Historically, experts say it is pretty clear who the Republican and Democratic presidential nominees will be by the time the Illinois primary rolls around. This year, that isn’t so -- and consequently the state will be a major player in this year's election.
The decisive victory in Iowa for Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz admittedly even surprised his base.
“We are psyched. It was an unexpected win,” said Chris Cleveland of Illinois for Ted Cruz.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio's team in Illinois also touting his third place finish, nearly beating polled frontrunner Donald Trump.
“For all intents and purposes, we feel like we won,” Sen. Michael Connelly of Illinois for Marco Rubio. “Momentum is there. Highest turnout ever for republican caucus and they tended towards us.”
All campaigns are looking next to the New Hampshire primary and beyond.
“Trump has to show what he's seldom never shown, humility and if he shows humility, I still think he has a good chance of winning in New Hampshire,” said political analyst Paul Green.
Hillary Clinton’s supporters say the effort in Illinois starts tomorrow.
“We have 11 different phone banks across the city and we'll be canvassing at least 3 times a week,” said Clinton volunteer Benjamin Head.
Clinton - a Park Ridge native – has many ties here. But supporters of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders - including former Chicago mayoral candidate Jesus “Chuy” Garcia - say they're not intimidated.
“It’s brand new ball game and Illinois, as a result, will be much more competitive,” Garcia said. “This movement has been driven by Bernie Sanders’ life long record of progressive values.”
All campaigns say after last night - their respective camps are more energized than ever.
“I haven't seen this kind of excitement in a long time,” Head said.
“I got text messages all night saying how can I help? How can I help? These are people who normally stand off to the side, now they want to get involved,” Cleveland said.
“We've very excited Illinois is going to be a major player on March 15 for the GOP presidential nomination,” Connelly said.