By CHRIS KAERGARD
of the Journal Star
Posted Nov 18, 2012 @ 10:20 PM
It’s no surprise that U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock won re-election by a large margin, but the extent of his victory is worth putting into perspective. The sophomore Republican romped to victory over token opposition from Democratic challenger Steve Waterworth of Easton with 243,295 votes, based on preliminary counts. Waterworth pulled in 84,544 votes for a 74 percent to 26 percent loss – the lowest percentage the candidate received in any of his three tries for the office over the last two decades. But in all 435 congressional districts across the country – ignoring unopposed races – only 16 candidates garnered more votes than Schock. His percentage of votes received is among the top 10 nationwide for a contested House seat. Moreover, in a state that saw precious few good moments for Republican candidates on Election Night, Schock got the most votes of any Republican lawmaker seeking office in Illinois.This comes at a time when one-third of his 18th Congressional District was new territory for him.
No wonder folks are talking about his long-term elective prospects. Superminority? Matters weren’t anywhere near as bright for other Republicans across the state. Those in the Illinois Senate face a new session starting in mid-January for which Democrats will not just control the chamber, but will have a veto-proof supermajority. In short, they don’t need Republicans to do a single thing. The 19 members of the GOP in the chamber are nearly irrelevant to the process, and will only get to be involved to the extent that the Democrats choose to let them. How disheartening that must be for folks heading to the chamber. They have to look forward rather than pouting about the result.
By CHRIS KAERGARD