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, Sue Scherer, a Democrat, eked out a 2,859-vote victory over rival Republican Michael Bell in the 96th state House District during the 2014 midterm election, one of the 13 Illinois legislative races that came down to the wire.
Scherer received 55.2 percent of the 27,447 votes cast, while Bell garnered 44.8 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 96th House District results
|County||Votes for Michael Bell (R)||Votes for Sue Scherer (D)||Votes Cast Countywide|