Pat Quinn will lose to Bill Brady by a comfortable margin. Most polls suggest that this result will happen. The extreme amount of negative campaigning has worked against Quinn, who always had to make up an enthusiasm gap, and now has to contend with an electorate which is depressed as a whole, which will only lead to further Republican support.
I will also go out on a limb and say that Bill Brady will be the first governor of Illinois not to be indicted before or after leaving office in several years.
After all the nastiness, brutality and accusations, Mark Kirk will carry this race by three to four points, flipping Barack Obama’s old Senate seat and turning Illinois into a purple state, at best.
Kirk has polling on his side here, as well as a clearly defined narrative that Giannoulias lacks. Moreover, in recent weeks, Giannoulias has exposed himself as both a crook and a liar, as opposed to Kirk, who can only really be accused of having a swollen and delusional ego, at the very worst. Turnout in this race also favors Kirk, with suburbs outperforming urban areas.
Oh, and look for Mark Kirk to be contrasted ad nauseam with an unsuccessful Christine O’Donnell by the media in order to prove that “See? SEE?! You can’t nominate conservatives in blue states!”
IL-8: Melissa Bean by a mile. This race hasn’t been favored to flip by anyone.
IL-10: Dold by 1-2 points. Along with his most recent nervy attack ad, Dold has the fundraising advantage, and Seals recently has been making a fool of himself to the voters. It’s quite possible that Seals will win, but in Mark Kirk’s district with a Republican wave, I seriously doubt it.
IL-11: Adam Kinzinger will crush Debbie Halvorson, whose concession speech will be lifted wholesale from Scooby Doo: “And I would’ve gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for you meddling kids!”
IL-14: Randy Hultgren will defeat Bill Foster by a narrow but clear margin. Hultgren’s given the clearer answers on issues this election cycle, and has a Republican wind at his back that other prognosticators have picked up.
IL-17: Phil Hare’s concession speech? “I don’t care about the election returns on this, to be honest. I care more about all the children who want me to serve.” The only piece of this that will be right is that voters of the doomed Hare undoubtedly act like children.
Update: A reader writes in to ask where my prediction is on IL-9. Sorry – elections get away from you sometimes. At any rate, if you’d asked me last night what would happen to Schakowsky, I’d say she keeps her seat by a smaller than comfortable margin and goes back to Congress not chastened at all. But if Gallup’s election day numbers are to be believed, Pollak might have a shot. Moreover, his fundraising and unconventional endorsements make him a strong choice in the district. At this point, I’m still calling the race by about a point for Schakowsky, but do not take that as gospel. I am not prepared to rule out a Pollak win.