November 7, 2018
by Bill Ward, Executive Vice President
Black lettering are my projections from yesterday.
Red lettering are today’s results.
Q. What was surprising about last night?
A. That there was nothing surprising.
Q. What did I learn from last night?
A. I learned what VBM stands for; Voting by Mail. DuPage Democrats caught up and passed suburban Republican incumbents with lots of mail-in balloting.
Every poll has Pritzker with a double-digit lead, anywhere from 12 to 20%.
Make that 15%; the largest margin of victory by a gubernatorial candidate in Illinois since Adlai Stevenson defeated Dwight Green, a two-term Republican incumbent, in 1948.
If there is to be a Republican upset tonight in Illinois, it would be Erika Harold over Kwami Raoul.
There’s always one surprise in every election; myself and others picked this one. But Raoul was ahead by 9 points on Monday and wound up 11 points up on Tuesday.
Secretary of State
Jesse White is 84 but has won SOS every year since 1998 by a landslide; no reason to believe it will change tonight.
And now we can have that conversation about whether and when Jesse retires in office and who J.B. will appoint.
Despite a leak that Susana Mendoza has plans to run for Mayor of Chicago as soon as she wins tonight, it’s doubtful that rumor will affect the outcome.
There’s no slaughter rule in politics, but maybe there should be; 22 point margin here. NOW Susana can whip out those Mayoral ads.
Mike Frerichs should be re-elected to his second term. He did.
Contested Congressional Districts
12-year incumbent, Republican Peter Roskam*, is Democrats best hope for an upset in this suburban district that Hillary Clinton won over President Trump two years ago. Sean Casten is the Democratic Candidate. Casten won by 6 points, with lots of VBMs.
Republican incumbent, Mike Bost*, will squeak out a win over St. Clair County State’s Attorney, Brendan Kelly, in a very expensive and heavily targeted race in deep southern Illinois. Trump & Rauner both won this district easily in 2014 and 2016. Bost won by 6 points, yay.
Polls have Republican incumbent Rodney Davis*, in a dead heat with Democratic nominee Betsy Londrigan. Trump and Rauner both won this district but Londrigan has momentum going into election day. CNN prematurely announced Londrigan the winner; Davis came through late with lots of rural votes to squeak this out by 50.7% to 49.3%.
Democrats think they have another possible suburban pick-off here. Republican incumbent Randy Hultgren* is in a neck-in-neck race with Dem, Lauren Underwood. Rauner won this district four years ago by over 34 points, but Trump won it two years ago by only 4 points. Lauren Underwood defeated Randy Hultgren by 4 percentage points here. Once again, lots of VBMs.
Rest of the Field
The 12 other incumbents are expected to hold their districts, be they Republican or Democrat. Come January, the Illinois Congressional Delegation will stand at 13 Democrats to 5 Republicans in the House, and 2 Democratic Senators. That is the definition of blue.
Targeted Races in the Illinois State Senate
Republican incumbent, Mike Connelly* may be in for a long election night against Democrat Laura Ellman. Rauner won this district easily four years ago, but Clinton beat Trump here two years ago. Mike Connelly holds a 12-vote margin. The question is: are there any more VBMs? No doubt there will be a recount.
Democrat incumbent, Tom Cullerton* will always be a target by DuPage County Republicans who want this district back. However, he is expected to win over Seth Lewis. Cullerton wins by 9 points.
Like District 21, Democrats believe they can flip-flop this DuPage County Republican held district currently held by Chris Nybo* who is supported by HBAI. Suzy Glowiak is another female Democrat making waves in traditional Republican territory. Note, Clinton won this district two years ago. Glowiak has a 280-vote lead; this will be another recount.
Freshman Senator Tom Rooney* is another Republican who Democrats believe will go down to another female Democrat, Ann Gillespie. Clinton won this district in 2016. Ann Gillespie defeats Rooney here by 3 points.
Two non-incumbents are running in this district that touches the Wisconsin state border. Republicans believe they will hold on to this district which has retired Air Force Colonel, Craig Wilcox, running against Democratic Realtor, Mary Mahady. Wilcox wins here by 13 points.
