The benefit of incumbency was all but missing in Gov. Bruce Rauner's win in Tuesday’s Illinois primary. The narrow margin of victory by the sitting governor points to fundamental problems as he heads to the November contest.
Statewide, the Republican vote was depressed from what it was four years ago. There were more than 130,000 fewer votes statewide on the GOP side.
Conservative challenger state Rep. Jeanne Ives won about one-third of Illinois' 102 counties, including the Republican bastion of DuPage County.
Ives ultimately lost the contest statewide, earning 48.6 percent of the vote to Rauner's 51.4 percent.
The hard feelings between the Ives and Rauner camps evident throughout the campaign won’t go away easily.
On the Democratic side, it was a very good night for J.B. Pritzker. He carried all but four counties in Illinois and his main rivals — Daniel Biss and Chris Kennedy — urged their supporters to rally around Pritzker in the general.
But for political junkies, there may be an even bigger story than the gubernatorial race. Call it the winds of change, led by Hispanics like Cook County Commissioner Jesus 'Chuy' Garcia and progressives including the Bernie Sanders Our Revolution.
Better yet, call it a political earthquake.
Out is Joe Berrios as Cook County Assessor. As head of the Cook County Democratic Party, Berrios could not rally his troops to defeat newcomer Fritz Kaegi.
Berrios won just 23 of Chicago’s 50 wards.
And speaking of Chicago wards, the other earthquake: Chicago’s most powerful alderman, Ed Burke, just barely delivered his 14th Ward for his brother Dan, who ultimately lost re-election to the statehouse. Just 62 votes separated Dan Burke and 26-year-old Aaron Ortiz in his brother's 14th Ward. Ortiz had the strong support of Chuy Garcia and won, as Garcia did in his bid for Congress.
And finally, two members of Congress turned against one of their colleagues in the 3rd Congressional District.
That’s where Rep. Dan Lipinski, son of Bill Lipinski, another lion of the old guard, narrowly beat back a challenge by progressive Marie Newman in the Democratic primary.
In a rare move, two of Lipiniski’s Congressional colleagues, Reps. Luis Gutierrez (D-4th) and Jan Schakowsky (D-9th), bucked Lipinski and backed Newman.
After Lipinski's slim victory, the next Democratic Congressional caucus meeting may be like a bad Thanksgiving, where the relatives hate each other’s politics.