Normally, election prognostication columns are one of my favorite things, but with this election cycle truly testing my prophetic mettle, I’m not looking forward to dipping my toe into that muddied swamp.
Put more simply, not only would I like to preserve my 85 percent prescient track record, but some of y’all take far too much glee in reminding me of the few times I wuz wrong.
What I can tell you with reasonable certainly about these midterms is:
- There will be no local blue wave
- I wouldn’t count on a national blue wave
- There will be no real Hispanic turnout
- Non-voters still won’t vote
But there is a wildcard! If the current anti-Trump sentiment has motivated new and young voters to cast a ballot, that will change everything. But since they have no real voting history, applying a statistical model to forecast that turnout is pointless. Put more simply, we won’t know until we know.
With all of that in mind, and with some qualifying conditions, I’m gonna give it my best shot. Just be gentle with me when it’s over:
J. B. Pritzker by 18 points; 23 if young folks vote. Pritzker gets better at campaigning every day while Bruce Rauner looks as lost as he did at that Southern Illinois Trump rally.
2. Attorney General
Kwame Raoul by 20 points. With the unparalleled Madigan ground game behind him, Raoul will trounce Erika Harold, a truly terrible candidate.
3. Secretary of State
Jesse White by a landslide. Why Republicans waste their time running against him is beyond me.
Susana Mendoza by 20 points. People like Ms. Mendoza and I’ve neither seen nor heard a thing from Republican challenger Darlene Senger.
Michael Frerichs by 20 points. Again, Michael is a very likeable guy and his main opponent, Jim Dodge, is anything but. If Dodge ever did have a chance, Libertarian candidate Michael Laheney’s entry into the race put an end to it.
6. 6th Congressional District
Casten by 3 points. If young voters show up, 8 points. Considering the vast GOP nature of DuPage County, I’m really going out on a limb here, but Peter Roskam’s failure to hold town hall meetings or effectively respond to constituents means he’s done. Casten has also run a campaign that hasn’t left those all-important swing voters out in the cold.
7. 8th Congressional District
Raja Krishnamoorthi by 20 points. Raj is quite popular in his district and I haven’t seen hide nor hair of his Republican opponent.
8. 11th Congressional District
Bill Foster by 25 points. He may be a completely worthless Congressman (and human being), but the district is highly Democratic and Foster is one of the few candidates who understands how to use voting statistics.
9. 14th Congressional District
Randy Hultgren by 4 points; Lauren Underwood by 1 point if young people vote. This one was Underwood’s for the taking, but her poorly run campaign has been aimed solely at people who were already going to vote for her. And preaching to the choir gets you nowhere when you’re in the district’s minority party. That said, given her surprising primary victory, if she has been aiming at swing voters via some unseen method, she could win by 5 points.
10. State Senate District 33
Don DeWitte by 15 points. Ain’t no Democrat ever gonna win the 33rd.
11. State Rep District 43
Anna Moeller by 25 points. Ain’t no Republican ever gonna win the 43rd.
12. State Rep District 49
Tonia Khouri by 20 points. Ms. Khouri knows how to campaign and her Democratic opponent, Karina Villa, does not. Ms. Villa is listening to the Aurora Democrats which is the quickest way to lose an election.
13. State Rep District 50
Keith Wheeler by 15 points. Jim Leslie may be a tireless campaign worker, but it doesn’t matter because he’s run one of the worst campaigns I’ve ever seen. Constantly attacking your opponent over minor issues doesn’t work in local races.
14. State Rep 65
Dan Ugaste by 20 points. Ugaste signs are everywhere, but I’ve only seen three of Richard Johnson’s in the entire county.
15. 16th Circuit Judge
Tom Hartwell by 10 points. Hartwell really should trounce opponent Michael Noland by twice that, but the extent of Noland’s contemptible behavior isn’t as well known outside of the Elgin area.
16. County Clerk
Jack Cunningham by 20 points. Being a perennial losing candidate has not helped Nico Jimenez at all and his campaign ethic does not impress me.
Don Kramer by 5 points; Ron Hain by 1 point if new and young voters turn out. Ron Hain should’ve run away with this one, but the Kane County and Aurora Democrats totally screwed him by running candidates against countywide Republicans they can’t possibly beat. This blitheringly stupid move forced those Republicans to mobilize and, though Kramer clearly doesn’t deserve the office, a rising GOP tide lifts all boats. If you want to snatch an election defeat from the jaws of victory, take advice from Democratic Vice Chairman Corinne Pierog.
18. County Treasurer
Dave Rickert by 40 points. I haven’t seen a single Jim Snelson sign anywhere and Rickert is a very astute campaigner.
For Kane County Board Races, I’m just going to pick the winner:
District 2 – Anita Lewis
District 5 – Bill Lenert
District 6 – Ron Ford – will actually win a write-in campaign!
District 11 – John Martin – by a landslide
District 13 – Steve Weber
District 15 – Barb Wojnicki
District 19 – Kurt Kojzarek
District 21 – Cliff Surges
District 23 – Jim Patrician
Now, it’s your turn to put your neck on the line and make your own predictions in the comments section. After that, get out and vote!