If Georgia was the center of the political universe in 2020 and early 2021, look to Illinois to be the new center in 2022. The census has caused some redistricting in Illinois. Simply, it’s going to lose one congressional seat and the new redistricting might wipe out Adam Kinzinger’s district. That would be cause for alarm normally, but Kinzinger isn’t seeing it that way — at least not yet. If he’s handed a bunch of lemons, he’s not only prepared to make lemonade, but ride the situation all the way up to a lemonade stand at either the U.S. Senate or the governor’s mansion. Politico:
Illinois lawmakers are on the verge of rolling out a new congressional map that will very likely gut Kinzinger’s exurban Chicago seat, according to several sources close to the redistricting process, leaving him with just a few bleak options for remaining in office next year.
The elimination of his district would force the veteran Republican congressman to choose between running in unfamiliar territory, possibly against another incumbent, or making a long shot run for governor or Senate in a blue state — and that assumes Kinzinger could prevail in a GOP primary after spending the last year criticizing a former president who remains beloved by the base.
“Adam, right now, he and I get along great. What he’s doing, he’s doing. But if you look at the Republican electorate in any one of those districts — probably not,” said Rep. Mike Bost (R-Ill.) when asked if Kinzinger could win in a different seat. “It’d be hard.”
That’s what has prompted Kinzinger to look upward and onward. Democrats have control over redistricting, so they’re looking to keep the 12 incumbent seats that they have in the blue column and they’re looking to pick up GOP Rep. Rodney Davis’ seat.
But in interviews, few party operatives in D.C. or Illinois could envision a final plan that leaves much of Kinzinger’s seat intact. The Democrats’ ideal map would shift the delegation from its current roster of 13 Democrats and five Republicans to a 14-3 split.
“Given the configuration and where the population trended, and the way it’s trending, if I had to take a bet, I bet that we lose a Republican district,” said Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.), who represents the Loop in Chicago.
But it’s not that simple, both due to Kinzinger’s high profile and his desire to stay in politics. He has other options any one of which could be extremely problematic for Democrats.
Some in Kinzinger’s inner circle don’t believe he would be content watching from the sidelines. They point out that he has positioned himself as well as a Republican could for a statewide run in solidly Democratic Illinois. He could attract the suburban moderates that have raced away from the GOP since Trump took office, as well as independents weary of the Democrats’ monopoly on state and federal politics.
Sen. Tammy Duckworth and Gov. J.B. Pritzker, both Democrats, are up for reelection in 2022. Neither has attracted a strong well-funded opponent.
Kinzinger, on the other hand, has amassed a huge war chest — thanks to a surge of donors eager to reward him for opposing Trump. He had more than $3 million banked as of July and has been stockpiling money in an aligned leadership PAC that will support like-minded candidates.
“If the Democrats think that they’re just going to draw him out and that’ll be the end of Kinzinger, I think they might want to take a second look,” said former Rep. Bob Dold, a Republican who represented the Chicago suburbs. “The Democrats, if they were smart, would leave that district alone.”
That might be the simplest way. Although, even if Kinzinger runs for another office, Donald Trump hates him and he has made it clear that he’ll have Kinzinger primaried. Things could get wild next year. The 2022 election is going to be the most scrutinized election in our history because of the Big Lie and the unceasing pandemonium that has taken place since January 6. At this point it’s even debatable whether the 2022 election will be taking place free and clear of all conversation about the 2020 election. Right now it’s even money whether 2022 can go forward unencumbered or be sitting in the shadow of never ending challenges from 2020.