EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. — There is a lot of national “buzz” about former President Trump’s impact in Tuesday’s Illinois primary races.
Any ‘Trump effect’, good or bad, may have been overstated.
About 72 hours after appearing with Trump at a rally and accepting his “full” endorsement, State Senator, Darren Bailey, won a landslide victory in the Republican Governor’s race.
Trump-endorsed Congresswoman, Mary Miller, whose new 15th district includes much of Madison County, also won easily over 5-term incumbent Republican, Rodney Davis.
The Illinois State Senate’s Asst. GOP Leader, Senator Jason Plummer of Edwardsville, doubts the endorsements determined the outcomes.
“President Trump probably took what were going to be more modest victories and made them into even bigger victories,” he said.
“That may well change depending upon what happens with the January 6th hearings which have not gone well for Trump, pretty much at all,” said SIUE Political Science Department Chair, Dr. Ken Moffett.
There may be zero ‘Trump effect’ in the new 13th Congressional District, redrawn after the census to stretch from Belleville through Champaign and favor Democrats. Nikki Budzinski won the Democrat nomination.
Republican nominee, Regan Deering, could win in November, Dr. Moffett said, with no help from the former president.
“Given the slight democratic lean of the district, I wouldn’t be shocked if there were an informal request of Mr. Trump to not get involved,” said Moffett.
“It’s kind of a mixed response here to the ‘Trump effect’ if you will,” said Deering. “I’ve met people who won’t even vote for a Republican just because they’re in the same party (and also) people like myself who voted for him twice and felt like this country was in a much better position under his leadership. Voters throughout are really concerned about inflation primarily. Gas and grocery prices are top of mind for everyone. Household budgets are really being stressed.”
Back to the Illinois Governor’s race, incumbent Democrat, J.B. Pritzker appears to want to keep Trump in the forefront, bringing up his endorsement of Bailey repeatedly during his victory speech.
“Let me be clear, someone who seeks out and accepts the endorsement of a racist, misogynistic, homophobic, xenophobic, twice-impeached former president does not deserve to come anywhere near this state’s highest office,” said Pritzker.
Sen. Plummer gives his thoughts on the governor’s race.
“This race is about jobs and crime. On those issues, voters know J.B. Pritzker has failed us,” said Plummer. “If Darren Bailey wants to beat J.B. Pritzker all he has to do is talk about Pritzker’s record.”
Wednesday marked 132 days until Election Day in November.