* The question, as it so often is in Chicago: who won, the Machine or the reformers? One race caught the eye of many, 24-year-old community organizer Will Guzzardi versus Toni Berrios, daughter of Joe Berrios, who herself was only 25 when she won the race for the state's 39th District. Guzzardi, who received lots of out of state support, ran Berrios down to the wire—the Board of Election totals have Berrios up by 111 votes as of 5:15pm today. Reactions were interesting. Seth Lavin:
Carol Felsenthal also saw progress for Guzzardi:
Guzzardi could potentially contest the results—late this afternoon, he called the race "too close to call" (updated at 4:51 p.m.)—or stay put in his Logan Square neighborhood, continue to work in the community, and try again. A loss is a loss, but his is one of the only races in which a loss is also a win.
In comments at Capitol Fax, Scott Cisek thought Guzzardi's backers picked the wrong fight:
If Ilya Sheyman’s “progressive” supporters in the city of Chicago had not wasted so much time, effort, and treasure trying to take out Toni Berrios, a pro-choice, pro LGBT progressive Latina, with one of their rich white college buddies from out of town, Sheyman might have been able to pull it off. As a big progressive myself, watching the “organized professional left” makes me think of Voltaire’s comment on the Holy Roman Empire. They are neither organized, nor professional, nor supportive of leftys outside of their clique. Sad.
* In the other big twentysomething-progressive versus older Democrat race, Brad Sherman held off Ilya Sheyman, despite the substantial national attention (and endorsements) Sheyman received.
* Mick Dumke's take: the real winner was Rahm Emanuel, in a walk. As always, extremely low turnout will favor the powers that be.
* Romney beat Santorum handily; the latter wasn't even in the state. Fortunately, despite the foretold conclusion, they provided the most entertaining rhetoric of the night. I don't think anyone will top Rick Santorum comparing Obama versus future opponent Mitt Romney to Lincoln v. Douglas:
And you think about the great elections of our past. And I've gone around this country over the past, and said this is the most important election in our lifetimes, in fact I think it's the most important election since the election of 1860.
The election of 1860 was about about whether 'These United States' — which is what it was mostly referred to, prior to the election of 1860 — would become 'The United States.'
For 25 years, I lived and breathed business and the economy and jobs. I had successes and failures. But each step of the way, I learned a little bit more about what it is that makes our American system so powerful. You can't learn that teaching constitutional law at University of Chicago, all right?
* The bright side that the GOP is looking on is that after years of campaigning, Romney might actually be improving:
"And, generally, he knocked it out of the park," said Flannery. That included how he dealt with a woman at a Bradley University forum who was attacking his position on Planned Parenthood and free birth control. You want free stuff, asked Romney, then vote for the other guy — meaning President Obama.
Photograph: Chicago Tribune