IL-14: Why the Rush for Jim Oberweis to Concede?

Jim Oberweis

“…Rita Hart for Iowa’s first priority is to make sure that all legally cast votes are counted and Iowans’ voices are heard.”

The above quote from Monday (Nov 16) is from a campaign spokesperson (spox) for Rita Hart for Iowa, a candidate in the Iowa 2nd congressional district who trails her opponent Dr. Marianette Miller-Meeks by 47 votes.

Hart is the Democrat nominee in the open 2nd congressional district and if Miller-Meeks holds on to win, it will be yet another flip of a Democrat-held seat in the House for the 117th Congress which saw House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s majority greatly reduced from its 235 after the 2018 election to as low as 220-225, as 9 races remain “too close to call”.

Comments here on McHenry County Blog, in social media and the mainstream media downright demand Republican 14th district candidate Jim Oberweis to concede defeat to Congresswoman Lauren Underwood, especially after the Associated Press (AP) “called” the race and named Underwood the projected winner.

As I observe these comments, one must ask “What’s the hurry?”

Whether it’s shock that Oberweis defied expectations and made the IL-14 race much closer than any of the “experts”, including the respected ratings services like Cook Political Report or Sabato’s Crystal Ball, who both had IL-14 rated “Likely Democrat”, or one of the so-called “rock stars” among Democrats elected in 2018 came close to losing her seat at the hands of Jim Oberweis, many people, thinking the unofficial returns to date are enough, want Oberweis to end his bid prior to the official certification on December 4th by conceding.

As I’ve stated multiple times, conceding is a courtesy when the defeated candidate privately congratulate the winner, say “the people have spoken” and wish them well. It also sends the message the defeated candidate accepts the vote count and is NOT going to challenge the results of the election.

Jim Oberweis has no intention of doing that nor should he for both legal and political reasons. This article focuses on the legal reason.

Source: Lake County Clerk website 11/12/20

Illinois Law Allows Defeated Candidate Discovery Recount

Under Illinois Election Law, a defeated candidate who has 95% or more of the votes of the top vote getter, the candidate can call for a “discovery recount” of up to 25% of the precincts within a jurisdiction where candidate ran for in election.

Jim Oberweis will likely be over 98% once the 14th congressional district votes in the 7 counties stop being counted.

The 14th congressional district has 462 precincts across 7 counties, so the math of 462 divided by four and dropping the fraction gives up to 115 precincts the Oberweis campaign can seek a discovery recount.

As the Election law is clear, a discovery recount cannot overturn the results of the election. But it allows the candidate who’s trailing the opportunity to review the returns, equipment and the ballots in order to gather enough evidence to take to a circuit judge in order to order a full recount. The ballots are recounted through the tabulation machines and variance between initial returns and recounted returns will be assessed.

The process for the discovery recount does not start until all the ballots are counted and each county issues the “Official Canvass” for the General Election of 2020. Today, November 17, is the last day a local election authority can accept delivery of a vote-by-mail (VBM) ballot postmarked by November 3.

It’s also the last day for a “challenged” VBM ballot and all provisional ballots to be “cured” of any defect the voter has had the opportunity to correct since Election Day.

After today, the county clerks have through next Tuesday, November 24, to canvass the election results in their county, which includes the county’s electoral board (clerk, circuit clerk, state’s attorney or their designees) to meet and officially canvass the unofficial returns, thus making them legally official, and ready to be recounted if need be.

After the 24th, for elective office outside the jurisdiction of the county and for all judicial races, the Illinois State Board of Elections will “officially” declare the winners, including for each congressional office.

Based on the State Board’s declaration, the winner will be seated in the respective office won at the proper date, which for Congress is January 3, 2021.

The discovery recount window is between the issuance of the official canvass and the December 4th certification date, which is 10 days from November 24th.

So how will the Oberweis campaign determine which 115 precincts to be recounted? Educated guess, the precincts which had the largest percentage of VBM and provisional ballots included in the returns starting in Lake County, and all those metrics will be available once the Canvass is issued.

Joe Biden

Based on unofficial returns, IL-14 a Biden district

Four years ago, Donald Trump won the IL-14 over Hillary Clinton, and IL-14 was known as a “Trump district” and one of many reasons the IL-14 was targeted after Underwood flipped it in 2018.

Going from unofficial returns and the help of Noah Walch, a volunteer for state Representative-elect Janet Yang Rohr, Joe Biden won 5 of the 7 counties within the boundaries of the 14th congressional district.

Mr. Walch used unofficial returns at the precinct-level and counted the votes within each precinct for president. In his analysis, President Trump won McHenry County (within the 14th and overall), and Biden won the 14th district portions of DeKalb, DuPage, Kane, Lake and Will counties.

Across the district, excluding Kendall County, Biden/Harris won IL-14 by fewer than 10,000 votes.

