Contested race for 14th Congressional district seat teeters on youth, commitment to president
The DePaulia, Cailey Gleeson, Lacey Latch, Ella Lee, and Emma Oxnevad:
“The problem is, many of the pieces of information on voting and voter engagement are on the secretary of state’s website and it’s not focused towards students,” Hira Khan, a coordinator for the Campus Vote Project, which is a nonpartisan group working to increase student voting, told IllinoisChannel.org. “So the terms used, students may be unfamiliar with, like absentee ballots and absentee voting. This might be the first time some of them are hearing of that kind of stuff.”
As up to 36 percent of the district’s population, according to census data, Millennial and Gen Z voters could easily swing the election in Underwood’s favor.
The difference between which candidate wins the tightly contested race could come down to whether candidates are able to tow the line between the needs of the town’s young and old constituents. Oberweis’ inability to do that might cost him the race.
“I love his ice cream, but he’s not getting my vote,” Rehling said. “Too old.”
Underwood, too, is young — notably, the youngest Black woman to serve in Congress.
According to a study conducted by Political Parity, incumbency functions as a major hindrance to women’s advancement into both Congressional races and positions. The report states that incumbents win their races at a rate of approximately 95 percent, with 90 percent of incumbents being male.
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