A lot of analysis will be kicked around as we try to understand what the November 7 election results mean for the future of this state, but here’s a starting point:
• Democrats swept the constitutional offices and will maintain majorities in the Illinois House and Senate, but Senate Majority Leader Emil Jones Jr. might have taken the cake. His 31 Democrats and one Independent-turned-Democrat could have gained enough seats to secure a “super majority” of 36, the number of votes needed to override the governor’s vetoes and to approve some major items, such as the long-awaited school and road construction plans. But that doesn’t mean those major items will fly through the House, which is unlikely to gain enough seats to secure a three-fifths majority.
• Update: Key state legislative races that we covered in September proved to be tight. In the northwest suburbs of Chicago, Democrat Fred Crespo has a lead over incumbent Terry Parke, a Hoffman Estates Republican who has served the area for more than two decades. Not all precincts had reported the last I checked. Downstate around Clinton, Marion and Jefferson counties, Democratic incumbent Kurt Granberg of Carlyle could edge out his repeat Republican opponent, John Cavaletto of Salem. But the race has yet to be called, with the latest results showing Granberg with 50 percent to Cavaletto’s 49 percent. That’s a difference of about 100 votes.
• A county-by-county map of unofficial AP results of the Illinois governors' race shows Republican Judy Baar Topinka won counties spanning the middle third of the state, while Blagojevich won many counties in deep southern and some western Illinois. He swept Lake, Cook and Will counties lining Lake Michigan. Green Party candidate Rich Whitney secured 10 percent of the vote statewide, ranging from 4 percent in counties surrounding St. Louis (he received 5 percent in many western Illinois counties) to 25 percent in Jackson County, where he lives in Carbondale. He received double digits in many central Illinois counties, but not as many in deep southern Illinois.