• Schuyler Beltrami

2022 Midterms Preview – Illinois


Chicago (Photo: Pixabay)

The Millennial Agora continues our complete preview of the upcoming midterm elections for Congress with the state of Illinois. A state of just under 13 million people, Illinois is the sixth largest state in the country by population, with a majority of the population living in the Chicago metropolitan area. Known as the Land of Lincoln, Illinois is largely a rural state outside of the Chicago area and many of the rural areas mirror the political nature of the rural states which border Illinois, including Kentucky, Indiana, and Missouri. The Chicago metropolitan area, however, leans heavily Democratic and is able to influence statewide elections to nearly always turnout favorably for Democrats due to the large percentage of the state’s population centered in Chicago. In 2020, President Biden won the state of Illinois by 17% and no Republican has won Illinois since George H.W. Bush in 1988. In 2022, there will be elections in Illinois for the House of Representatives, Senate, and Governor. Currently, the state’s delegation in the House is split 13-5 in favor of Democrats, however due to population loss, Illinois did lose one seat in the House.


House of Representatives

Illinois receives 17 seats in the House of Representatives and all seats will be up for election in November. The overall CVPI for the entire state is D+7, making Illinois’s House races (taken as a whole) to lean heavily for the Democrats. (The CPVI, or Cook Partisan Voting Index, is the main metric to measure the strength of a political party for a particular House district or Senate seat. The measure was created and managed by the non-partisan Cook Political Report and uses historical data, as well as polling, to create the “partisan lean” of each district or state. A CPVI rating of R+15 would mean that on average, Republican candidates win elections in that district or state by an average of 15%, while a rating of D+15 would mean the same thing, but for the Democratic candidate. A district or state with a CPVI with double digits is considered to be non-competitive).


I. IL-01:

A. Current Representative: Bobby Rush (D)

B. Population Distribution: Majority Urban and Suburban, Some Rural Areas

C. Demographics: 52% African American, 37% White, 8% Hispanic

D. Cook PVI: D+20 (Strong Democratic)

E. Outlook: Illinois’ first district includes most of the South Side of Chicago, southern suburbs outside of Chicago, as well as some smaller exurban communities southwest of Chicago. Incumbent Rep. Rush has served the district since 1992, but is not running for reelection in this election, instead opting to retire, thus making this seat open. The Democratic primary to replace Rep. Rush was a crowded field with many candidates able to form strong coalitions around them, but the eventual winner was Jonathan Jackson, son of civil rights leader Jesse Jackson. In this strongly Democratic district, the Democratic primary was largely the only election which mattered, meaning that Mr. Jackson will take for Rep. Rush in January.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Democratic Victory (HOLD)


II. IL-02:

A. Current Representative: Robin Kelly (D)

B. Population Distribution: Majority Rural, Many Urban Areas

C. Demographics: 48% African American, 36% White, 13% Hispanic

D. Cook PVI: D+19 (Strong Democratic)

E. Outlook: The Illinois 2nd District includes the far South Side of Chicago, the town of Chicago Heights, and many rural areas in the eastern side of the state on the border with Indiana. Incumbent Rep. Kelly has represented the district since 2012 and won reelection with almost 80% of the vote in 2020. She is currently leading by around 43% in the aggregate polling data.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Democratic Victory (HOLD)


III. IL-03:

A. Current Representative: None

B. Population Distribution: Suburban and Urban

C. Demographics: 44% Hispanic, 43% White, 7% Asian, 6% African American

D. Cook PVI: D+20 (Strong Democratic)

E. Outlook: The Illinois 3rd District includes the western suburbs of Chicago as well as the western parts of the Inner Loop of the city. This district was created after redistricting to form a second district in the state with a plurality Hispanic population, as the western suburbs of Chicago tend to be heavily Hispanic. The overwhelming favorite for the seat is Democratic nominee Delia Ramirez, who is currently a state representative and has received numerous endorsements from national Progressive leaders, including Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Ms. Ramirez earned around twice as many votes by herself as all Republican candidates in the district’s closed primaries.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Democratic Victory (HOLD)


IV. IL-04:

A. Current Representative: Chuy Garcia (D)

B. Population Distribution: Urban and Suburban

C. Demographics: 63% Hispanic, 26% White, 6% African American, 5% Native American, 5% Asian

D. Cook PVI: D+22 (Strong Democratic)

E. Outlook: The Illinois 4th District includes the southwestern and western suburbs as well as much of the Inner Loop of Chicago. Current Rep. Garcia has represented the district since 2018. He won reelection in 2020 with around 84% of the vote.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Democratic Victory (HOLD)


