If Illinois is a blue state politically, then Evanston is a deeper blue than even the shimmering waters of Lake Michigan on a clear, sunny day.

Just-released data from the Cook County Clerk’s Office show that the letter “D” next to a candidate’s name had even more clout locally in this month’s election than it did four years ago.

In Evanston this year, Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker swamped his Republican rival, downstate State Sen. Darren Bailey, 91.59% to 6.9%. (Libertarian candidate Scott Schluter received 1.51% of Evanston ballots cast).

That translated to nearly 26,500 votes for Pritzker, but fewer than 2,000 for Bailey. (And about 440 for Schluter).

Local Republicans never expected to carry Evanston, but had hoped to at least cut into Pritzker’s expected margin. But that did not happen.

In fact, at least in Evanston, Bailey (6.9%) did worse than did the 2018 Republican candidate, incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner (13.13%), in Rauner’s losing race against Pritzker.

Democrats in Evanston said pro-abortion-rights voters were highly motivated to turn out this year, following the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, and Republican candidate Bailey’s anti-abortion-rights position.

Statewide, Pritzker won re-election with 54.6% of the vote. Bailey received 42.6%, and Schluter got 2.8%.

Democrats also took the other statewide races, including U.S. Senate and Secretary of State, and also increased their numbers in the State House and State Senate, to the point that they now have veto-proof majorities in both houses.

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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  1. It certainly doesn’t bolster your faith in democracy when the ballot is chock full of unopposed candidates.

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