What Illinois' Primary Signals for Midterm Elections

03/21/2018 12:21 PM

ILLINOIS- Democratic voters came out big in the nation’s second primary for the midterm elections.

Illinois Democratic primary voters outnumbered Republican voters in the state three-to-one. This could be a sign of what’s to come nationwide for the 2018 election.

Illinois, which is traditionally a blue state, saw Democratic primary voter turnout triple from the 2014 primary election. The voter turnout was nearly 30 percent higher than in 2010, the last competitive Democratic gubernatorial primary.

Illinois has open primaries, meaning voters are able to chose which party they want to vote for on primary election day. Several voters who pulled a Republican ballot in the 2016 election—which saw a large red wave nationwide due to President Trump—instead pulled a Democratic ballot on Tuesday.

Political pundits throughout the country have been predicting Democrats could take control of the United States House of Representatives in 2018, and have targeted some key districts throughout the country, including the 6th Congressional District in Kentucky, held by U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Lexington.

The strong showing of Democrat primary voters in Illinois proves the Democratic base is energized and is taking their voice to the polls.

The Democratic Party has targeted several districts in Illinois that they hope to see flip, including the 6th Congressional District held currently by Rep. Peter Roskam, R-06. The Democratic primary was highly contested with seven candidates vying for the nomination. The Democratic Party is also targeting the 13th Congressional District, which is held by U.S. Rep. Randy Davis, R-13.

Money is expected to play a huge roll in the general election in Illinois. The governor’s race is already being predicted to be the most expensive in history, pitting Democrat JB Pritzker against Republican Incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner, both billionaires with unlimited resources. Pritzker spent nearly $70 million of his own fortune on his primary campaign. Gov. Rauner didn’t spare any expense in his contested primary against state Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, dropping $16.5 million on on television ads in the primary.

The House Majority PAC, which focuses on getting Democrats elected, has already reserved $1,042,500 in television ad buys in Chicago for the week leading up to the general election. The Chicago television ad buy, is targeted at swaying voters in the 6th congressional district.

Big money races will not be limited to Illinois, the trend is expected to be nationwide. The House Majority PAC spent $43 million nationwide in television ads to win the House. The Kentucky 6th Congressional District saw $564,000 in ad buys for the last week of the campaign. Vice President Mike Pence’s PAC, Great America Committee, has already cut hundreds of thousands of dollars to Republican House members in at risk districts.

In Kentucky, we have closed primaries, so to see a wave of voters turn blue on May 22, voters must register changing their party affiliation before election day. What’s more likely, is frustrated Republicans who turn out in Kentucky during statewide federal elections stay home during the midterm election this year.

Here are some races to watch for the Kentucky Primary

Michon Lindstrom

Michon is a producer for Pure Politics. Michon comes to Kentucky from Springfield, Illinois where she served as the statehouse reporter for the NBC affiliate. During her time in the Land of Lincoln she covered the state’s two year budget impasse and the largest school funding overall in Illinois history. Pure Politics airs weeknights at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Michon on Twitter at @MichonLindstrom or reach her by email at michon.lindstrom@charter.com

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