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Post-campaign notebook

Tuesday, Nov 15, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* From the Chicago Crusader

Voter turnout in Chicago’s Black wards dropped significantly in Tuesday’s midterm elections after a record high turnout in the 2018 midterm election, according to a Crusader analysis of data from the Chicago Board of Elections.

Overall voter turnout among Chicago’s 1.5 million registered voters on Tuesday was just 41.3 percent, compared to 60.67 percent in the 2018 midterm election. In Black wards that year, voter turnout was 57.51 percent.

But voter turnout Tuesday, November 8, in Chicago’s Black wards was even lower. Election data show that out of the city’s 17 Black wards, only 36 percent or 573,514 registered voters cast ballots on Tuesday. Voter turnout in Black wards was even lower than during the 2014 midterms election, where turnout was 49.56 percent, higher than the city’s overall turnout of 48.81 percent.

In Tuesday’s election, 11 Black wards experienced voter turnout that was within 30 percentage points. The 16th and 37th Wards had the lowest voter turnout with 25.13 percent and 27.45 percent, respectively. The 16th Ward, representing the neighborhoods of Chicago Lawn, Englewood, Gage Park, New City and West Englewood, historically has the lowest turnout than any of Chicago’s Black wards.

In Tuesday’s election, none of the Black wards experienced a higher voter turnout than in 2018, when Democrats wrestled control of the U.S. House from the Republicans under President Donald Trump.


Tom DeVore, who was defeated by incumbent Democrat Kwame Raoul in the race to be Illinois attorney general, downplayed the influence of the former President Trump on the Republican’s poor electoral performance.

“Trump’s been gone a long time, so absent Trump would we have won any of these races? I don’t think so,” said DeVore. “There’s bigger issues at play from a structural perspective and an organizational perspective for the party in Illinois and I think that had a much larger impact on these races than any former president ever could have had.”

Republican state Sen. Jason Plummer agreed that the Republican Party in Illinois simply does not have the electoral infrastructure to compete effectively.

“We have an infrastructure problem here in Illinois regardless of the election cycle, regardless of names that people like to talk about,” said Plummer. “The fact of the matter is what we’ve done in Illinois Republican politics would be the equivalent of sending the Chicago Cubs out on the field without bats or gloves.”

Both DeVore and Plummer bemoaned in particular the lack of an early vote effort on the GOP side while noting the success of Democrats in turning out their vote.

“Structural” analysis coming from Tom DeVore? The guy who had no discernible campaign structure at all?

And the lack of an early and mail-in vote push by Republicans is precisely because of Donald Trump, who wants everyone to vote on election day. Republican voters would’ve revolted if the state party had gone against Trump and ran a mail and chase program. Maybe now, the rank and file will learn something. Or not.

But, more importantly, they lost on the issues that mattered most to actual voters. And abortion was at the top of that list. No amount of money and “infrastructure” improvements were gonna change that this year.

* From Heather Wier Vaught’s post-election analysis…

Democrats won two Illinois Supreme Court seats in the newly drawn Second and Third Districts, and Chief Justice Mary Jane Theis received the vote to be retained for a 10-year term. This gives Democrats a 5-2 majority for the first time since 2004. In a first for the Court, a majority of the justices will be female (5-2), there are three African American justices, and a majority are new to the Supreme Court.

The irony is Ken Griffin is the person who should receive the most credit for the changes to the Court and Democrats’ 5-2 majority. In 2020, Griffin and independent expenditure committees spent millions against Justice Kilbride with the goal of knocking him off the Court and electing a Republican to that seat to have a 4-3 Republican court. But Kilbride’s close defeat (he received 57% but needed 60% to be retained) and the retirement of Justice Thomas triggered two elections in 2022, and the General Assembly seized that opportunity to redistrict the Supreme Court districts for the first time since 1964. The Illinois Constitution’s requirement that the districts be of “substantial equal population” allowed the legislature to draw two districts that slightly favor Democrats. Had Kilbride won in 2020, the General Assembly likely wouldn’t have redistricted the Court, and the Republicans could have retained the now-lost seat in the Second District. That could have allowed Republican donors to redirect the tens of millions spent on Supreme Court races to executive and legislative races.

Griffin recently called former President Trump a three-time loser. Maybe look in the mirror, genius.

* The trend is most definitely not Rep. Mazzochi’s friend…

Although, as I told subscribers today, Mazzochi has filed a lawsuit.

…Adding… Interesting…

* Isabel’s roundup…

    * State Journal-Register | Illinois General Assembly veto session begins. Here’s what to know: Expected to add up to five seats in the Illinois House, Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch announced Monday that he would retain his position for a second term. “We have more work to do – and with a strong, diverse, and talented Democratic caucus alongside me, I am excited to continue the work Illinoisans have sent us to do,” he said in a released statement.

