2020 General Election Preview

The final weeks leading up to the 2020 general election have been busy in DuPage county, with huge lines at Early Voting locations and campaign signs going up at intersections. COVID-19 has certainly impacted campaign methods; both parties in DuPage county have utilized in person campaign events and canvassing to win campaigns. Canvassing strategy has been modified by most campaigns to only include leaving flyers on doors. Online events have become popular. Even with limited campaigning strategies, voter turnout is very high in DuPage county, standing at 52% according to the County Clerk’s office.

DuPage election results will be fascinating to watch, even if close races remain uncalled due to the high number of mail-in ballots. 

The majority of the races on the ballot in DuPage can be deemed as competitive. Just about every county position on the ballot (including county board, countywide, judicial, and forest preserve) is currently both Republican held and very vulnerable to Democratic takeover. Additionally, there are quite a few state legislative races worth watching held by both parties. 

There have been some developments in DuPage politics in recent weeks, but none too likely to make a big difference. 

The DuPage GOP continues to cling to their “law and order” messaging as a closing statement, and haven’t exactly distanced themselves from President Trump. 

As for Trump’s chances of carrying the DuPage, the biggest question is whether or not he will improve on his abysmal 14% loss in the county in 2016.

The HD-41 race between incumbent Grant Wehrli (R) and Janet Yang Rohr (D) had an interesting development when the conservative-funded online “news” site DuPage Policy Journal published opposition research related to the Democratic nominee. The site claims that Yang Rohr had talked about “disenfranchising” her opponent prior to the primary election through petition challenges. That former candidate is Denika McMillen, who lost the primary to Yang Rohr, the Party backed candidate, by a wide margin. McMillen quickly released a statement on Facebook which reaffirmed her support of Yang Rohr.

In other news, a DuPage County Election Judge was recently arrested for stealing campaign signs. Initial media reports prompted Democratic chairperson Cynthia Borbas to release a statement to clarify that the judge in question is, in fact, a Republican.

Also, DuPage GOP chairperson Jim Zay released a statement regarding alleged issues with electronic voting machines automatically filling in Democratic candidates; the county clerk’s office says that this feature is related to ADA compliance. The saga is detailed in this article published by Capitol Fax.

The 2020 election is likely to be highly consequential in shaping the political future of DuPage county. Democrats have a very serious chance to flip the county board, and are perhaps even slight favorites. Joe Biden will dominate nearly everywhere in the county, and it will be difficult for DuPage Republicans to replicate their down ballot successes of 2016. 

A post election analysis will be published in a few days. I look forward to breaking down the results.

—Nick Mastro

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