In March, Democratic challenger Marie Newman denied Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Western Springs) re-nomination in what would be the first of eight incumbent defeats in primary elections. It was presumed Ms. Newman would cruise in the general election in what is typically a safe Democratic congressional district, but a new poll suggests otherwise.
The Ogden & Fry research firm conducted a flash poll on September 7th (759 IL-3 likely voters based upon a 2020 projection model) and found a surprising result. The respondents favored Ms. Newman with only a 46-44% margin over Republican Mike Fricilone, a Will County Board member. Even if this poll is accurate, the race won’t turn into a competitive contest. Mr. Fricilone had only raised $49,000 through the last published financial disclosure report (June 30th), and is unlikely to have the resources to compete down the stretch.
With the Illinois primary now in the books, it is clear that rancher Mary Miller (R) will succeed retiring Rep. John Shimkus (R-Collinsville) in the sprawling 15th District. Ms. Miller, in spending only about $300,000, rode to a 57.5% victory against three other Republican candidates. She will now face Mattoon School Board member Erika Weaver in a district that will overwhelmingly favor the GOP (Trump ’16: 71%).
Elsewhere, former state Representative and 2018 gubernatorial candidate Jeanne Ives (R) will challenge freshman Rep. Sean Casten (D-Downers Grove) and frequent candidate Jim Oberweis, now a state Senator, won the crowded field Republican nomination to oppose freshman Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Naperville) in the general election. Both Democratic incumbents are favored to win re-election.
We will also see a strong re-match as Democrat Betsy Dirksen Londrigan was an easy winner in her primary race. She will again oppose Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) in a downstate 13th District campaign that was decided by less than a full percentage point in 2018.
Veteran eight-term Illinois Congressman Dan Lipinski (D-Western Springs) failed in his bid for re-nomination yesterday, as the 3rd District Democratic electorate chose a candidate to his left, media consultant Marie Newman. The challenger was victorious 47-45% over incumbent Lipinski, a margin of 2,365 votes with almost all precincts reporting. In 2018, Newman fell three points short of victory but was able to turn the tide in this election. She will be a lock to win the general election in November.
Rep. Lipinski is the first incumbent to lose re-nomination so far this year. Ms. Newman outspent the incumbent approximately $2 million to $1.5 million from their respective campaign accounts. It appears another $3 million was spent from outside organizations, but the support/oppose ratio is unclear at this writing.
Voters in three states cast their ballots for the Democratic presidential nomination yesterday, and former Vice President Joe Biden easily won in Florida (62-23%) and Illinois (59-26%), while his victory percentage dipped to 44-31% in Arizona. On the delegate count, largely because of his huge landslide in Florida, Mr. Biden captured approximately 66% of the available delegates last night, putting him on a clear course to win the party nomination on the first ballot at the Democratic National Convention in July. Ohio, which was also supposed to vote yesterday, postponed its primary because of COVID-19 precautions. It will likely now be scheduled for June 2nd.
Because Ohio postponed its vote, Illinois is the only one of yesterday’s voting states to hold its full statewide primary. While Sen. Dick Durbin was unopposed in the Democratic primary, Republican voters chose former Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran to challenge the incumbent in the general election. Mr. Curran defeated a field of four other GOP candidates with slightly under 42% of the vote. The Illinois general election is not expected to be competitive, however, as Sen. Durbin is projected to cruise to a fifth term in November.
Current polling from three of the four states holding primaries tomorrow find former Vice President Joe Biden poised to effectively and easily clinch the Democratic presidential nomination. In Arizona, Latino Decisions (3/6-11; 541 AZ likely Democratic primary voters) gives Biden a 57-38% lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
Even better Biden results come from the Gravis Marketing surveys conducted in Illinois and Florida. The Land of Lincoln result (3/10-12; 549 IL likely Democratic primary voters) posts a 63-25% Biden advantage, while the organization’s Sunshine State survey (3/10-12; 516 FL likely Democratic primary voters) sees a 66-25% split. Should these numbers hold in the three states, Biden’s delegate take would be approximately 310 of the available 441 bound first ballot delegates from the three places. Ohio, the other March 17th primary state, is not reporting recent polling data.
