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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Illinois Gleanings

Yesterday’s Illinois primary produced intense competition in both parties, but no huge surprises. In the gubernatorial contest, photo finishes are occurring in both parties, with incumbent Pat Quinn holding a 5,000 vote lead over Dan Hynes (Quinn has declared victory, but Hynes has not yet conceded) among Democrats, and downstate conservative state senator Bill Brady leading his colleague Kirk Dillard by less than a percentage point.
The Senate races were less dramatic. The long-time Democratic front-runner, state treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, won by a comfortable margin over David Hoffmann, and Republican Rep. Mark Kirk won with a majority over three conservative rivals. For all the hype about Kirk nationally, Giannoulias actually leads him in the polls, and Kirk could still face a right-wing third party candidate.
There was one surprise in House races: Ethan Hastert, son of former House Speaker Denny Hastert, got waxed by conservative state senator Randy Hultgren for the GOP nomination in Denny’s old district. The seat is now held by Democrat Bill Foster. In a sign of the times, the more conservative candidate also won the GOP nod for the seat being vacated by Kirk, with Bob Dold beating Beth Coulson.

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