August 08, 2022


Campaign notebook: A look at past gubernatorial primaries

This year, there are six candidates on the Republican ballot for governor.

In past elections, a busy ballot would reflect a stronger Republican turnout.

There were seven Republicans on the ballot in 2010 and four in 2014. There were more than 800,000 votes cast for each of those primaries.

Those past primaries were held in February and March, however. The one is being held a week before the Fourth of July; the General Assembly moved it later when 2020 Census figures were delayed.

Here are some historical comparisons:

GOP turnout is trending down. Overall, there have been fewer Republican voters in each subsequence election since 2010. In 2018, when Bruce Rauner fended off Jeanne Ives, there were just 722,162 votes. It also was the smallest Republican primary turnout since 1998, when 707,406 votes were cast as George Ryan secured the nomination over Chad Koppie.

More candidates, more votes? In 2010, there were seven candidates and 821,958 GOP votes. (State Sen. Bill Brady emerged from that field with 20.26% of the vote while Kirk Dillard got 20.24%.) In 2014, there were four candidates and 819,624 primary votes. (Rauner got 40.13% of the vote to gain the nomination.)

How Sauk Valley voted in those primaries. In 2010, Carroll, Whiteside, Lee and Ogle all went for Brady, though by matter of degrees and with stronger support than he had statewide. Brady got more than half the vote in Lee and more than 40% in Whiteside. He won Ogle and Carroll with more than 30%. In 2014, Rauner won Carroll and Whiteside with more than 30% support. Dillard won Ogle with 30% and Lee with 40%. In fact, Lee, Ogle and Stephenson were the only counties north of Interstate 80 that Dillard won.

Latest gubernatorial poll

The Trafalgar Group poll conducted June 10-13 had a sample size of 1,075 likely Republican voters and a 2.9% plus-minus margin of error, It showed Darren Bailey at 37.6%, Richard Irvin at 20%, Jesse Sullivan at 12%, Gary Rabine at 8.2%, Paul Schimpf at 5.4% and Max Soloman at 0.9%. There were 16% undecided.

Nonpartisan House elections analysis

Primary winners aside, the open Illinois 17th District U.S. House seat vacated by Cheri Bustos is up for grabs, according to three sites that offer nonpartisan analysis.

Sabato’s Crystal Ball said in a June 22 update it is one of 21 House races classified as a toss-up. The Cook Political Report with Amy Walter also rated it a toss-up as of June 15. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales said June 15 that the 17th was one of 53 battleground seats, though it is among eight tilting Democrat.

Early votes received

According to the State Board of Elections, there have been 128,535 of 336,131 mail ballots returned as of Friday. There were 161,523 early votes cast and 2,829 grace votes cast.

In Lee County, there were 145 of 227 mail votes returned, 707 early votes and 9 grace votes.

In Whiteside, there were 154 of 373 mail votes returned, 304 early votes and 16 grace votes.

In Carroll, there were 96 of 158 mail votes returned, 133 early votes and 7 grace votes.

In Ogle, there were 210 of 336 mail votes returned, 552 early votes and 6 grace votes.

Registered voters

According to the State Board of Elections totals as of Friday, Lee has 21,626 registered voters, Whiteside 36,648, Carroll 10,439 and Ogle 31,659.

Legislative district maps

Need a map showing state and federal legislative districts? The Illinois State Board of Elections has digital ones now and will get printed ones soon.

The new printable files can be accessed at by hovering over the “Running for Office” tab and clicking any of the four links showing a PDF icon under the “Current District Maps” heading.

Want a wall poster of the maps? That should be available in July from either office: 2329 S. MacArthur Blvd., Springfield or 69 W. Washington Suite LL08, Chicago.

Checking in at the pump

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the following list shows the historical retail price per gallon for gasoline in Chicago during the week of the previous primary elections. It was $5.80 as of June 13.

March 20, 2018. $2.74.

March 18, 2014. $3.82.

Feb. 2, 2010. $2.73

March 21, 2006. $2.96

March 19, 2002. $1.49

Notices about public campaign appearances in the Sauk Valley should be sent to The news and notes will run periodically during the election season.

Troy Taylor

Troy E. Taylor

Was named editor for and the Gazette and Telegraph in 2021. An Illinois native, he has been a reporter or editor in daily newspapers since 1989.