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Watch LIVE Election Coverage Across Chicago Area

Watch special Illinois election coverage starting at 8 p.m. right here on NBCChicago.com

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Editor's note: Watch LIVE special election coverage from across the Chicago area starting at 8 p.m. in the player above.

Voters in Illinois will play a role in deciding the direction of the country with four critical Congressional seats at stake, two of which are in the Chicago area.

In the race pitting 14th District incumbent Randy Hultgren against Democratic challenger Lauren Underwood, President Donald Trump on Tuesday sent out an 11th-hour, Election Day appeal.

"Congressman Randy Hultgren (R) of Illinois is doing a great job," Trump tweeted." Get out and Vote for Randy - Total Endorsement!"

Hultgren is opposed by Underwood, a political newcomer, and the race is tight.

Democrats believe they have a good chance of flipping that long-held GOP seat out in the western suburbs and beyond.

Just to the north, 6th District Republican Peter Roskam is challenged by another political new comer, Sean Casten, and like Hultgren, Roskam's seat is considered a toss-up.

In both races, as in so many around the country, health care is a principal issue and women voters are key.

One of the key statewide races is Illinois attorney general.

Democratic state Sen. Kwame Raoul is battling Erika Harold, an attorney and former Miss America from Champaign.

Raoul's pitch has included his connection to former President Barack Obama. Harold's closing argument has been to try and tie Raoul to Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan. 

Both Raoul and Harold have flooded television markets with campaign commercials, but who's ahead? It's hard to tell and could be the last of the statewide races to declare a winner.

In the nitty gritty of Illinois politics, one man stands out from the rest: Madigan, the nemisis of Illinois Republicans and the man who controls the Democratic state party, not to mention millions in campaign money.

There are 67 Democrats and 51 Republicans in the Illinois House. Democrats need to pick up four seats to give Madigan and his side a super majority.

Out of 118 seats up for election, 54 candidates have no opposition, and the great majority of those are Democrats. There are 59 Illinois state senators, but not all are up for re-election.

Democrats are looking to increase their number.

How well Republicans do or don't do in those legislative races will tie back to the Illinois governor's race.

Democrats have been more liberal in their spending for state House races than Republicans.

Gov. Bruce Rauner campaigned four years ago on a pledge to "shake up Springfield." Tonight will decide if state government was shaken---or whether the governor just stirred up a whole lot of voter anger.

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