2018 election preview: Number of competitive districts up over four years ago
The number of competitive Illinois state legislative races in the Nov. 6 midterm elections will be 18 more than the number four years ago as more major-party candidates go head-to-head in districts across the state.
The number of state Senate and House districts pitting Democrats against Republicans is 85 this year, compared to just 57 in 2014. In every one of the 13 legislative races in 2014 where the winners and losers were separated by 3,000 votes or less, competitive contests appear to be in the offing this year.
For example, Katherine Cloonen, a Democrat, eked out a 122-vote victory over rival Republican Glenn Nixon in the 79th state House District during the 2014 midterm election, one of the 13 Illinois legislative races that came down to the wire.
Cloonen received 50.2 percent of the 32,602 votes cast, while Nixon garnered 49.8 percent.
Of the other House seats on the ballot in 2014, 68 had only one major-party candidate running. In each of the remaining 38 House seats, one of the two major-party candidates won handily.
Nineteen state Senate races were on the ballot four years ago, with just seven pitting major-party candidates and only the 57th District turning into a nip-and-tuck race.
2014 79th House District results
|County||Votes for Glenn Nixon (R)||Votes for Katherine Cloonen (D)||Votes Cast Countywide|