V. IL-05:

A. Current Representative: Mike Quigley (D)

B. Population Distribution: Urban and Suburban

C. Demographics: 73% White, 12% Asian, 11% Hispanic

D. Cook PVI: D+18 (Strong Democratic)

E. Outlook: The Illinois 5th District includes large areas of the North Side of Chicago, as well as parts of the Inner Loop and Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. Current Rep. Quigley has represented the district since 2009. He was reelected in 2020 with 71% of the vote and earned around three times more votes than Republican candidates in the district’s closed primaries.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Democratic Victory (HOLD)


VI. IL-06:

A. Current Representative: Sean Casten (D) and Marie Newman (D)

B. Population Distribution: Suburban

C. Demographics: 75% White, 12% Hispanic, 7% Asian, 6% African American

D. Cook PVI: D+3 (Toss-up)

E. Outlook: The Illinois 6th District includes many of the largest suburbs to the southwest of Chicago including Oak Lawn and Downers Grove. The district is much more competitive than many other Chicago area districts and was heavily redrawn after redistricting in 2020. The caused the new district to be about 40% of the old area of Rep. Casten’s district and around 25% of Rep. Newman’s district, meaning that both candidates ran in the primaries as incumbents. Eventually Rep. Casten came out on top in the Democratic primary by a comfortable margin of around 38%. His Republican challenger is current mayor of Orland Park, Keith Pekau. Although the district is categorized as a toss-up, there are many positive signs for Rep. Casten. Not only is he a Democratic incumbent in a blue state and blue region, but Democratic candidates earned around 15,000 more votes than Republican candidates in the district’s closed primaries, Rep. Casten has grown his lead in aggregate polling data from around 2.5% in late June to 8% at the time of publication. Most large media outlets categorize the race as “Likely Democratic”.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Democratic Victory (HOLD)


VII. IL-07:

A. Current Representative: Danny Davis (D)

B. Population Distribution: Urban and Suburban

C. Demographics: 43% African American, 33% White, 14% Hispanic, 10% Asian

D. Cook PVI: D+36 (Strong Democratic)

E. Outlook: The Illinois 7th District is one of the most Democratic districts in the country and includes a large majority of the Inner Loop as well as some western suburbs, such as Oak Park. Current Rep. Davis has represented the district since 1996. He is running unopposed.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Democratic Victory (HOLD)


VIII. IL-08:

A. Current Representative: Raja Krishnamoorthi (D)

B. Population Distribution: Suburban

C. Demographics: 58% White, 21% Hispanic, 15% Asian, 5% African American

D. Cook PVI: D+6 (Leans Democratic)

E. Outlook: The Illinois 8th District includes many of the western suburbs of Chicago including Elgin and Schaumburg. Incumbent Rep. Krishnamoorthi has represented the district since 2016. The district is a long-shot for Republicans, but their chances did improve somewhat due to the redistricting. In 2020, Rep. Krishnamoorthi ran unopposed, but this year he does have a Republican challenger in the form of Chris Dargis, a retired Navy officer and businessman originally from Ukraine. However, Rep. Krishnamoorthi still has many advantages coming into the race. Democratic candidates earned around 8,000 more votes than Republican candidates in the district’s closed primaries, he has not trailed in a single poll and has grown his lead in aggregate polling data to around 17%. Perhaps earlier in the year, when Republicans were surging, this could have been a district in play, but now with the national momentum on the side of the Democrats, Rep. Krishnamoorthi can be confident in his ability to keep his seat in Washington.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Democratic Victory (HOLD)


IX. IL-09:

A. Current Representative: Jan Schakowsky (D)

B. Population Distribution: Suburban

C. Demographics: 62% White, 16% Asian, 12% Hispanic, 10% African American

D. Cook PVI: D+19 (Strong Democratic)

E. Outlook: The Illinois 9th District includes many of the northern suburbs of Chicago, including the college town of Evanston. Incumbent Rep. Schakowsky has represented the district since 1998. She received around three times as many votes as all Republican candidates in the district’s closed primaries.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Democratic Victory (HOLD)


X. IL-10:

A. Current Representative: Brad Schneider (D)

B. Population Distribution: Suburban and Exurban

C. Demographics: 62% White, 21% Hispanic, 9% Asian, 7% African American

D. Cook PVI: D+11 (Strong Democratic)

E. Outlook: The Illinois 10th District includes the far northern suburbs of Chicago including Highland Park and Waukegan, as well as a part of the state’s border with Wisconsin. Incumbent Rep. Schneider has represented the district since 2016. He was reelected in 2020 with 64% of the vote and received around 20,000 more votes than Republican candidates in the district’s closed primaries.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Democratic Victory (HOLD)


