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As Expected, Trump Again Wins Missouri While Biden Takes Illinois

David Kovaluk
St. Louis Public Radio

There were no surprises this year when it comes to which presidential candidate captured the electoral votes of Missouri and Illinois.

The Associated Press has called Missouri for President Donald Trump. While Trump was always favored to win the state’s 10 electoral votes, the GOP chief executive’s margin of victory in the state was down considerably compared to his nearly 19-percentage point win in 2016.

In Illinois, the AP declared former Vice President Joe Biden winner of the state’s 20 electoral votes. Illinois has been a Democratic stronghold on the presidential level for decades, with the last Republican victory coming in 1988 when George H.W. Bush narrowly beat Michael Dukakis.

Neither Missouri nor Illinois were targeted much by either presidential campaign. Missouri used to be considered a bellwether presidential state, but the intense scramble to nab the state’s electoral votes pretty much ended after 2008 when Barack Obama narrowly lost the state to John McCain.

That result sent a message to national Democrats that Missouri was no longer necessary for the party to win the presidency. Because of Illinois’ heavy Democratic tilt, it also tends to receive little attention from either political party when it comes to the presidential race.

But that doesn’t mean the presidential contest is inconsequential to the states. Trump’s popularity, or lack thereof, has often been a contributing factor in down-ballot races. That includes the 2nd Congressional District contest between GOP Rep. Ann Wagner and her Democratic challenger, state Sen. Jill Schupp.

Trump’s strength in southern Illinois was also likely to help determine the hotly contested 13th Congressional District race between Republican Rep. Rodney Davis and Democrat Betsy Dirksen Londigran.

Follow Jason on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Copyright 2021 St. Louis Public Radio. To see more, visit St. Louis Public Radio.

Since entering the world of professional journalism in 2006, Jason Rosenbaum dove head first into the world of politics, policy and even rock and roll music. A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Rosenbaum spent more than four years in the Missouri State Capitol writing for the Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri Lawyers Media and the St. Louis Beacon.