Kendall County does not post unofficial returns at the precinct level, so that county’s precinct-level numbers will be available when the Canvass is published.

Taking the numbers for each county, comparing the performance of Underwood and Oberweis to their respective presidential candidates, it can determined which candidate overperformed and undeperformed the top of the respective ticket in six of the 7 counties, as this grid shows:

CandidatesDeKalbDuPageKaneKendallLakeMcHenryWillTOTALS% Vote
Lauren Underwood           9,545         5,324         53,953     20,915         26,903         53,001         30,997     200,63850.6%
Jim Oberweis           9,867         3,215         51,433     20,988         26,363         60,110         24,058     196,03449.4%
TOTAL         19,412         8,539      105,388     41,953         53,266      113,238         55,095     396,672
Biden/Harris           9,667         5,407         55,258         27,378         52,581         31,481     181,772
Trump/Pence         10,527         3,137         49,949         25,338         59,935         23,058     171,944
TOTAL         20,194         8,544      105,209               –           52,716      112,643         54,579     353,716
Underwood O/U            (122)            (83)         (1,305) N/A             (475)               420            (484)
Oberweis O/U            (660)               78           1,484 N/A            1,025               175           1,000
Source: Noah Walch for presidential breakouts within 14th district county, congressional unofficial returns through Friday, 11/13/20

For the overperform/underperform (O/U) metric, simply the number of votes a congressional candidate received compared to the presidential ticket of the same party. A negative number means the congressional candidate “underperformed” their presidential candidate.

With the exception of McHenry County, Underwood underperformed Biden/Harris. With the exception of DeKalb County, Oberweis overperformed President Trump and Vice President Pence.

James Marter

The county missing from the O/U metric raises questions in and of itself. As former IL-14 candidate and current Kendall County Republican Chairman James Marter said, then-candidate Donald Trump carried Kendall County in 2016.

Not so in 2020, according to unofficial returns through election night (and Kendall has not posted additional returns since), Joe Biden beat President Trump in Kendall’s 87 precincts by 2,879 votes:

  • Biden/Harris: 31,394
  • Trump/Pence: 28,515

Of Kendall’s 87 precincts, 26 are outside of IL-14 in IL-11 and those 26 include the city of Aurora, but per the above, chart, Oberweis only won Kendall County by 73 votes through election night.

Without seeing the district-level presidential number in Kendall County, that is underperformance in and of itself. Unless Oberweis underperformed President Trump, appears Biden won the IL-14 portion of Kendall County,, too.

Going further down the ballot, Oberweis’ open state senate district was flipped two weeks ago when Democrat state Representative Karina Villa defeated Republican Jeanette Ward by less than 2,000 votes.

Ward only won in Kendall County by 263 votes, a similar underperformance to Oberweis in what was tagged as a very Republican county.

In addition to Lake County, which saw the most dramatic swing in VBM votes for Underwood, Oberweis’ campaign will likely be looking at Kendall County and will likely push for some of those precincts to be part of the discovery recount.


IL-14: Why the Rush for Jim Oberweis to Concede? — 29 Comments

  1. With recounts imminent, and alleged voting fraud, every narrow margin win should be questioned.

    Milk Man knows that.

  2. He should not concede.

    Pursue every legal angle so the voters know who is the true and legal winner of the election.

    Everyone who voted deserves nothing less.

    Not Jim’s problem the dems lost seats, not his problem she’s a double whammy (blk female) and by the lefts logic should be untouchable.

    Do not concede!

  3. Three days after the election and with the vote separated by 628 votes, you penned a post with an assumption that Milk Dud won.

    You wrote about why he was on the “threshold of winning.”

    You also wrote about how AOC was closer to the truth on “Underwood seat about to be flipped”

    Since that time you have not offered an opinion about why he lost.

    The vote difference is now 4,761 votes and you are comparing it to a race separated by 47 votes.

    Take that 47 votes and multiple times a factor of 100.

    She is up by over 1 full percentage point.

    He can concede. He can not concede. It does not matter.

    He can say he….. “defied the expectations”….

    uh… and this is awkward for you Lopez… that correctly predicted the outcomes of this race?????


    But so what if he defied the expectations that correctly predictions the winner and loser?

    He will lose.


    She will win.


    He called himself the winner the day after the election in true jack a$$ fashion.

    You ate it up just like Pelosi eats her fancy ice cream.

    You can offer reasons why he’s not conceding.

    Who cares.

    He lost.

    I laugh at anyone who thinks Milk Dud has any shot of getting seated in this Congress.

    I laugh in your face just like I laugh at your breakdown you wrote 3 days post election.

    Here’s the breakdown you should have offered: She did the responsible thing, didn’t knock on doors and won.

    He didn’t and lost.

    The candidate who followed the science won.

