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Illinois' 8th Congressional District elections, 2012

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Illinois' 8th Congressional District

General Election Date
November 6, 2012

Primary Date
March 20, 2012

November 6 Election Winner:
Tammy Duckworth Democratic Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Joe Walsh Republican Party
Joe Walsh.jpg

Illinois U.S. House Elections
District 1District 2District 3District 4District 5District 6District 7District 8District 9District 10District 11District 12District 13District 14District 15District 16District 17District 18

2012 U.S. Senate Elections

Flag of Illinois.png
The 8th congressional district of Illinois held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 6, 2012.

Democrat Tammy Duckworth won the election.[1]

This is the 8th congressional district prior to the 2010 redistricting.
Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
December 27, 2011
March 20, 2012
November 6, 2012

Primary: Illinois has a mixed-hybrid primary system. Voters can change parties each year but must declare a party affiliation at the polls. Depending on which party is chosen, the voter will then be counted as registered for that party. Voters may change party affiliation at polls or caucus.

Voter registration: Voters had to register to vote in the primary by February 21. For the general election, the voter registration deadline was October 9. A "grace period" is also available, allowing voter registration until three days before an election.[2][3]

See also: Illinois elections, 2012

Incumbent: Heading into the election the incumbent was Joe Walsh (R), who was first elected to represent the 8th district in 2010.

This was the first election using new district maps based on 2010 Census data.Illinois' 8th congressional district covers the northern suburbs of Chicago, including portions of Kane, Dupage and Cook counties. The district includes most of Chicago's northwestern suburbs, such as Hoffman Estates, Arlington Heights, Schaumburg, Gurnee, Palatine, Mundelein, Zion, Barrington, the Cook County portion of Elgin, McHenry, and Woodstock. [4]


Note: Election results were added on election night as races were called. Vote totals were added after official election results had been certified. For more information about Ballotpedia's election coverage plan, click here. If you find any errors in this list, please email: Geoff Pallay.

General election candidates

Democratic Party Tammy DuckworthGreen check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Joe Walsh
Independent Robert Gregory Canfield

March 20, 2012, primary results

Democratic Party Democratic Primary

Republican Party Republican Primary

IndependentIndependent Party

Note: Darlene Ruscitti withdrew from the primary on December 21, 2011[10][11] Robert Gregory Canfield and Richard Evans were removed from the official candidate list on January 24, 2012 [12] Andrew Palomo officially suspended his campaign on January 3, 2012.[13][14]

Election Results

General Election

U.S. House, Illinois District 8 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngTammy Duckworth 54.7% 123,206
     Republican Joe Walsh Incumbent 45.3% 101,860
     Independent Robert Gregory Canfield 0% 0
Total Votes 225,066
Source: Illinois Board of Elections "2012 General Election Official Vote Totals"

Democratic Primary

U.S. House, Illinois' 8th Congressional District Democratic Primary Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngTammy Duckworth 66.2% 17,097
Raja Krishnamoorthi 33.8% 8,736
Total Votes 25,833

Race background

Illinois' 8th is considered to be Leaning Democratic according to the New York Times race ratings. Incumbent Joe Walsh was one of the more endangered members of the House. He was one of the most conservatie freshman members of the House in a district that is not so conservative.[15]

Tammy Duckworth had secured the backing of most of Illinois' influential political figures in the Democratic primary against Raja Krishnamoorthi.[16] The two are vying to take on Joe Walsh in a "Democratic-leaning, suburban Chicago district",[16] and whoever wins is the likely favorite in the general election.[16]

Duckworth had endorsements from Dick Durbin, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and Obama advisor David Axelrod.[16] Krishnamoorthi is supported by Danny K. Davis and Cook County Board Chair Toni Preckwinkle.[16]

Illinois' 8th District had been included in the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's "Red to Blue List," which identifies districts that the organization had specifically targeted to flip from Republican to Democratic control.[17]

Incumbent Joe Walsh was a part of the National Republican Congressional Committee's Patriot Program, a program to help House Republicans stay on offense and increase their majority in 2012.[18]

Impact of redistricting

See also: Redistricting in Illinois

With the 2011 redistricting, Illinois lost 1 of its current 19 House seats because the state's population failed to grow as fast as in other states.[19] Illinois has had 11 Republican congressmen and 8 Democrats since the November 2010 election.[19] The new map, designed by the dominant Democrats, could flip that advantage to as many as 12 Democrats and only six Republicans.[19]

The new 8th district is composed of the following percentages of voters of the old congressional districts.[20][21]

