Kamala Harris in Chicago as gubernatorial candidates make last-minute stops ahead of Election Day

Biden Illinois trip meant to highlight incumbent Democrats

ByCraig Wall and Christian Piekos WLS logo
Monday, November 7, 2022
Kamala Harris in Chicago as gubernatorial candidates make last-minute stops ahead of Election Day
With 2 days left before Election Day, Gov. JB Pritzker, Darren Bailey make last-minute stops to get voters

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It's the final countdown before Tuesday's closely watched midterm election, and President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy are hitting the campaign trail in Illinois this weekend, one last time before the crucial vote.

Harris is in town Sunday, attending two Chicago rallies.

Her visit immediately follows the president's two-day stump for Illinois Democrats.

Candidates for governor also made a flurry of last-minute stops at rallies as they focus on getting out the vote.

Darren Bailey and JB Pritzker don't have too much in common, but with just two days left before Election Day, they share a common goal.

At this point in the campaign, what it comes down to is getting out the vote.

2022 ELECTION | Voter Information in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin

Bailey held events near Rockford and in Chicago. He joined several dozen supporters in the Loop for a flag-draped rally.

"Here's the deal, we've got to have voter turnout because we know JB Pritzker's supporters are disenfranchised with him and their president, and it is time to show up and take back Illinois and the hard work starts on Wednesday. That's when we start rebuilding Illinois," Bailey said.

Vice President Kamala Harris is also in Chicago Sunday for a pair of stops, including at a rally in Bronzeville with Governor JB Pritzker.

"Folks, this is it. There are less than two days until Election Day. And if you haven't already voted well it's time. If you have already voted. Thank you," Gov. Pritzker said.

With the election just two days away, the focus now for Democrats and Republicans is to motivate their supporters to get to the polls.

Bailey is hoping to pull off a surprise upset while Pritzker rallies with Democrats and gets some last minute help from Vice President Kamala Harris.

Democrats gathered at a South Side tennis facility in hopes that Vice President Harris can be the ace in the pocket to serve up an Election Day victory for Democrats up and down the ballot.

The goal is to lay out the issues and get people to vote.

"We are two days out from an election -- two days out and we've got some serious business to do," VP Harris said. "The lieutenant governor talked about it, the governor talked about it. Everything is on the line, there's so much at stake."

"I wish JB Pritzker would do something to help struggling Illinoisans," Bailey said in his push to voters.

Bailey hosting a pair of rallies. Earlier in afternoon he gathered with a group of supporters in Roscoe, north of Rockford, before heading to Chicago for a second rally. He is hoping his grassroots campaign will help him defy the polls.

Earlier in the day the vice president met with Senator Tammy Duckworth and other leaders from the Asian American community. Harris said Democrats are prepared to fight for democracy and a woman's right to choose.

Governor Pritzker and other democrats raised concerns about voting rights, civil rights and workers' rights, as well as where Illinois would be headed if Bailey gets elected.

"It's never been more important to get out to vote because Donald Trump's puppet wants to take us back," Gov. Pritzker said.

Joliet was Biden's last stop in Illinois Saturday the president continued his final push for Illinois candidates ahead of Tuesday's election.

ILLINOIS GENERAL ELECTION | Meet the candidates for governor, U.S. Senate, Congress

Bailey sees the Democrats' efforts as encouraging for his chances of beating Pritzker.

"So I believe that he knows what we know. He knows he's losing," bailey said. "So it's all hands on deck. And unfortunately, it's, I tried to save him a little bit of money and time. It's not going to do him any good."

ABC7 Chicago Political Analyst Laura Washington said these visits are meant to deliver the message that this is not a typical mid-term election.

"They believe the race is tightening on both sides," Washington said. "They want to get their heavy hitters out. They want to make sure they boost turnout in the last days of the campaign."

Interestingly, neither Biden nor Harris, who have low approval ratings, were invited by candidates. The visits instead have been driven by the White House.

"The White House wants to pitch in areas where they do have a positive impact and I do think the sixth is one of those areas, because every seat's going to matter," said Alvin Tillery, political science professor at Northwestern University.

In a statement, the Illinois Republican Party said, "With historic inflation levels fueling rising gas and grocery costs, Democrats in toss-up seats across the country don't want to campaign with President Biden. Forced to defend once reliably safe Democrat seats in the Chicago suburbs, he will see voters' frustrations with his spending agenda firsthand."

HOwever, Gov. Pritzker is not taking anything for granted, despite previously expressing confidence he will win.

But with so many people having cast ballots already, and with most people having already made up their minds by this point, the focus for both sides is on getting out the vote.

Major political tracking organizations consider the governor race solidly Democratic

For Bailey and Pritzker, it's now a sprint to the finish over the next 48 hours.