Republican incumbent, Karen McConnaughy, evacuated this district this summer, and Insurance Executive, Donald DeWitte was appointed to the seat. Democrats believe they can take this seat with Attorney Nancy Zettler. This Kane/McHenry County district was a dead heat between Trump and Clinton two years ago. Dewitte wins by 2500 votes (3 points).
Quad Cities has been represented by Republican Neil Anderson* for the past four years. He is being challenged by former Corrections Officer, Gregg Johnson. Clinton won this district, but Republicans believe they will hold this district here. Anderson narrowly wins here by 1300 votes (2 points).
Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno vacated this seat last year giving way to Republican Attorney, John Curran to take the seat. He is being challenged by Bridget Fitzgerald, who has family connections with Senate President John Cullerton. Democrats think they will take this seat. Republicans hold on to this seat with a John Curran 3-point victory.
Current Senator, Bill Haine is retiring in this district that has been held by Democrats for decades. But, Trump won this district by 10 points and Rauner won it by 19 points 4 years ago. However, Democrats believe their candidate, Rachelle Aud Crowe, will win over Downstate United Candidate, Hal Patton. Patton was bounced from the Republican ticket after it was discovered that he had signed a Democratic petition in the last election. Crowe won big here.
Dist. 54 (Non-Target)
And, our very own Jason Plummer won the 54th Senate seat with a 40-point margin!
Bottom Line on the Senate: 38 Democrats, 19 Republicans, 2 Undecided.
Targeted Races in the Illinois House
House Dist. 37
Incumbent Republican, Margo McDermed* is being challenged by Democrat Insurance Rep. Matthew Hunt. McDermed should win this I-80 district that Trump won by 15 points in 2016. McDermed wins handily, by 16 points.
House Dist. 41
GOP incumbent, Grant Wehrli* is being challenged by Democrat Accountant, Val Montgomery in this mostly DuPage County district. Democrats believe they have Wehrli on the run. Wehrli regains his seat by 5 points (2300 votes).
House Dist. 45
GOP incumbent Christine Winger is being challenged by Diane Pappas in this northern DuPage County District. Pappas is a Polish Immigrant with a Law degree from Yale. Clinton won this district two years ago by two points. Pappas has a 230-vote lead here at this moment.
House Dist. 47
Longtime incumbent, Patti Bellock, vacated this seat this summer. Republicans are running College of DuPage Trustee, Deanna Mazzochi against Democrat challenger, Jim Caffrey, a volunteer supporting Mali farmers and a former employee for Clorox. Clinton won this Republican district by 10 points two years ago. Mazzochi retains this seat for the Republicans by 4 points.
House Dist. 48
GOP incumbent, Peter Breen*, is possibly the biggest target in the suburbs by House Dems. Terra Costa Howard is the Dem candidate who is an attorney and a former School Board President for Glen Ellyn. Clinton won this DuPage District by 17 points. Howard flips a longtime Republican district with a 4-point Democratic victory over Breen.
House Dist. 49
This is another district vacated by the Republican incumbent, and it will be close in this DuPage, Kane, and Cook County district. Small business owner, Tonia Khouri is the Republican candidate running against social worker Democrat, Karina Villa. Clinton won the district by 11 points two years ago, Rauner won it by 26 points 4 years ago. Another flip for the Dems here, Villa defeats Khouri by 7 points.
House Dist. 53
Republican incumbent David Harris is retiring, and Democrats believe they can pick up this seat that overlays Arlington Heights, Mount Prospect, and Prospect Heights. Republican Eddie Corrigan is a Coordinator for Peter Roskam and Democrat Mark Walker is a former State Representative. Clinton won this district by 17 points; Rauner won it by 25. Yet another flip, Walker over Corrigan by 4 points.
House Dist. 54
Republican incumbent, Tom Morrison* held onto this seat over Democrat Maggie Trevor by 500 votes (1 point). This district includes Palatine & Inverness.
