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.
Illinois Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Western Springs) fought off a difficult 2018 Democratic primary challenge against media consultant Marie Newman in a race that was decided by just two percentage points. Ms. Newman is back for a re-match, and yesterday appears to have become stronger. Attorney Abe Newman, another Democratic candidate opposing Rep. Lipinski, yesterday ended his effort and endorsed Ms. Newman.
Another minor candidate, wedding photographer Rush Darwish, remains in the race, but the complete field will become known when candidate filing concludes on December 2nd. At this point, however, it appears we will effectively see a head-to-head battle between Rep. Lipinski and Ms. Newman. The Illinois primary is March 17th.
There has been some speculation that veteran Rep. John Shimkus (R-Collinsville) would change his mind about retirement now that he would move into the top Republican chair on the Energy & Commerce Committee in the next Congress. Mr. Shimkus’ status changed when Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) announced his retirement. The two opposed each other for chairman of the prestigious panel, and now ranking member as a result of Democrats winning the House majority in 2018, but the Illinois Congressman, first elected in 1996, said yesterday that he will remain committed to his announced retirement plan.
The 15th District is one of the few safe seats in Illinois and eight candidates are currently vying for the Republican nomination that will be decided on March 17th. The Republican nominee will have a definitive inside track toward winning the seat in November. The Illinois candidate filing deadline is December 2nd.
Downstate Illinois Rep. John Shimkus (R-Collinsville), who announced his retirement from the House in late August, now says he may change his mind and seek to remain in Congress. The retirement of Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) would allow Mr. Shimkus to assume the ranking minority position on the Energy & Commerce Committee. The slot would make him the favorite to become chairman of the full panel should the Republicans regain control of the House next year. Mr. Shimkus lost the internal Steering Committee election to head the committee in the last Congress. Should he change his mind about retiring, Rep. Shimkus would have little trouble winning re-election.
Former Illinois Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti (R) this weekend announced that she will end her 2020 congressional bid. She had entered the race to attempt to unseat freshman Rep. Sean Casten (D-Downers Grove) but faced a Republican primary opposite conservative former state Rep. Jeanne Ives, the gubernatorial candidate who held incumbent Bruce Rauner to just a 51% primary victory that left him in a politically weakened state. He would go onto lose the 2018 general election to current Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) in a 55-39% landslide. Ms. Ives will now almost assuredly square off against Rep. Casten in a seat that Republicans formerly held in the person of then-Rep. Peter Roskam.
A total of 219 House Democrats and one Independent have signed the petition pledge indicating they will vote for at least some version of an impeachment resolution. Doing so would impeach, or indict, the President, and send the charge to the Senate for a potential trial and motion to remove from office. Among the signers are several members who have competitive re-elections, are in Trump districts, or have primary competition. The lone Independent, Rep. Justin Amash (I-MI), will likely face attacks from both sides as he presumably seeks re-election as an Independent or minor party nominee.
The Democrats supporting impeachment who already face credible general election opposition are (listed alphabetically by name) Reps: Cindy Axne (IA), Gil Cisneros (CA), Sharice Davids (KS), Antonio Delgado (NY), Abby Finkenauer (IA), Lizzie Fletcher (TX), Andy Kim (NJ), Susie Lee (NV), Elaine Luria (VA), Tom Malinowski (NJ), Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL), Chris Pappas (NH), Katie Porter (CA), Harley Rouda (CA), Elissa Slotkin (MI), Abigail Spanberger (VA), and Lauren Underwood (IL).
Twelve-term Illinois Congressman John Shimkus (R-Collinsville) announced that he will not seek re-election next year becoming the 18th member who won’t be running another term in the House. The Congressman said he is announcing his decision now because candidates will begin circulating nominating petitions next week. The 15th District covers southeastern Illinois and is a safe Republican seat. President Trump carried the district, 71-24%, a stronger performance than Mitt Romney’s 63-43% margin. Mr. Shimkus was re-elected with 71% of the vote last November.
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