West Side wards pick Pritzker by a mile

Turnout in Wards, 24, 28, 29 and 37 was lower than citywide rate

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By Michael Romain

Editor

The vaunted blue wave that was supposed to wash over the country during the Nov. 6 midterm election turned out to be rather uneven. In some places, particularly southern states like Texas and Georgia, the wave underwhelmed. 

As of Nov. 11, Democrats had gained a net of 29 seats in Congress, giving the party enough seats to retake the U.S. House even as the U.S. Senate remains in Republican control. Two close governor's races in Georgia and Florida appear headed for recounts. 

In Illinois, the wave was more like a tsunami. Come next year, Democrats will not only have complete control of the governor's mansion, the House and the Senate, but they'll also control all statewide offices, such as state's attorney and treasurer. 

In addition, the only two Republican congressmen representing Chicago's suburbs, Peter Roskam and Randy Hultgren, were both defeated. 

At the top of the ticket, Democrat J.B. Pritzker trounced Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner 54 percent to 39 percent, with 99 percent of precincts having reported results as of Nov. 11. 

The election was enough for Edward McClelland, of Chicago Magazine, to declare the Illinois Republican Party dead. 

"Here's a historical picture of how utterly defeated Illinois Republicans will find themselves next year," McClelland wrote. "The state's Democratic Party is now in its most powerful position since the 1840s, when it held all the statewide offices, both Senate seats, and had two-to-one advantages in both houses of the legislature. Back then, the Democrats didn't even have a Republican Party to contend with — only the hapless, soon-to-expire Whigs."

Voters in the 24th, 28th, 29th and 37th Wards contributed to that defeat. In each of those wards, Pritzker did not get less than 88 percent of the vote, according to preliminary results released by the Chicago Board of Elections.

Although voter turnout across the city was 59 percent, the turnout rate in each of the aforementioned wards was well below that. In the 24th, 28th, 29th and 37th Wards, the turnout rate was 46 percent, 49 percent, 54 percent and 46 percent, respectively. 

Turnout was highest in the 29th Ward, which is represented by Ald. Chris Taliaferro and includes some of the wealthiest areas on the West Side — including the Galewood and Montclare neighborhoods. 

Two precincts in that ward saw turnout rates of around 70 percent and five precincts saw turnout rates in the 60s. 

For complete precinct level election results, visit chicagoelections.com.

CONTACT: michael@austinweeklynews.com   

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