With over half of the precints reporting, Robin Kelly wins the Democratic primary for Illinois' second congressional district. She will be heavily favored in the April 9 general election and likely to become the next member of Congress.
Going in to today, the latest poll suggested 40% of voters were undecided and they appear to have broken heavily for Kelly. Two issues that began to divide the candidates, guns and race, were prominent at the end of the campaign.
The gun control debate on the national level played to Kelly's favor. Former U.S. Representative Debbie Halvorson received an A+ from the National Rifle Association and for it, drew the fire of Bloomberg PAC, financed by Michael Bloomberg, which ran ads saying, "Watch out for Debbie Halvorson.... When it comes out to preventing gun violence, she gets an F."
The history and demographics of the district also favored Kelly. It was the former seat of Jesse Jackson Jr. and in an area that is majority African American. Initially, it appeared that having several strong African American candidates in the field could split the electorate and help Halvorson win. However, as several leading candidates dropped out and endorsed Kelly, she became the front runner.
Kelly's win today is a big step closer to becoming the next member of Congress. The district is heavily Democratic and she'll be favored in the April 9 general election.