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Illinois Political Expert Predicts 'Intense' Election Year

University of Illinois Springfield political science professor Chris Mooney.

If you thought 2017 was an interesting year politically, 2018 is forecast to be intense. 

In 2018, all members of the U.S. House of Representatives are up for re-election. In Illinois, all statewide offices are up for election, along with all seats in the Illinois House and a portion of the Illinois Senate.

One office that Democrats covet is the 13th Congressional District seat currently held by Republican Rodney Davis. The district was drawn to be a toss-up, and Democrats want to flip it.

Chris Mooney, political science professor at the University of Illinois at Springfield, says Democrats are energized for 2018, but don't count Davis out because he serves his constituents.

"He’s done a really good job at it, he hasn’t had a serious challenger and whether he has a serious challenger remains to be seen," Mooney said.

Five Democrats are running in the March primary to win the right to take on Davis.

Statewide, Mooney says Gov. Bruce Rauner is vulnerable in his re-election bid, and has a controversial record to run on.

Republicans made inroads in the General Assembly in 2016, picking up enough seats to end the Democrats' veto-proof majority in the House. Mooney says the Republicans picked up seats last year, but the task grows harder next year.

"They picked up the easy ones. Every new seat they pick up will be harder and harder," he explained.

Mooney adds that Republicans still have a chance in Illinois, depending on the candidates they and the Democrats nominate in the March primary.