House Dist. 61
The most northeast district in the state (Antioch & Winthrop Harbor) flipped for Democrats with GOP incumbent Sheri Jesiel losing to Democratic challenger Joyce Mason by 1100 votes.
House Dist. 62
Republicans believe they can unseat Democrat incumbent Sam Yingling* in this Lake County district. Sam is a Realtor being challenged by Grayslake Planning & Zoning Commissioner, Ken Idstein (Republican). Clinton and Rauner both won here. Yingling put up a strong victory winning by 13 points.
House Dist. 65
Two non-incumbents ran in this district that takes in St. Charles and Pingree Grove. Republican Dan Ugaste kept this seat Republican by defeating Democrat Richard Johnson by 2400 votes (5 points).
House Dist. 79
Freshman Republican, Lindsay Parkhurst*, is being challenged by former 10-year Democratic Rep., Lisa Dugan in this mostly Kankakee County race. Trump and Rauner both won here, Republicans believe they can hold on to this seat. Parkhurst finished strong defeating Dugan 12.5 points.
House Dist. 81
Freshman Republican David Olson* is in a tight race with Dem challenger Anne Stava-Murray, a Commissioner on the Naperville Board of Fire & Police. Clinton and Rauner both won here. Stava-Murray holds a 325-vote margin over Olson which would be a flip for Democrats. However, Stava- Murray made it clear during the campaign that she will not vote for Madigan for Speaker.
House Dist. 93
Republican incumbent, Norine Hammond*, is being challenged by Democrat small business owner John Curtis in this rural western Illinois district. Trump beat Clinton by 21 points here, and Rauner beat Quinn by 22. What makes this race close is that Hammond, like other Republicans with State Universities, voted for the income tax increase veto override. Norine won her re-election by a 4.5% margin.
House Dist. 97
Republican incumbent, Mark Batinick* is a real estate broker being challenged by Democrat Mica Freeman, an education volunteer. Republicans believe they can hold on here; Trump and Rauner both won here. Batinick is clinging to a 700-vote plurality, probably enough to withstand a recount.
House Dist. 111
Democrat incumbent Dan Beiser vacated this seat that has been held by Dems for decades. Monica Bristow is the appointed Democratic Rep. running against Republican challenger, Mike Babcock, an insurance broker. House Republicans believe they have an upset here. Bristow has a slim, 280-vote margin over Babcock, could be another recount.
House Dist. 118
Democrat Natalie Phelps-Finnie* was appointed to this seat after her cousin, Brandon Phelps retired from the House late last year. She is being challenged by Republican Massac County State’s Attorney, Patrick Windhorst. Trump won this district by 39 points, Rauner won it by 31 points. Republicans believe they will get this southern-most district that has been held by Democrats for 34 years. This is the only district that the Republicans flipped in the House. Windhorst defeats Phelps-Finnie by over 13 points. Republicans should hold onto this district for a longtime to come.
House Dist. 107
Blaine Wilhour, a non-incumbent Republican we supported in the Republican Primary, and in the General, defeats Democrat David Seiler by 40 points in this south-central Illinois district.
Bottom Line: House Democrats 71 seats; Republicans 45 – 2 seats undecided.
*Indicates support from HomePAC.
There are other targeted races, but I believe these are the tightest ones right now. House Democrats need 4 seats to be Veto-Proof, they are predicted to net 4 to 6 seats. Senate Democrats already are Veto-Proof, and they believe they can net another 4 to 6 seats, as well. We will know by tomorrow.
So, what does this mean for housing?
Democrats will need money for their agenda to improve public infrastructure, buy down pension debt, and increase school funding.
For HBAI, we are most vulnerable when it comes to the service tax on home repairs. Service taxes exist in a majority of other states, and the service tax on home repairs already exists in Wisconsin, our neighbors to the north.
The graduated income tax will take two years to pass and be voted on by the citizens of Illinois, making the service tax even more tempting to pass now.
Substantive matters like contractor licensure, fire sprinkler mandates, and labor issues like 72-hour notice for lay-offs may all be in play.
There has never been a more important time than now to be a member of the Home Builders Association of Illinois.