THE MIDTERMS MINUTE: Illinois’ Battleground Races!

MIDTERMS_MINUTE_IMAGE_FINAL.pngThe Midterms Minute is a look at the candidates and races in battleground districts that you need to know about, shout about and support to make the biggest impact possible in the election on November 6th. (Quick links at bottom of the page)

Check out The Midterms Minute H.Q. at to view every battleground spotlight segment we've produced, every battleground race in the country, all of the Justice Democrats, Brand New Congress and Our Revolution candidates running in November, volunteer resources, and more. 

Today, we’re going to talk about the battleground races in Illinois, where all of the competitive seats are currently held by Republicans. Illinois has been identified by the political wonks as one of the five states that will help determine the House majority. Clinton won the state in 2016 with 55.8 percent of the vote to Trump’s 38.8.

IL-06: In Illinois’ 6th district, which includes Chicago suburbs, Democratic energy executive Sean Casten is challenging Republican incumbent Peter Roskam. Though Casten comes from the energy sector, he says he wants to use that experience to create clean energy jobs for the economy and the environment. And he has some cred to back that up, as the co-founder of Recycled Energy Development, a company aiming to profitably reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This district is competitive this year because of Trump’s unpopularity in the Chicago suburbs and the fact that Trump lost here by 7 points. The race is currently rated by The Cook Political Report as a toss upHELP FLIP IL-06!

IL-12: In Illinois’ 12th district, Democrat and St. Clair County state's attorney Brendan Kelly is challenging Republican incumbent Mike Bost. Kelly’s campaign message is focused on reducing the role of money in politics to restore faith in democracy in southern Illinois. Until Bost’s win in 2015, this district had voted for a Democrat consistently since 1993. Trump surged here, but the race is competitive because of its Democratic history and because Democrats have put up a strong candidate this year. The latest polling has Kelly tied with Bost and the race is currently considered a toss up. HELP FLIP IL-12!

IL-13: In Illinois’ 13th district, Democrat Betsy Dirksen Londrigan is challenging Republican incumbent Rodney Davis, who was first elected in 2012. Rodney is apparently still proud that he voted for the inhumane Trumpcare bill of 2017 and seems to think his wife - who had cancer - would still have been able to get coverage. Sure, maybe the Davis family could afford the astronomical Trumpcare premiums with their Congressional subsidy, but millions of other cancer patients would’ve been shit out of luck. Trump only squeaked by with a win in this district and the surge of engaged college students in the area could flip this seat for Democrats. However, right now, the race is leaning republicanHELP FLIP IL-13!

IL-14: In Illinois’ 14th district, Democrat Lauren Underwood is challenging Republican incumbent Randy Hultgren, one of the more than 100 Republicans who voted against the Violence Against Women Act. Underwood is a registered nurse who served as a senior policy advisor to HHS under Obama. She is the first woman to have the Democratic nomination for her district and, at 32, she is the youngest black woman running for congress this year. If Democrats look like they are going to win this race on election night, that could be a sign that they are going to have a good night elsewhere. Trump won this district, but it’s a district with an urban-rural divide. Underwood is only down by 4 percent in the polls, but the race is currently rated as leaning republican. HELP FLIP IL-14!

GOVERNOR: Illinois’ race for governor is on track to break a spending record set by the 2010 California gubernatorial race. Democratic philanthropist J.B. Pritzker is trying to unseat Republican incumbent Governor Bruce Rauner. Both candidates have self-funded campaigns. Rauner is using the upcoming 2020 redistricting process to try to inspire Republican voters, promising a state-wide Democratic takeover if they don’t show up for him. The race is currently leaning DemocraticHELP ELECT GOV. PRITZKER!

IMPORTANT DATES: To vote in the Midterm Elections in Illinois you must be registered by October 9th, or have registered online by October 21st. There are also registration grace periods in Illinois, but if you don’t have to wait, don’t.

It’s never too early to check registration cut off dates and absentee ballot request and submission dates in your own state. We highly suggest reviewing your state’s important dates and voter ID laws at as soon as possible to ensure you will be able to vote in the general election.

So, if making the Blue Wave a reality in November is important to you, be sure to hit the share buttons to spread the word about supporting Democrats in battleground races across the country via social media so that others in your network can spread the word too.








Get Involved/Resources: THE MIDTERMS MINUTE H.Q.


Illinois Democratic Party

IL Important Dates: Registered by October 9th, or have registered online by October 21st. There are also registration grace periods, but if you don’t have to wait, don’t. *More IL voting details


IL-06: Sean Casten

Swing Left IL-06 | Red to Blue IL-06

IL-12: Brendan Kelly

Swing Left IL-12 | Red to Blue IL-12

IL-13: Betsy Dirksen Londrigan

Red to Blue IL-13

IL-14: Lauren Underwood

Swing Left IL-14 | Red to Blue IL-14


J.B. Pritzker & Juliana Stratton


Posted October 2nd, 2018; Researched & Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman

Hear the segment in the context of Best of the Left Edition #1215: Demonizing welfare to divide and conquer 


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