Kurt Allemeier on QC Online has a piece exploring how things broke down in primary voting and the role of rural areas in helping Jacobs, Zinga, and Huff to their wins.
Jacobs received 71% of the vote in areas outside the Quad Cities which obviously meant the difference. Pat O'Brien, Jacobs'campaign manager is also heard from.
Whether they were Democrat or Republican, areas outside the Illinois metro Quad-Cities were kind to the local winners in Tuesday's Illinois primary.
Mike Jacobs singled out voters in Carroll, Henry, Mercer and Whiteside counties for thanks Tuesday night following his victory in the Democratic primary for state senate District 36.
Overall, Mr. Jacobs defeated Paul Rumler with 56 percent of the vote, but was boosted by voters outside of Rock Island County -- where he collected 71 percent of the vote, according to unofficial final results. In Rock Island County's rural areas, especially the south end of the county, Mr. Jacobs received better support than in the metro areas, according to precinct by precinct results.
Former news anchor Andrea Zinga, of Coal Valley, praised her grassroots effort that touched counties like Whiteside, Hancock and McDonough and allowed her to beat Moline businessman Jim Mowen by 275 votes in a three-candidate race for the GOP nomination for the 17th Congressional District seat.
Final results didn't come in until the wee hours of the morning, but showed Ms. Zinga with 42 percent of the vote, to Mr. Mowen's 41 percent, according to unofficial final results. Aledo businessman Brian Gilliland earned 17 percent of the vote.
Ms. Zinga's efforts in smaller counties helped offset Mr. Mowen's advantage in Rock Island, Adams and Henry counties. Ms. Zinga commented in candidate forums that Mr. Mowen was focusing his campaign in more populous counties in the district. Mr. Mowen said during the campaign that electibility in Rock Island County was a key to the election.
Mr. Mowen beat Ms. Zinga in Rock Island County 2,876 votes to 2,204.
Positive news about the opening of the Thomson prison likely helped Mr. Jacobs in Carroll and Whiteside counties, where he out-polled Mr. Rumler, Pat O'Brien, Mr. Jacobs' campaign manager, said.
Mr. Jacobs had strong support in the upper and lower ends of Rock Island County. In the lower part of the county, the strong support for state Rep. Pat Verschoore, D-Milan, helped, Mr. O'Brien said. In several precincts from that area, Mr. Jacobs received 60 percent of the vote.
Getting out the vote on Tuesday was important, since an anti-incumbent sentiment seemed to be hanging over local Democratic races, Mr. O'Brien said. The Jacobs campaign rented two vans and offered to drive voters, especially from senior high rises that formerly had voting centers, to the polls.
"We were worried people who supported Mike would think, 'Oh, he doesn't have anything to worry about,' and wouldn't vote," Mr. O'Brien said. "Well, you don't have anything to worry about if those people vote."
Rock Island County Sheriff Mike Grchan got caught in the anti-incumbent sentiment. Mike Huff, a sergeant on the department, in his second try in the Democratic primary, beat the four-term incumbent with 51 percent of the vote according to unofficial final results.
Mr. Huff believes voters were ready for a change, and unlike four years ago when five candidates were on the ballot, had only two to choose from.
In the 2002 primary, Mr. Grchan received 38 percent of the vote to Mr. Huff's 24 percent.
In Tuesday's primary, Mr. Huff was buoyed by support in the upper and lower ends of Rock Island County, while Mr. Grchan found most of his support in the metro area. The upper end of the county, where Mr. Huff held a fundraiser supported by several police and fire chiefs from smaller departments in that area, especially proved to be a stronghold for the winner.