Midterm Election Ends With a Very Blue Illinois
By Joshua Savitzky
Illinois’ 2018 midterm election on Nov. 6 concludes one of the most expensive campaigns for governor, as well as some other very important and close races. The Hoofbeat has collected information on the results and what they mean for the next election cycle to come.
Democratic candidate J.B. Pritzker beat incumbent Bruce Rauner in the race for Illinois Governor. Pritzker’s campaign promised a graduated income tax in the state and a push for the legalization of marijuana as an important step in necessary criminal reform in Illinois. This was the most expensive gubernatorial campaign in the U.S. with over 200 million dollars spent out of the pockets of the candidates alone and even more funds raised by these campaigns.
Democrat Kwame Raoul beat Republican Erika Harold for Illinois Attorney General. In his ad campaign, Raoul promised to combat the policies of President Donald Trump in Illinois.
The races for Secretary of State, Treasurer, and Comptroller have all been won by the Democratic incumbents: Jesse White, Michael Frerichs, and Susana Mendoza, respectively. These three will likely continue their current work in their respective offices.
The Illinois General Assembly has concluded with 23 Democrats and 16 Republicans elected in the Senate, and 74 Democrats and 44 Republicans elected in the House. This Democratically-controlled General Assembly will likely, along with the Democratic Governor and Cabinet seats gained, pass new laws and legislation regarding tax reform and possibly the legalization of marijuana.
The U.S. House of Representatives saw two flipped districts, the 6th and 14th in Illinois. This brings the count of seats to 233 Democrat seats and 199 Republican seats, securing a Democratically-controlled House. However, Republicans expanded their majority in the Senate to 52 seats (prior to the Mississippi runoff election), while Democrats (and independents who caucus with them) control 47 seats.
Midterm elections are important to America’s political system. They mark changes in the political landscape since the last presidential election, and may highlight certain changes in voter turnout, as well as political strategy for future candidates to analyze, whether they be presidential, congressional, statewide, or local.