November 9, 2006

Illinois Democratic Party

Democrats sweep state offices
CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois Democrats made a clean sweep of statewide elective offices Tuesday as political newcomer Alexi Giannoulias, a Chicago banker, won the treasurer's post formerly held by Republicans.

Giannoulias defeated well-regarded state senator Christine Radogno to replace GOP Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka, who lost her bid to unseat Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Secretary of State Jesse White and two-term Comptroller Dan Hynes easily won third terms, while Attorney General Lisa Madigan's political star continued to rise with her re-election.

Madigan defeated Republican Tazewell County State's Attorney Stewart Umholtz, White beat state Sen. Dan Rutherford, R-Chenoa, and Hynes defeated state Sen. Carole Pankau, R-Itasca.
Democrats make gains in Illinois Legislature
CHICAGO - Illinois Republicans in the state Legislature now know what it's like to run into a political tidal wave.

Hoping to gain seats in the House and stay their ground in the Senate, Republicans watched as Democrats increased their control of the Legislature by adding seats in the state Senate and House.

Thanks partly to a strong showing by their party nationwide, many Democratic incumbents easily won re-election and some led races for state seats that Republicans previously held, according to unofficial results.

Also, Senate Democrats were on the verge of gaining enough seats to have a veto-proof majority, which would allow them to pass measures despite opposition from Republicans or the governor.
2008 is a Presidential year and Dick Durbin will be up for reelection. While he has midling approval ratings, he should win that race relatively easily. The targets then are the House seats that have reasonable chance to be flipped.

IL-6 Roskam will be a Freshman, but will also have a ton of money from groups like the Club for Growth

IL-10 Beg Dan Seals to run again. He’ll win in a Presidential election year.

IL-11 Pavich showed some life, but whether he’d want to try again or not, there would need to be some changes to how the campaign was run (obvious when you lose). Part of the problem is the District is pretty unmanageable given the geography and without State Party support that race is going to be hard to put together.

IL-14 Open seat then if not sooner. It’s a 55-45 District for Republicans in Presidential years. That certainly means it is a potential target–IL-8 is slightly more Republican. It’s a tough race for two reasons. First, there is relatively little Democratic infrastructure in the District (not none, but a not a lot) and it’s ultimately conservative District. Dems can hope Lauzen runs and wins the primary, but that’s hope and not a plan.

IL-17 Hold for Hare who did a good job. The danger is that the GOP might actually find a good candidate. So far there is no evidence of that being a danger.

Some will point to other Districts, but there is little evidence they will be competitive, especially in a Presidential election when the base turns out pretty strongly. IL-15 showed a bit of life with Gill’s run, but that District is probably worse in terms of geography than even IL-11.


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