race from Likely Democrat to Leans Democrat.

IL-13: To the dismay of Democrats, Rep. Rodney Davis (R) beat a primary challenge from former Miss America Erika Harold to win renomination for his seat. However, they also got some good news in that their  preferred candidate, former Madison County Judge Anne Callis, emerged from the Democratic primary. We originally rated this race as Leans Republican in light of the possibility of Davis losing the primary, but now that he has emerged victorious his hold on the seat looks a bit sturdier. That being said, we’re going to give this race a bit more time before officially moving it to safer ground and so it remains Leans Republican.

IL-17: Another non-competitive primary and another Republican former congressman trying to regain his seat. Former Rep. Bob Shilling (R) is looking to avenge his 2012 loss to Rep. Cheri Bustos (D) and he couldn’t have picked a better year to do it. That being said, this is a D+7 district and Bustos is out-fundraising more than 4 to 1. This race may get closer as we approach November, but we’re moving this race to Likely Democrat until Shilling shows that he can bring in the money he will need in order to win.


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.