Besides reclaiming the governor's mansion, Democrats hope the apparent enthusiasm gap helps their nominees in five GOP-held congressional districts in IL that are among the party's targets nationally.
IL voters added their voices to the 2018 primary season, with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner surviving an unexpectedly stiff primary challenge from the right and a suburban Chicago congressman, Dan Lipinski, narrowly dispatching a Democratic challenger fueled by the party's liberal wing.
There's no doubt Rauner's campaign will continue to try to link Pritzker to Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan - and a full backing by the Democratic Party at this point will likely only embolden those efforts.
He will face Democratic billionaire J.B. Pritzker, an investor and heir to the Hyatt hotel fortune, who easily won the primary over Chris Kennedy, the son of the late Sen. He face off with incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) in the general election.
He said the primary results, combined with legislative victories by the Democrats and the upset in the special congressional election in Pennsylvania last week "all point towards an unfavorable election cycle for the GOP this November".
Pritzker will try to tie his Republican opponent to Donald Trump, while Rauner will make Pritzker out to be a puppet of state Democratic Party chairman and Illinois House speaker Mike Madigan, a figure almost as unpopular as Trump.
Arthur Jones is known for his anti-Semitic rhetoric, for his white supremacist positions, and for his Holocaust denial - on his website, there is even a section that reads "Holocaust?" - and yet he was a candidate without an opponent for the right wing, despite having been publicly disavowed by the Republican Party.
Tuesday's second relatively predictable thing was the nomination of Bruce Rauner, a Republican, to run for a second term as governor.
Rauner remains saddled with desperately low approval ratings following a years-long budget crisis - one that ended, in 2017, only after Democratic and Republican state lawmakers banded together to override his veto.
The Republican Governors Association, meanwhile, labeled Pritzker a "self-serving IL political insider". The Associated Press has declared Lipinski the victor. "Those are pretty typical non-conservative stances on those issues". He also voted for religious freedom bills that are viewed as making it easier for private businesses to discriminate against gay customers.
One of the most conservative Democrats in Congress narrowly won his primary. Newman said Tuesday night she would not concede as she wanted Lipinski "to have a very painful evening".
"We have moved him on immigration, we have moved him on health care".
"I am humbled, I am honored", Rauner told supporters. Jan Schakowsky (D) and Luis V. Gutiérrez (D). Rauner clearly underestimated Ives, who made a lot of hay out of the pro-choice governor's decision to sign legislation expanding public financing of abortions. He also engaged in a long budget standoff with the state legislature that left IL $15 billion behind on its bills and triggered multiple downgrades that pushed the state's credit rating nearly to junk status.
Listen to the story: J.B. Pritzker is the Democratic nominee for governor. Also running were state Rep. Scott Drury, Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering, former Civilian Office of Police Accountability administrator Sharon Fairley, former Illinois State Board of Education chairman Jesse Ruiz, MSNBC legal contributor Renato Mariotti, and Aaron Goldstein, a member of ex-Gov. Pritzker spent more than $60 million to win his race.
In another statewide race, Erika Harold was declared the victor in the GOP primary for attorney general. He told the media that the race was not about money but values of social and economic justice.
Democrat Betsy Dirksen Londrigan was projected to win in the race against Rep. Rodney Davis (R), in a central IL district evenly divided between the parties.