LEBANON – Illinois Sen. Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon) said while he's unsure whether presidential candidate Donald Trump will win the state overall, he’s confident Trump will win southern and central Illinois by a landslide.
The state senator, who represents the 54th District, gave his predictions for Tuesday’s election to The Record. He said that while Illinois historically votes for Democrats in presidential elections, he and many of his constituents supports Trump.
“I’m hoping Trump wins,” McCarter told The Record. “I feel that a lot of people are going to vote for Trump and aren’t going to tell anybody about it. They don’t want to be called all these names that they call [Trump].”
McCarter also predicts Republicans Dwight Kay, who is running for re-election, and Mike Babcock, who is running for a seat in the state House, will also win.
McCarter said he strongly believes Kay will keep his seat in the 112th House District. He was elected to the position in 2010, and this year McCarter endorsed him.
“Nobody works harder than Dwight,” McCarter said. “Nobody knocks on as many doors as Dwight. Every election he’s had, he works hard. I believe that people trust him and hopefully he’ll win.”
Kay faces Democratic challenger Katie Stuart, a political newcomer and college math teacher. During his campaign, and his tenure as a representative, he’s been critical of House Speaker Mike Madigan, D-Chicago and the budget crisis gripping Illinois.
While he’s hopeful Babcock will also win, McCarter said that race is much closer. Babcock faces incumbent state Rep. Daniel Beiser (D-Alton). Babcock currently serves as Wood River Township Supervisor, and he received an endorsement from The Chicago Tribune.
“Mike has a chance to win it, but it’s a tough district,” McCarter said.
Babcock supports term limits for state legislators. He said he would pursue term limit legislation in a bipartisan effort if he is elected. He signed a pledge in September, along with a handful of other candidates and incumbents, saying he would voluntarily limit his time in the legislature.
During this election season, McCarter said he’s noticed more vicious attack ads on both sides of the aisle. In particular, he said some of the attacks made against Kay have been “disgusting” and “outrageous.” He said this election season is known for its attack ads and mudslinging, but he’s never seen it like this before.
“In the state races and the state legislative races, the ads have been pretty tasteless,” he said. “And they have said some things that I think – I know it’s typical for Illinois to take a small truth and then blow it up into a huge lie, but some of these commercials I’ve seen aired are very disturbing.”
McCarter believes that voters especially feel fed up with these kinds of politics. He said while this election has been particularly brutal, it has also energized citizens to get more involved in the political process.
“I think you’re going to see a lot more people get involved,” he said. “The reason we’ve gotten to this point is because it’s been politics as usual, and people haven’t gotten involved. We’ve allowed this to happen, and now that we’re here, I think people have finally woken up and said we’re not going to tolerate this anymore."