XI. IL-11:

A. Current Representative: Bill Foster (D)

B. Population Distribution: Mostly Suburban or Exurban, Some Rural Areas

C. Demographics: 67% White, 16% Hispanic, 9% Asian, 7% African American

D. Cook PVI: D+5 (Leans Democratic)

E. Outlook: The Illinois 11th includes many of the Chicago exurbs west of the city, as well as the large suburbs of Aurora and Naperville. Incumbent Rep. Foster has represented the district since 2012.His district became more competitive after redistricting, as Democrats tried to push their chances in other areas of the state and made Rep. Foster into an unfortunate victim of this. Republicans have been heavily targeting his district as a possible upset flip, but it seems that Rep. Foster has more advantages on his side, even though Republican candidates earned around 5,000 more votes in their crowded primary. Turnout was significantly lower for the Democratic primary due to Rep. Foster running unopposed. In 2020, Rep. Foster was reelected with 63% of the vote and has increased his lead in aggregate polling data to around 12%. His Republican challenger, Catalina Lauf was a former advisor at the US Department of Commerce and an unsuccessful candidate for Congress in 2020. Although she has received some nominations from nationwide Republican leaders, she has been trailing far behind Rep. Foster in fundraising money and has been unable to narrow the gap in polls. Most media outlets categorize this race as either Likely or Solid Democratic.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Democratic Victory (HOLD)


XII. IL-12:

A. Current Representative: Mike Bost (R) and Mary Miller (R)

B. Population Distribution: Overwhelmingly Rural

C. Demographics: 88% White, 6% African American

D. Cook PVI: R+24 (Strong Republican)

E. Outlook: The Illinois 12th district, the most conservative district in the state, includes the entire southern third of the state and includes almost no urban areas. The district shares borders with Indiana, Kentucky, and Missouri. The district was heavily redrawn after redistricting, but incumbent Rep. Miller opted instead to run in the new Illinois 15th district. Rep. Bost received more than four times more votes than Democratic candidates in the district’s closed primaries.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Republican Victory (HOLD)


XIII. IL-13:

A. Current Representative: None (New Seat)

B. Population Distribution: Suburban and Urban with many Rural Areas

C. Demographics: 68% White, 20% African American, 5% Asian

D. Cook PVI: D+3 (Toss-up)

E. Outlook: The Illinois 13th district is new seat which is heavily gerrymandered to run from the Illinois suburbs of St. Louis, including East St. Louis, and snake all the way to the college town of Champaign-Urbana and the state capital in Springfield. The district was made to try and group all Democratic voters in the middle of the state into one district. Thusly, the favorite for the seat is Democratic nominee Nikki Budzinski, a former senior advisor to current Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker. Her Republican challenger is Regan Deering, the former Chair of the Decatur Public Schools. Ms. Bidzinski has received numerous endorsements from Democratic leaders and labor unions, but Republican candidates did receive around 1,000 more votes than Democratic voters in the district’s closed primaries. Still, there are many positive signs for Ms. Bidzinski. President Biden would have won this district by 11 points and the GOP Representative who would have represented the seat, Rodney Davis, chose to run in a far redder district, not a good sign for the Republican party. Ms. Biszinski has been able to improve on her lead in the aggregate polling data from around 6% to around 10%. The final result will almost certainly be a bit tighter than that, but the Democrats should have enough votes to reward themselves for their efforts to create a new blue district outside of the Chicagoland area.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Democratic Victory (GAIN)


XIV. IL-14:

A. Current Representative: Lauren Underwood (D)

B. Population Distribution: Suburban and Exurban with many Rural Areas

C. Demographics: 63% White, 20% Hispanic, 10% African American, 6% Asian

D. Cook PVI: D+4 (Leans Democratic)

E. Outlook: The Illinois 14th District includes the far southwestern areas of the Chicagoland area, including the large suburb of Joliet. Incumbent Rep. Underwood has represented the district since 2018. In 2020, she was reelected by a margin of only 2%, however her district was redrawn to heavily favor Democrats. Joe Biden would have won the district by 12% in 2020 and the Republicans have put in very little money into this race. Republican candidates earned around 8,000 more votes in the district’s closed primaries, but Rep. Underwood ran unopposed in the Democratic primary. She has also improved her lead in the aggregate polling data from around 4% to around 10%.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Democratic Victory (HOLD)