    The candidate who did not follow the science and went to super spreading events out of state, LOST!

  4. I patiently await the Allen Skillicorn and Angie Craig updates.

    I realize Jim Oberweis is the higher priority. 😁

  5. If she didn’t knock on doors and won, that’s amazing, Mr. Oh. 🤓

  6. Eddie, glad you understand and will get to the Skillicorn issue, which was one of the real reasons Skillicorn decided to leave politics.

    As for Angie Craig, that lady did what most people do when they don’t like a law, she went to court, and won and it was upheld on appeal and she won her reelection.

    Will cover that more appropriately in a future article.

  7. The real discovery is for Jim to discover the recipe that he keeps cooking up to lose important elections.

    He doesn’t need to conceed, but it sure as heck looks like he won’t win.

    I’m not sure why anyone would stroke his ego by encouraging another run here, and the comment that he would likely win the primary is off the mark too.

    He won this past March by a little over 1000 votes when his campaign said they were polling WAY above everyone else.

    We don’t even know what the district will look like.

    We need some new blood that is compoentent, poised and knows what it takes to win.

  8. This is what you call a “straw man” argument:

    John establishes a phony argument and then “defeats” it.

    The argument is the “demand” that Oberweis concede.

    Historically, when the outcome of the race is clear, even if the race has not been “officially” called, the loser calls the winner and congratulates him or her.

    It shows the loser has character, and it emphasizes that in America, when the election is over, we put away our weapons.

    The outcome of this race is clear.

    So, it would be nice if Oberweis would concede.

    It would show good manners.

    It would show class.

    It would show support for the democratic process.

    And not to do so marks Oberweis with the opposite of all these qualities.

    But it’s not demanded.

    Nor did Oberweis win some sort of “moral” victory.

    If he chooses to run again in 2022, an off-year election, he’ll lose again, and by more, unless before then Underwood commits some egregious faux pas, and I find that highly unlikely given her performance to date.

    If Underwood is smart, and assuming she’s not gerrymandered into an absolutely safe district or tapped to be U.S. Senator, she’ll spend all her time distributing federal tax dollars in the district, she’ll find a couple of key votes that she can be on the “wrong” side of (i.e., against the Democrat majority) to show that she’s “independent” and a “moderate”, and she’ll introduce a couple pieces of legislation so innocuous that even a Republican Senate will pass them so she can show what an effective legislator she’s been.

  9. With her many scandals as US Senator, Carol Moseley Braun was funny.

    She should write a book on them. 😁

  10. Do the Dems (Jessie White) use that Dominion software?

    This crooked state probably started it?

  11. Thank you Steve Willson for your input.

    Nothing “straw man” about my argument, and in 2020, NOTHING is historic. 2020 is not a normal year in anything, including elections.

    Maybe Willson misses the evidence of media members demanding him concede, as has been shared in previous articles, can’t believe he missed it.

    Will hold off on the political argument of what Oberweis is doing until I post that article either tomorrow or Thursday.

    Jim Oberweis will do what he will do, in his timing, not someone else’s like the media or anyone else and if he decides to pursue what is his right under law, then he’ll do that, too.

    Anyone demanding Oberweis to “show support for the democratic process” or class or good manners are better off practicing what they preach, and give him due process afforded to any candidate who comes within the 95% threshold of Illinois law. There are actually a few Underwood supporters who agree with me on this in social media.

    If anyone thinks that 95% threshold is too low, get the law changed in Springfield, to something like Wisconsin, where 1% is threshold.

    As far as Underwood and the new district in 2022, link in this article ( to Dave Wasserman’s first cut of transforming IL-14, along with IL-13 and IL-17 from Trump ’16 to Clinton ’16 districts.

    This would have happened whether Underwood had won or not, if the Dems do anything remote to the Wasserman suggested map.

    The 2020 election clearly showed Underwood needs redistricting protection, in spite of Illinois losing a congressional seat.

    As I said in another article, Underwood will not be appointed to a U.S. Senate seat anytime soon, due to no succession planning and risk of current district flipping Republican very real.

    Same reason Cheri Bustos in the IL-17 will not be appointed Agriculture secretary in a Biden administration.

    Underwood on a key vote(s) to be on the “wrong” side?

    Outside of a rare procedural vote, she has not done something like that to date.

    We’ll see if she does, and should she, it’ll show she learned something from the close 2020 election.

  12. OT: Dave Vella (D) defeated Rockford State Representative John Cabello (R-68), who’s seeking a recount. 😐

  13. Willson, the article was the Mark Maxwell media, along with Hannah Maisel.

  14. If Jim Oberweis wants to spend money on discovery votes and recounts, he most certainly can.

    It’s his and/or his supporters’ money, not yours or mine. 😁

    If Oberweis still loses and doesn’t concede, it’s no loss.

