News of a primary victory by an incumbent Democrat in Illinois hardly rates a BREAKING tag. A victory this narrow and this belated by Dan Lipinski certainly rates a mention, however, especially given the enemies Lipinski faced. Despite a concerted effort by NARAL, Emily’s List, and other progressive groups, one of the few pro-life Democrats still left in Congress will advance to the general election after nearly being declared politically dead last night:
Make no mistake about it, either. Pro-abortion groups had wanted Lipiniski gone, and they almost got their wish. Instead, their candidate ended up eating her words from last night:
Marie Newman not conceding. Encourages crowd to drink at Marie's in Bridgeport. "I would like to make Mr. Lipinski to have a very painful evening." Says wait until a.m. pic.twitter.com/UCp29nOIhu
— Mark Guarino (@markguarino) March 21, 2018
Lipinski will likely win the general election race, as the GOP hasn’t won in IL-03 since 1972. (It’s been over 60 years since they won consecutive elections for this seat.) A better question about electability might have been posed about Newman. IL-03 only has a D+6 Cook rating, although Hillary Clinton did beat Donald Trump in the 2016 election by 15 points in the district. Nominating a hard-line progressive and an abortion-on-demand hardliner might have put the district at risk in a cycle where Democrats need pickups rather than purity.
Democrats may have dodged a bullet in this race, which prompts the question as to why it took so long for their committees to come to Lipinski’s aid. Challenging Lipinski appears in retrospect to be a very stupid idea. Lipiniski won three consecutive elections in the district as it’s currently configured, and eight straight overall. His father Bill held the seat for the six terms prior to that. He’s about as solid as they come and perhaps the kind of Democrat that the party should be recruiting to win back seats they lost when Democrats took a sharp left turn in 2009-10.