It was, indeed, a bad day for Republicans. Millennials voted, and they voted Democratic. It wasn’t exactly a blue wave, it was more like a blue tornado that levels one house but leaves the neighbor’s intact. Donald Trump is clearly mortgaging the GOP future for his personal gain and if local Republicans can’t come up with a way to address that anger and take back their party, the Collar Counties may turn bright blue as soon as 2020.
As I suspected, there were plenty of surprises. So, let’s review:
J. B. Pritzker didn’t beat the spread, but a 15-point margin of victory is nothing to sneeze at. He so handily trounced Bruce Rauner that the governor was the first candidate to concede yesterday evening. Given that he doesn’t need the gig, let’s hope Pritzker exerts the kind of Madigan independence that may just get Illinois back on track.
2. Attorney General
Erika Harold did a little better than I thought she would, but her political career is over. Kwame Raoul won by 11 points and he will be our Attorney General as long as he wants to be.
3. Secretary of State
To absolutely no one’s surprise, it was Jesse White by a landslide.
As predicted, Susana Mendoza won by 22 points. The question is, will she parlay that success into a Chicago mayoral run.
While not quite the 20-point margin I predicted, Michael Frerichs did win a second term by 18 points. My guess is he will aim for something greater in 2022, but with Pritzker in that Springfield mansion, it won’t be governor as I once suspected.
6. 6th Congressional District
Sean Casten beat Peter Roskam by 5 points, so I was pretty much dead on on that one.
7. 8th Congressional District
As expected, Raja Krishnamoorthi destroyed his opponent by 31 points.
8. 11th Congressional District
Bill Foster didn’t do as well as I thought he would, but a 17-point victory is nothing to sneeze at, either.
9. 14th Congressional District
I adjusted my prediction on this race and Lauren Underwood did, indeed, win by 4 points. She also adjusted her messaging in the end, but make no mistake, she didn’t win this one, Randy Hultgren lost it by running one of the worst campaigns I’ve ever seen.
10. State Senate District 33
Don DeWitte won, but not by the 15 points I forecasted. And the fact that he prevailed by a scant 3 points in a district drawn for Republicans should have the Kane County GOP shaking in their shoes.
11. State Rep District 43
Anna Moeller destroyed Andrew Cuming by 40 points. Like I said, ain’t no Republican ever gonna win the 43rd.
12. State Rep District 49
For me, this was the biggest surprise of the night. Not only did Karina Villa win, but she beat Tonia Khouri by 7 points! Millennials clearly put Villa over the top. This is the first race I got wrong!
13. State Rep 50
Incumbent Keith Wheeler was one of the few candidates who seemed immune to the blue tornado. He didn’t quite win by 15 points, but, all things considered, his 11-point midterm victory certainly says something. Jim Leslie’s consistently negative campaign didn’t help him at all.
14. State Rep 65
Again, Dan Ugaste won, but by a mere 5 points in a district drawn for Republicans. This is another race that does not bode well for the Illinois GOP’s 2020 hopes.
15. 16th Circuit Judge
This is the second race I erred on and it’s a complete and utter travesty. Mike Noland beat Tom Hartwell by just 2 points and he will be a complete nightmare on the bench. My only solace is he will inevitably do something that will catch the eye of the Judicial Inquiry Board.
16. County Clerk
Jack Cunningham did beat Nico Jimenez, but only by 3 points. It certainly looks like the next County Clerk will be a Democrat.
I said Ron Hain would win if young voters voted and that’s exactly what happened. He beat Don Kramer by 6 points, too! Ron will be a great Sheriff.
18. County Treasurer
Though he didn’t campaign in his typical balls to the wall style, Dave Rickert did pull it off by 6 points. But the fact that his opponent didn’t noticeably campaign means our next treasurer will probably be a Democrat.
And now for the Kane County Board Races:
District 2 – Anita Lewis destroyed her Independent opponent by 2 to 1
District 5 – Bill Lenert sailed to an expected 12-point victory
District 11 – John Martin won quite handily, but not by the landslide I predicted
District 13 – Steve Weber squeaked by Lark Cowart by a scant 1.5 points.
District 15 – Barb Wojnicki trounced Lucas Strom
District 19 – Kurt Kojzarek lost to Mo Iqbal. This was another big surprise, but, in the end, he could beat those changing 19th district demographics.
District 21 – Cliff Surges by 1.5 points
District 23 – Jim Patrician did not win! It was Christopher Kious by 1.5 points
I suppose I really can’t complain about going 22 and 4 because it means my 85 percent prediction track record is still intact. But it’s really to depressing to see Kurt Kojzarek be replaced by a terrible candidate and Mike Noland in the black robe completely sucks.
Beyond that, I gotta tell ya, if I’m a Collar County Republican regular or candidate, unless they make a real effort to denounce Donald Trump and appeal to younger voters, 2020 is gonna make these midterms look like a walk in the park.
The Illinois voters’ November 6, 2018 message was abundantly clear.