Welcome to Election Day. Just like the Powerball numbers we may not know if we have a change in US House leadership for a couple days. Pollsters are predicting a change in the House with the Senate still a toss up.
Here in Illinois, many of our closest races were in the primary especially our state-wide offices. With the political winds in DC likely to change direction, here are some of the Illinois Congressional races to keep an eye on today.
Update: It may take days or months to finalize some national races which will determine the makeup of the US House and Senate, but at least the political ads and texts will stop (hopefully). Here is where the highlighted Illinois races stand.
Illinois 6th District – Update: Congressman Casten retains seat (+7)
Illinois 6th District is held by Congressman Sean Casten (D) who is looking for his third term in Congress representing Chicago’s western suburbs. He faces a challenge from Republican Keith Pekau, who has been the mayor of Orland Park since 2017.
Historically Illinois 6th District has been a Republican district until Congressman Casten flipped the district in 2018. Through the redistricting process Illinois 6th has some new communities which changed the political makeup. These changes helped Casten defeat Marie Newman in the primary but it does provide Keith Pekau with a possibility of winning.
The district is on the periphery of the Republican party’s focus. Last week President Biden traveled to Chicago on Friday to provide a last boost to Representatives Casten, Foster and Underwood.
Illinois 11th District – Update: Congressman Foster retains seat (+11)
Illinois 11th District is held by Incumbent Bill Foster (D), who is facing a challenge from Republican Catalina Lauf, a former Trump administration appointee from Woodstock, who previously challenged Representative Lauren Underwood (D) in 2020.
Congressman Foster won the district by 63 percent of the vote in 2020 and has held the seat since 2008. But Democrats redrew the seat, making it more competitive to maximize their opportunities elsewhere. Republicans want to win this seat in part to help cushion the Republican Party’s chances of flipping control of the U.S. House from Democrats.
President Biden traveled to Chicago on Friday to provide a last boost to Congressman Foster as part of the same event with Congressman Casten.
Illinois 13th District: Update Nikki Budzinski wins seat (+9)
This new open seat snakes from the St. Louis suburbs all the way north and east to the college town of Champaign-Urbana.
President Joe Biden carried the district by 11 points in 2020 — that’s not out of reach for Republicans, but there’s a reason why GOP Rep. Rodney Davis chose to run against another incumbent for a redder seat than seek reelection here.
Illinois 14th District: Update Congresswoman Underwood retains seat (+7)
The 14th District is also seen by some as one with the potential to swing red in 2022. The district voted Underwood into office in 2018 after years of Republican representation by former Republican U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren. Underwood held onto her seat again in 2020, but only narrowly defeated GOP opponent Jim Oberweis.
After redistricting, Biden’s margin here is 12 points, which could be the cushion Underwood needs to win a third term.
Illinois 17th District: Update Eric Sorensen leads and is likely to win the seat (+3)
Illinois 17th District was long held by Representative Cheri Bustos (D), who announces she would not seek a sixth term in Congress. The district historically has leaned Republican but following redistricting leans a little more Democratic.
Sorensen is a first-time candidate with name recognition in the Rockford area for being on television and is supported by Cheri Bustos.