Live coverage: March 17, 2020 primaries

Live coverage: March 17, 2020 primaries

The coronavirus has prompted the cancellation of in-person voting today in Ohio, but primaries are still continuing in Arizona, Florida, and Illinois. Voters are casting ballots in the Democratic presidential primary in all three states, and they’re also picking nominees for downballot offices in Illinois.

Resources: Presidential guide | Downballot guide | Poll closing times

Results: MapArizona | Florida | Illinois


Wednesday, Mar 18, 2020 · 3:49:41 AM +00:00

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Steve Singiser

So…we have an explanation for the lack of an AP call in IL-03, and it is unlikely to resolve itself tonight. According to Crain’s Chicago Business, nearly half of the vote in the city of Chicago has not been tabulated yet, because it is the result of an abnormally heavy early vote due to COVID-19 outbreak, and the fact that early vote centers were used on Election Day as a means of consolidation (meaning their votes were not set for counting at closing, as is usually the case).

That means that despite the report that 90% of precincts are reporting (and with Marie Newman staked to a 48-44 lead), we are still far from a definitive outcome here. What’s more: it could be hours before they’re added to the tally.

So, with that, we’re going to call it a night for the liveblog. Given the myriad of uncertainties which await us in the coming weeks, the next Election Night that we will enjoy is on a date still uncertain. But we will continue, as we always have, to keep you informed of all things electoral.

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2020 · 2:39:12 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser

So we are now three-hours plus into an admittedly odd primary night, given the other events in our midst. Here is a quick recap:

The two presidential contests thus far have been blowouts, both in favor of former VP Joe Biden. In Florida, with 98% of precincts tallied, Biden holds a 62-23 lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders. Meanwhile, in Illinois, Biden is winning with a 59-36 edge over Sanders with about three-fourths of the vote tallied.
Downballot, there has been high drama. Democratic Rep. Dan Lipinski, long a target of progressives given his affinity for voting with Republicans on any number of issues, currently trails Marie Newman by a 47-44 margin, with 82% of precincts tallied. Her raw vote margin is 2800 votes, which is getting close to insurmountable given how little vote remains outstanding.
Meanwhile, it is a free-for-all in the race to challenge Democratic freshman Rep. Lauren Underwood. Three Republicans are all between 21-25%, led by perennial candidate (and former state legislator) Jim Oberweis.
Meanwhile, polls in Arizona have closed, but as is customary in the Grand Canyon State, there is a lag of an hour or so before we see any vote count.

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2020 · 2:40:56 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser

In a downballot race (like…way downballot) that we had our eye on, the AP has called the Democratic primary for Cook County state’s attorney for incumbent Kim Foxx, who earned 48% of the vote in a four-candidate field.

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2020 · 2:52:24 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser

One dim spot for Democrats today was the defeat of Howie Hayes in a special legislative election in Pennsylvania, an election that Democrats attempted to seek a delay for, given that the county in which it is held (Bucks County) is under a shelter recommendation due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The campaign wing of legislative Democrats, in an email sent tonight, minced few words:

Amid a national public health crisis where all levels of government have urged individuals not to gather in groups in the interest of public safety, Republican Speaker of the Pennsylvania House Mike Turzai’s refusal to postpone tonight’s special election was unconscionable and clearly suppressed the vote in Pennsylvania.
Despite the calls from Governor Tom Wolf to postpone tonight’s special elections until Pennsylvania’s primary date in April, Republicans chose to put Pennsylvania voters and poll workers at risk, ignoring CDC guidance to avoid gatherings of 50 people or more. The Pennsylvania GOP’s irresponsible decision suppressed the vote and put public safety at risk to win an election.
Wednesday, Mar 18, 2020 · 2:59:58 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser

We’ve had two downballot calls in the past ten minutes, according to AP. In IL-11, incumbent Democratic Rep. Bill Foster has held off the challenge of progressive Rachel Ventura. Meanwhile, in IL-15, it is likely that farmer and rancher Mary Miller is headed to Congress, given her victory in the GOP primary in the uber-red southeastern part of the state. She will replace longtime Rep. John Shimkus.

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2020 · 3:03:57 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser

We have our first votes out of Arizona! Right now, however, it appears to only be the early vote in Coconino County (Flagstaff), which would seem to be prime Bernie territory. And, in that early vote, he leads Biden 44-39. The large vote for the “other candidates” (17%) hints that these are very early votes.

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2020 · 3:09:01 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser

We are now at just over 90% reporting in IL-03, and it seems as if it is all over but the shouting. Marie Newman now holds a 48-44 lead over Rep. Dan Lipinski. The raw vote margin is now 3400 votes, which appears insurmountable.

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2020 · 3:11:33 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser

Two different media outlets (NBC and ABC) have called the Arizona presidential primary for Joe Biden. With most of the state’s counties reporting their early vote, Biden holds a 43-30 lead over Bernie Sanders.

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2020 · 3:24:27 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser

And the first of the two uncalled Illinois House races has fallen, not with an AP call, but with a concession. In IL-14, Sue Rezin has conceded the race to perennial candidate Jim Oberweis. That’s presumably a better-case scenario for freshman Democrat Lauren Underwood, given Oberweis’ track record in past elections.

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