    He has no access to 14th CD files, cases and ?? to turn over anyway. 😁

  15. John, your headline is “Why the Rush for Jim Oberweis to Concede?” Then you wrote “Comments… in social media and the mainstream media downright demand Republican 14th district candidate Jim Oberweis to concede defeat.

    Those are strong words, “rush” and “demand”.

    I have now demonstrated that there were no such comments in the Tribune, the Sun-Times, or on CBS, NBC or ABC. I also checked Fox and WGN, just to be on the safe side.

    So, Underwood hasn’t “demanded” that Oberweis concede.

    No other elected official, Republican or Democrat, that I’ve read has “demanded” that Oberweis concede. They’ve been silent.

    None of the seven major new outlets in Chicago “demanded” that Oberweis concede. They’ve also been silent.

    You have so far cited exactly two tweets.

    Even if you were right in what Maxwell and Meisel said, I would suggest that the bulk of the evidence indicates the exact opposite of a “rush”.

    Unfortunately, even the two examples you give don’t hold water because you have mischaracterized both tweets, neither of which “demanded” that Oberweis concede.

    Maxwell commented that Oberweis looked “undignified” and “delusional”, both of which are, unfortunately, accurate. That was not a “demand” to concede.

    Hannah Meisel noted that Oberweis prematurely declared victory and then went to Washington for new member orientation. That also wasn’t a “demand” to concede.

    So, once again, your evidence doesn’t support either point. There was no “rush” and no one seems to have “demanded” that Oberweis concede.

  16. Mr. Willson, you are of course, correct.

    You omitted the Meisel tweet was picked up by Capitol Fax, but that blog is not considered mainstream press, apart from Rich Miller’s columns published in newspapers.

    I will stop injecting my personal commentary on all my future blog articles going forward, and not use social media as a source in the future.

    One or two tweets don’t a trend make.

  17. In 2004, Congressperson Phil Crane (R-8) gave no assistance, including files, to his successor, Melissa Bean.

    Crane and Bean never spoke to each other. ☚ī¸

    In 1983, Chicago Mayor Jane Byrne had files shredded or tossed out, leaving, her successor, Harold Washington, with just a paper clip. 😮

    Byrne conceded and half-heartedly endorsed Washington, losing to him again in 1987. 😐

    Washington had the last laugh in 1987, by endorsing Aurelia Pucinski for 1988’s Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court. 😐

    Byrne was also defeated by Richard M. Daley, in 1991 for Chicago Mayor. 😐

  18. What about when the Clinton staffers removed all the “W’s” from the computer keyboards in the white house?

    You have to at least admit that one is pretty funny.

  19. The Secretary of State has very little to with elections in Illinois.

    The State Board of Elections is in control and has been since the early 1970’s after the new constitution was implemented.

    White did mail do mailings in this past election.

    I can’t think of any other involvement.

  20. Know it all Wilson at it again.

    Sometimes he makes sense.

    But now here.

    Let me explain it to you saps, the software is rigged!

  21. Bill Clinton’s staffers did a lot of damage to white house offices before Jan 21, 2001.

    Besides keyboards, they overturned desks, wrote grafitti on walls and vandalized telephone lines.

    These people were a personification of Bill Clinton.

    Scum and sleaze.

    On Jan 20, 2001, Clinton pardoned 140 people including Marc Rich for which he was highly criticized including by Jimmy Carter, James Carville and Terry McCaulliff.

  22. Hi Cal and everyone.

    Excluding motor voter, certifying election results (mentioned elsewhere on this blog) and the signed documentation Roland Burris needed from Jesse White to become US Senator. 😐

    If Jesse White can refuse the above, he can refuse to send out bogus, confusing letters about Vote By Mail, which is really a duty of Illinois, county and five city election boards. 😐

  23. Your numbers from Kendall County are not current anymore.

    The updated count has Underwood in the lead.

    Underwood: 22,046
    Oberweis: 21,747

    Of the 7 counties in the 14th district, Oberweis only won in McHenry and DeKalb.

    Underwood won in Lake, Kane, Kendall, DuPage, and Will.

  24. Via Chicago Sun Times
    Lynn Sweet
    November 18, 2020:

    Lauren Underwood

    Jim Oberweis

  25. Correcting and Eddie thank you, yup was aware of the updated Kendall County numbers.

    Still trying to obtain DeKalb updated, and wouldn’t be surprised if Underwood finishes ahead of Oberweis there, too.

    Oberweis’ clearly best county was McHenry County, where he won by over 7,000 votes.

  26. Yes, but Lauren Underwood won Will County by 6,985 votes, so that alone nearly erased Oberweis’s lead in McHenry County.

    Percentage wise, DuPage was Underwood’s best county followed by Will.

    She received over 62 percent in DuPage County and over 56 percent in Will County.

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