District partisanship

FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012 study

See also: FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012

In 2012, FairVote did a study on partisanship in the congressional districts, giving each a percentage ranking (D/R) based on the new 2012 maps and comparing that to the old 2010 maps. Illinois' 8th District became more Democratic because of redistricting.[22]

  • 2012: 59D / 41R
  • 2010: 53D / 47R

Cook Political Report's PVI

See also: Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index

In 2012, Cook Political Report released its updated figures on the Partisan Voter Index, which measures each congressional district's partisanship relative to the rest of the country. Illinois' 8th congressional district has a PVI of D+6, which is the 138th most Democratic district in the country. In 2008, this district was won by Barack Obama (D), 62-38 percent over John McCain (R). In 2004, John Kerry (D) won the district 51-49 percent over George W. Bush (R).[23]


8th Congressional District Race
Poll Tammy Duckworth Joe WalshUndecidedSample Size
"2012 District 8 Poll" September 18-20
"Illinois 8th Congressional District Poll" October 25-26
AVERAGES 53% 39% 7.5% 504
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

Campaign donors


Tammy Duckworth

Tammy Duckworth (2012)[24] Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
Pre-Primary[25]March 8, 2012$561,651.71$335,449.25$(641,628.31)$255,472.65
April Quarterly[26]April 15, 2012$255,422.65$334,735.75$(330,233.66)$259,974.74
Running totals

Duckworth raised over $1.5 million in the third quarter.[27]

Joe Walsh

Joe Walsh (2012)[28] Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
Pre-Primary[29]March 8, 2012$460,437.51$38,300.02$(127,328.66)$371,408.87
April Quarterly[30]April 15, 2012$371,408.87$270,631.33$(34,889.65)$607,150.55
Running totals

District history


On November 2, 2010, Joe Walsh won election to the United States House of Representatives. He defeated Melissa L. Bean (D) and Bill Scheurer (G) in the general election.[31]

U.S. House of Representatives, Illinois' 8th Congressional District, General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJoe Walsh 48.5% 98,115
     Democratic Melissa L. Bean 48.3% 97,825
     Green Bill Scheurer 3.2% 6,495
Total Votes 202,435

See also

External links


  1. Politico "2012 Election Map, Illinois"
  2. Illinois Board of Elections "2012 Election Calendar," Accessed July 21, 2012
  3. Illinois Board of Elections "Registering to Vote in Illinois," Accessed July 21, 2012
  4. June 2011 Illinois Redistricting "Map" Accessed July 23, 2012
  5. Daily Herald "Race in the 8th begins" accessed December 5, 2011
  6. ABC News 7 "Election Results Primary 2012" accessed March 20, 2012
  7. Chicago Tribune "Duckworth to file for congressional race" accessed December 5, 2011
  8. Illinois State Board of Elections "Candidate List" accessed December 27, 2011
  9. Daily Herald "Write-in candidate challenging Walsh" accessed February 23, 2012
  10. Daily Herald "BREAKING: Darlene Ruscitti bows out of 8th District GOP primary" Accessed February 9, 2012
  11. Daily Herald "Ruscitti bows out of 8th District GOP primary" Accessed February 9, 2012
  12. Illinois Board of Elections "Candidate List" Accessed February 10, 2012
  13. Prairie State Report "Andrew Palomo Out, 2nd Congressional Candidate for 8th District Drops Out" Accessed March 15, 2012
  14. Andrew Palomo for Congress "Campaign Update" Accessed March 19, 2012
  15. New York Times "House Race Ratings," Accessed August 7, 2012
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 The Hill "Illinois House races heating up" Accessed March 12, 2012
  17. DCCC, "Red to Blue 2012"
  18. NRCC "Patriot Program 2012"
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Chicago Tribune "Odd geography in new Illinois congressional map:Millions of constituents will find their representative has changed" Accessed February 22, 2012
  20. Moonshadow Mobile's CensusViewer "Illinois' congressional districts 2001-2011 comparison"
  21. Labels & Lists "VoterMapping software voter counts"
  22. "2011 Redistricting and 2012 Elections in Illinois," September 2012
  23. Cook Political Report "Partisan Voting Index Districts of the 113th Congress: 2004 & 2008" Accessed October 2012
  24. FEC Reports "Tammy Duckworth Summary Reports" Accessed July 9, 2012
  25. FEC Reports "Pre-Primary" Accessed July 9, 2012
  26. FEC Reports "April Quarterly" Accessed July 9, 2012
  27. Tammy Duckworth's campaign website
  28. FEC Reports "Joe Walsh Summary Reports" Accessed July 9, 2012
  29. FEC Reports "Pre-Primary" Accessed July 9, 2012
  30. FEC Reports "April Quarterly" Accessed July 9, 2012
  31. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010"