While Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D) is a cinch for re-election, Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s (D) margin against the candidate he wanted to face, conservative state Sen. Darren Bailey (R-Louisville), appears a bit closer than he and political analysts originally foretold. The Governor will win a second term, but maybe not by the landslide he was expecting in this solidly blue state.
The Illinois congressional map is one of the nation’s most gerrymandered draws, and will likely cost the Republicans at least two seats. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Channahon) saw his district disappear in the re-draw, meaning his is the state’s lost seat from reapportionment. Democrats are poised to gain a Hispanic district in Chicago in the person of state Rep. Delia Ramirez (D-Chicago). The Democratic map drawers, knowing they had to add a Hispanic seat in the city, paired Reps. Sean Casten (D-Downers Grove) and Marie Newman (D-LaGrange) in order to create the new Hispanic majority 3rd District.
The Republican pairing of Reps. Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) and Mary Miller (R-Oakland) allowed the Democrats to create a new 13th District that stretches from the Champaign-Urbana region all the way to the Illinois side of the St. Louis suburbs. Former Obama Administration official Nikki Budzinski (D) is poised to win this seat next week.
The most competitive Illinois seat lies in the Rockford-Quad Cities area that now stretches into Peoria and Bloomington. The new 17th District, shaped like a big letter “C”, features a spirited contest between Republican Esther Joy King and Democratic former television meteorologist Eric Sorensen. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates this district D+4, but it appears in the toss-up category for this election. The winner succeeds retiring Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Moline).