After close shave, Cheri Bustos ’furious’ about polling that missed GOP gains in House

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Democrats were expecting this election to add as many as 15 seats to their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.

They ended up losing at least 10 seats to the Republicans, who as of Friday morning had an extremely outside chance of winning a majority themselves.

Not happy about that is the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. She also represents most of the southern half of Peoria.

U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos vented her frustrations Thursday during a caucus call of House Democrats, according to various sources. A lot of her colleagues vented frustrations, too, about the tack some Democratic campaigns took.

“I also want to say the thing we’re all feeling: I’m furious. Something went wrong here across the entire political world,” Bustos said, according to the Roll Call website.

“Our polls, Senate polls, (governors) polls, presidential polls, Republican polls, public polls, turnout modeling and prognosticators all pointed to one political environment — that environment never materialized.”

Although Joe Biden appeared to be headed toward victory in the Presidential race, fellow Democrats appeared unlikely to claim a majority in the Senate. Most pre-election prognosticators were predicting they would.

They also were predicting the House GOP caucus would shrink, perhaps to as few as 182 seats out of the 435 total. As of Friday, one projection has the Democrats holding a 226-209 edge in the next Congress, although that could change.

Heading into the election, Democrats outnumbered Republicans 232-197, with one Libertarian and five vacancies. A majority, which Democrats achieved in 2018, requires control of 218 seats.

Among Democrats whose fate appeared uncertain on Election Night was Bustos. Until late in the evening, the Democrat from Moline was neck-and-neck with GOP challenger Esther Joy King in the 17th District race.

The Associated Press didn’t call the race in Bustos’ favor until Thursday. She won with 52% of the vote, although King had not conceded as of Thursday night. The margin was about 11,500 votes out of almost 300,000 cast.

It was the closest race of Bustos’ eight-year House career. She won 53% in 2012, when she ousted then-Rep. Bobby Schilling.

King won 10 of the district’s 14 counties, including Fulton (52-48%), Henry (59-41%), Tazewell (55.5-44.5%) and Warren (57-43%). But a big margin in Peoria County helped Bustos survive.

Bustos received 68% of the Peoria County vote. She won Winnebago County (Rockford) with a similar number and won Rock Island County, the home of both candidates.

Knox County also went to Bustos, ever so slightly. Her winning margin there was 67 votes out of more than 22,000 cast.

It’s unusual for someone running a House-campaign arm to have such a close shave, Roll Call reported.

The 17th District has a Democratic lean, but President Donald Trump carried it in 2016. Easy victories in the previous two elections seemed to indicate Bustos had secured it.

House districts are to be redrawn in time for the 2022 election, based on this year’s U.S. Census. Illinois is expected to lose at least one seat.

This year nationally, House Democrats lost some suburban districts they won in 2018 and came close to losing others. Among those in the latter category was Virginia Rep. Abigail Spanberger, who in the caucus call let known her angst about left-wing campaign rhetoric.

“No one should say ‘Defund the police’ ever again,” Spanberger yelled, according to Newsweek. “Nobody should be talking about socialism. We lost races we shouldn’t have lost.”

Region: Peoria,News,City: Peoria,Region: Central

via News – Journal Star https://ift.tt/2CPpM61

November 6, 2020 at 08:18AM

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