XV. IL-15:

A. Current Representative: Rodney Davis (R)

B. Population Distribution: Overwhelmingly Rural

C. Demographics: 91% White

D. Cook PVI: R+22 (Strong Republican)

E. Outlook: The Illinois 15th District is a very large district which stretches from the far northern and eastern parts of metropolitan St. Louis and borders with Missouri and Iowa all the way to the other side of the state and the border with Indiana. The Republican primary featured two current Representatives with Mary Miller defeating Rodney Davis who moved from the 13th district. Rep. Miller won the primary by 15%. The Republican Primary was the only election that mattered in this deep red district.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Republican Victory (HOLD)


XVI. IL-16:

A. Current Representative: Adam Kinzinger (R) and Darin LaHood (R)

B. Population Distribution: Mostly Rural, Some Suburban Areas

C. Demographics: 87% White, 5% Hispanic

D. Cook PVI: R+13 (Strong Republican)

E. Outlook: The Illinois 16th Districts includes most of the northern central part of the state, including the suburbs of cities such as Rockford, Peoria, and Bloomington. Rep. LaHood was redistricted from the eliminated 18th district and incumbent Rep. Kinzinger, who was one of only 10 Republicans in the House to vote to impeach former President Trump after January 6th, chose to retire instead of trying to run for reelection. Rep. LaHood is running unopposed.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Republican Victory (HOLD)


XVII. IL-17:

A. Current Representative: Cheri Bustos (D)

B. Population Distribution: Largely Rural, Some Urban Areas

C. Demographics: 72% White, 14% African American, 9% Hispanic

D. Cook PVI: D+2 (Toss-up)

E. Outlook: The Illinois 17th District includes the northwestern corner of the state and the cities of Rock Island, Rockford, and Peoria. Incumbent Rep. Bustos chose to retire, meaning the seat is open. This district will be one of the most affected by national trends, as a strong Election Night for Republicans should mean this seat would flip Republican, but if Democrats hold their momentum, this seat should stay Democratic. The old district voted for former President Trump by 2%, whereas this newly drawn district would have voted for President Biden by 8%, a 10% swing for Democrats. Republican nominee Esther Joy King has enjoyed a large lead in fundraising, but she was unable to win this district in 2020 under much more favorable conditions. The Democratic nominee, Eric Sorensen, is a former TV meteorologist. The polling in the district has mirrored national trends. Ms. Joy King had a lead of around 3.5% in June and July, but Mr. Sorensen now has a lead of 3% in the aggregate polling data and a newly released poll at the end of September showed him with a 9% lead in the district. However, Republican candidates did earn around 6,000 more votes over Democratic candidates in the district’s closed primaries. If trends continue, Democrats should have enough to flip the district. However, if there is a reversal in fortunes, this could be a key flip for Republicans who are looking at a very blue map in Illinois.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Democratic Victory (HOLD)


Senate

Illinois, like all states, has two seats in the Senate, one of which will be up for election this year. Incumbent Democratic Senator Tammy Duckworth is seeking a second term in the US Senate. She ran unopposed in the state’s closed primaries. Her Republican challenger is Kathy Salvi, an attorney. Illinois is a deep blue state in statewide elections in even in a year where Republicans are due to make gains, this Senate seat will remain reliably Democratic. Sen. Duckworth currently enjoys a 20% lead in aggregate polling data.

Millennial Agora Prediction: Democratic Victory (HOLD)


Governor

Finally, the final election in Illinois is the race of Governor. Incumbent Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker is seeking a second term as Governor of the state. His Republican challenger in this election is Darren Bailey, a member of the Illinois State Senate. Like the Senatorial race, Democrats have a major advantage over Republicans in statewide elections in Illinois. Gov. Pritzker has a lead of around 19% in the aggregate polling data.

Millennial Agora Prediction: Democratic Victory (HOLD)


Analysis

The Millennial Agora is predicting that the House races in Illinois will finish 14-3 in favor of Democrats, with one gain for the Democrats. The Senate and Governor races will both end with Democratic victories as well, according to our predictions.


Thank you for reading our preview of the midterm elections in Illinois. Check back tomorrow as we preview Indiana, the neighbor of Illinois, but a state with vastly different politics and one of the most reliably Republican states in the country.



The state of the House after our predictions. Made at 270towin.com

The state of the Senate after our predictions. Made at 270towin.com (States in light grey have no Senate seats up for election this year)

4 views0 comments