    * Washington Post | Muslim Americans make historic gains in midterm elections: Nabeela Syed made history in this year’s midterms when she defeated a Republican incumbent in Illinois’s 51st District, making her the youngest member of the Illinois General Assembly and among the first Muslims elected to the state legislature. […] Syed is among a cohort of candidates who made history this year by becoming the first Muslim Americans to be elected to the state legislature in states including Texas, Illinois, Georgia and Minnesota. All of them are Democrats, many are women and a rising number are Somali Americans.

    * WSIL | Illinois comptroller helps hand out turkeys in Cairo: 150 turkeys were handed out in Cairo on Monday in an event that’s been going on for six years. Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza has been a part of the event that entire time. She joined with Arrowleaf Community Center and Laborers’ 773.

    * Crain’s | Political players among Chicago’s young leaders to watch: 40 Under 40: From local to state offices, political consultants to nonprofit leaders, these are some of this year’s 40 Under 40 honorees leaving their marks in and around the public sector.


  1. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Nov 15, 22 @ 11:40 am:

    Why doesn’t it surprise me that a Republican would be suing to stop the counting of ballots.

  2. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 15, 22 @ 11:43 am:

    ===We have an infrastructure problem here in Illinois regardless of the election cycle, regardless of names that people like to talk about,” said Plummer. “The fact of the matter is what we’ve done in Illinois Republican politics would be the equivalent of sending the Chicago Cubs out on the field without bats or gloves.”===

    Republicans are dangerous to women’s health.

    Thinking you need a better GOTV that includes finding more folks with the minority polled position of pro-life is not how you win elections.

    There’s likely not one social issue that Republicans fall in the winning polling side.

    Republicans are wholly upside down when it comes to “human” issues.

  3. - TheInvisibleMan - Tuesday, Nov 15, 22 @ 11:50 am:

    –Mazzochi has filed a lawsuit.–

    Are we at the point yet in this play where her lawsuit will actually end up finding even fewer people voted for her?

  4. - Excitable Boy - Tuesday, Nov 15, 22 @ 11:53 am:

    - Voter turnout in Chicago’s Black wards dropped significantly in Tuesday’s midterm elections after a record high turnout in the 2018 midterm election -

    Great, Proft is going to take credit for what was really the remap polling location debacle, and next cycle we’ll get even more blatant racism.

  5. - Roman - Tuesday, Nov 15, 22 @ 12:03 pm:

    == Voter turnout in Black wards was even lower than during the 2014 midterms election ==

    That is one of the two key ingredients for a GOP candidate to win statewide. But the other — winning independent/moderate suburban voters, especially women — was never really in play. Bailey barely tried to woo those voters and instead tried to rally a base that is too small to win anything. Then again, maybe Dobbs would have made it impossible no matter who the GOP candidate was.

  6. - ok - Tuesday, Nov 15, 22 @ 12:17 pm:

    Dems have much to celebrate. But amid the back slapping, consider that IL Dems and their consultants enjoy built in advantages making their races easier — redistricting that packed Dem downstate areas into the 13th and 17th CDs and legislative seats (which masks Democrats deeper problems downstate), an extremist GOP nominee for governor, redistricting that created favorable Chicago and suburban districts, etc. I’m a Democrat enjoying the wins, but mindful that we enjoyed some major built-in advantages going in.

  7. - Mason born - Tuesday, Nov 15, 22 @ 12:47 pm:

    As for DeVore, dropping the Crazy Orange Dude would have helped, especially outside IL, but I doubt it would’ve saved Crazy Pasty Lawyer Dude. Seriously DeVores about the only candidate I can think of that makes Trump look less crazy. Frankly surprised he isn’t trying some sort of wild hair legal theory.

  8. - Chris - Tuesday, Nov 15, 22 @ 12:49 pm:

    The yellow box in the graphic Will Guzzardi used really zooms in on the wrong part of the state.

  9. - the 647 - Tuesday, Nov 15, 22 @ 1:17 pm:

    According to HWV, there are three African American justices. I thought it was two. Neville and Holder White. Who am I forgetting?

  10. - DougChicago - Tuesday, Nov 15, 22 @ 1:21 pm:

    The wingnuts have made GOP voters believe that any sort of voting not on election day is the devil’s playground so the result is hardly surprising.

    How about stopping that?

  11. - West Side the Best Side - Tuesday, Nov 15, 22 @ 1:39 pm:

    DeVore: “Trump’s been gone a long time….” Gone? He’s constantly holding rallies, still complaining about his 2020 loss, endorsing fellow election deniers, and will probably announce his 2024 run tonight. He’s hardly gone. How can we miss him if he won’t go away.

  12. - Mocking Jay - Tuesday, Nov 15, 22 @ 4:05 pm:

    Gonna miss Mazzochi’s hats.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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