Eight states will host their 2020 primary elections in March, meaning they will feature a full ballot to compliment the presidential race. Voters will select a full slate of nominees in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Illinois, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, and Texas on March 3, 10, or 17th. This means, at the end of March, nominees could be fully chosen for six Senate races and 151 congressional districts. It is possible, should no candidate reach the minimum nomination percentage in various states featuring a qualifying figure, that run-offs could be held in some Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Texas contests.
All of the aforementioned states have completed their candidate filing deadlines with the exception of Mississippi. There, candidacies become official on January 10th. West Virginia and Kentucky candidates will file on January 25th and 28th, respectively for May 12th and May 19th primary elections.
The US Census Bureau officers released their latest population projections in order to measure national population growth for the period between July 1, 2018 and July 1, 2019. The results find the national rate of growth slowing to 0.5%, mostly as a result of decreased immigration. The peak period for the decade came during the July 1, 2014 – July 1, 2015 period when the growth rate registered 0.73%.
With these numbers come the ability to project which states will gain and lose congressional seats in 2020 reapportionment. The national reapportionment will be calculated and announced after the 2020 census is completed. The states will receive their congressional seat quota a year from now, with a release typically coming during the period between Christmas and New Year’s.
If current projections prove correct, Texas looks to gain three seats, Florida two, with Arizona, Colorado, Montana, North Carolina, and Oregon each slated to gain one. The losing states look to be Alabama, California, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia.
If these projections prove true, California will lose a seat for the first time in history. It’s also realistic that the actual totals could yield a two-seat loss for Illinois or New York, and possibly both. Right now, it appears ten congressional seats will change states, but that number could grow. Usually, the actual numbers tend to differ slightly from the early published projections.
Candidate filing closed in Illinois earlier in the week, which is the third state to record an official slate of primary contenders. Sen. Dick Durbin (D) looks set to coast to a fifth term next year. He will draw only minor opposition from whichever of the five Republicans wins the GOP primary.
In the House delegation, one seat, Rep. John Shimkus’ (R-Collinsville) district is open. Six Republicans filed in a field that surprisingly includes no state legislator, and whoever takes the March 17th primary will likely become the next Representative. Four Democrats are running, but the eventual nominee will be a decided underdog in November.
Ten of the state’s 13 Democratic incumbents draw primary opposition, but only Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Western Springs; Chicago suburbs) appears to face a major fight. Media consultant Marie Newman, who held the Congressman to a 51-48% win in the 2018 Democratic primary, returns for a re-match next March. No Republican incumbent faces a primary challenge.
In the general election, it is likely that Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) will again be forced to defend himself from a tough challenge from his 2018 opponent, Betsy Dirksen Londrigan. Freshman Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Naperville) will also see a serious challenge develop with one of the seven Republicans who will advance from the primary, but particularly so if state Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Morris) wins the party nomination. Former state Rep. Jeanne Ives, who almost denied then-Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) re-nomination in 2018, will be competitive against freshman Rep. Sean Casten (D-Downers Grove) in a 6th District that is trending more Democratic.
If the new Victory Research Illinois poll (11/22-25; 1,200 IL likely Democratic primary voters) is within the realm of the final vote, then four candidates would qualify to split the state’s 155 first ballot delegates. According to the survey, former Vice President Joe Biden leads with 23%, Sen. Elizabeth Warren is next with 17%, followed closely by Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s 16% and Sen. Bernie Sanders 15%. Extrapolating the delegate count, we find the candidates would be closely bunched, earning the following approximate number of delegates: Biden 50; Warren 37; Buttigieg 35; Sanders 33.
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