The Democratic Party of Evanston was able to party about their party.
As the votes were counted Tuesday night, it became obvious very early that Evanston would remain a deep blue city, and Illinois would remain a deep blue state.
Rachel Ruttenberg, Board President of the DPOE, told Evanston Now that “our role was to get out our Evanston progressive base and make sure we got the turnout we needed” in order to win.
And win they did, not just here, but statewide, with Gov. J.B. Pritzker easily defeating downstate Republican Darren Bailey. Other statewide and local Democrats (State Senate, State House, County Commissioner), along with incumbent U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth also coasted to victory.
U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-9th) also had an easy win, to take her 13th term in Congress.
Schakowsky said Illinois voters “have really positive feelings about J.B. Pritzker.”
She said the governor “ushered in a much more calm, dignified, and prosperous time in Illinois, in contrast to his Republican predecessor, Bruce Rauner.
As for this year’s GOP gubernatorial hopeful, Schakowsky said, “It was clear he was unfit to be governor.”
John Foley, a leader of the New Evanston Republican Organization, told Evanston Now he was hoping to cut in to the usual Democratic margin here, even if GOP candidates did not win. But that was not the case.
Foley said the Republican gubernatorial and U.S. Senate candidates were outspent by something like 11:1.
“The Democrats are a well-oiled machine. They have more resources. Good for them,” he added.
Foley said the Republican issues of the economy, crime and education failed to resonate with the electorate.
“They voted for four more years of the same thing,” he added.
Foley did concede that the abortion issue may have played a big role in the Illinois and Evanston Democratic tsunami.
Democrats said that absolutely, the overturning of Roe v. Wade mobilized a lot of voters, especially women.
The DPOE’s Ruttenberg said the question was “hugely important,” and she heard from friends who “were going to the polls with that in mind.”
She also said the issue likely motivated college women from Northwestern to vote.
Abortion was “a catalyst in the election,” she added.
As of 10 p.m. Tuesday, some other Illinois Congressional races were too close to call. And nationally, pundits were suggesting that the Republicans would retake control of the U.S. House, with the Senate a tossup with more results yet to come in from around the country.