The 2018 Midterm Elections

Incoming Illinois Governor JB Pritzker

Well, finally the 2018 midterm elections are over and TV can get back to normal after having made a fortune from all of the campaign ads.

Illinois gets a new billionaire governor in JB Pritzker after voters made it clear they wanted nothing further to do with incumbent Bruce Rauner. Pritzker’s 2.4 million votes beat Rauner’s 1.7 million by a 54.4 percent to 39.4 percent margin. It was the highest voter turnout in an Illinois election since 1990.

According to Governor-elect Pritzker’s office, Rauner’s vote share was the lowest for any incumbent governor in the last century. It was also the first time Peoria County voted for a Democrat for governor since 1968, the first time Champaign County did since 1936, the first time DuPage County did since 1932, and the first time Kane County did since 1912.

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Outgoing Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner.
Bruce Rauner lost for the same reason he won. Default. In the 2014 election, people voted against incumbent Governor Pat Quinn while Rauner offered a new fresh face and a new day as he promised to clean up Springfield.

In his bid for re-election in 2018, Rauner’s team that helped him to victory totally dismantled and then he ran his campaign against Mike Madigan, whose name was not on the ballot.

Bruce played a very sophisticated game of politics, but missed the public, the voter. He played too, too much to Madigan, who even won a supermajority in his Illinois general assembly, as the Democratic leader gained nine new seats.

The voters had a negative reaction to Rauner and they reacted to him for holding the state budget hostage for nearly three years. As he did that, he hurt many people.

Rauner lost the groups that had supported him, and as he attempted to change to become more Trump-like after narrowly winning the Republican Primary back in March, he lost Illinois Republican voters as well.

Rauner and Pritzker launched a money contest as they vetted the voters. JB ran a great campaign with nice money spread to cover all communities and democratic sectors of Illinois. He spent over $135 on TV commercials. That’s a lot of appeal. Together the billionaire candidates spent $284 million on the rich man’s new hobby, electoral politics.

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New Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul
In another major race, Kwame Raoul won the Illinois Attorney General’s office with a real base of Democratic supporters. His opponent, a fresh new pretty face named Erika Harold, surely has a bright future…with some constituency; not sure which. She did not campaign in the Black community and not many knew her. Her stance on abortion was harmful. That’s just not where modern women are.

The absolute great news about election 2018 is that the millennials voted!

Voting Was Up
The absolute great news about election 2018 is that the millennials voted; in fact, they out-voted the baby boomers. Yeah. At last they really discovered the importance of the most precious right of a democratic citizen. They will vote in new politicians and bring forth a new political leadership.

In addition to the millennials, people voted – 113 million voted – and this was the first midterm election to exceed 100 million votes. That was nearly 48 percent of eligible voters, compared to the 39 percent eligible who voted in the 2014 midterms. It still lags behind 2016’s presidential election, where 56 percent of eligible voters cast their ballots, but was an extraordinary turnout for a midterm election.

Nationally, the Democrats took the House of Representatives by as many as 44 seats depending on final outcomes; regardless, they handily surpassed the 218 seats needed to form the majority in the body.

So, was there an-anti Trump vote at work here? President Donald Trump worked hard to appeal to his base and the Republicans still control the Senate. Trump has changed the face of American politics, and destroyed the Republican Party at the same time as he plays defensive and insulting politics.

Whether we like it or not, Trump’s methods have appeal to some and the only way to counter it is to vote some in and vote some out. That is what happened as Trump labeled himself as a “Nationalist” rather than as an “American.”

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Stacey Abrams is still locked into a stalemate with Bruce Kemp.

Too Close To Call
Some of the national races are still too close to call; some have less than half a percentage difference in the vote totals. Recounts are being held in Florida in two races. In the Senate race with Democrat Bill Nelson vs. Republic Rick Scott, as of this writing they are .014 percent apart.

And the race for Florida governor between Andrew Gillum and Ron DeSantis is as narrow as they come. Someone will get a nice Christmas present, as Florida wrestles with voting once again.

The Arizona Senate seat is too close to call. In Stacey Abrams’ race for Governor of Georgia, they’re waiting for all of the votes to come in and be counted before declaring a winner. This race is historic, as Abrams would become America’s first Black woman governor. Her Republican opponent Brian Kemp currently leads with 50.3 percent of the vote.

This race got very nasty as national Black America watched. A very racist and disgusting robocall was made to ridicule Oprah Winfrey, who forcefully campaigned for Abrams, as the “Magical Negress.” The robocall was riddled with good old Southern code terminology geared to white people’s racist nature.

American politics has become a game for the rich, the famous and the bully. Dignity has vanished from democracy. Dirty tricks, lewd commercials and damn near blackmail are the order of the day in running campaigns. What happened to nobility, issues and platforms?

It’s amazing how people run on everything but what really counts. Barack Obama’s campaigns were a breath of fresh air with his elegance, plain language and issue-oriented discussions.

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The Trump Factor
But that might be a thing of the past as Trump lies, lies and lies with force and conviction. Trump has given the White Supremacists permission to come out and expose themselves as he threatens the core of our democracy with his Hitler-like tactics.

The midterm races were revealing for and against the present regime in Washington D.C.

• In this election, African Americans voted for Democrats over Republicans by a margin of 90 percent to six percent.

• 62 percent of all battleground voters said Donald Trump makes them feel angry.

• The top issues for African-American voters in battleground districts were healthcare costs, improving the economy, and income inequality.

• 70 percent of African-American voters and 77 percent of Latino voters in battleground districts encouraged friends or family to register and/or vote.

Our voices were heard, as the votes are in and still being counted.

Election
Toni Preckwinkle (left) and Susan Mendoza were already running for Chicago mayor before their own elections. That doesn’t seem right.

The Chicago Mayor’s Race
Next on the political agenda is Chicago’s mayor’s race, with its 19 candidates. Toni Preckwinkle won her election for President of the Cook County Board as she prepares for the mayoral race. And Susan Mendoza won as Illinois Comptroller on the 2018 ballot as she prepares for the mayoral race.

There ought to be laws passed against elected candidates being able to turn around and run for another office until they have completed the term of the office they were just elected to. In no way is this right.

But now that the 2018 midterm elections are over, in Illinois we can get back to business, enjoy the holidays and watch what happens as Chicago makes more history early next year with its many mayoral candidates.

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