Illinois Democrats giddy about chance to win race for governor

CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 20: Illinois Democratic candidate for Governor J.B. Pritzker, center, and his Lieutenant Governor pick Juliana Stratton, left, wave to supporters during his primary election night victory on March 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. 

Joshua Lott / Getty Images

Democrats are giddy following Illinois' primary about their chances of reclaiming the governor's office from a GOP incumbent who barely survived his own nomination fight.

More than 1.2 million people voted in Tuesday's Democratic primary, a record number in more than a decade of midterms. Billionaire J.B. Pritzker won the primary for governor with almost 575,000 votes, defeating his closest rival by 20 points.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner received about 360,000 votes in a GOP primary where he eked out a win over a conservative state lawmaker.

Pritzker said Wednesday the results are an indication of how motivated Democrats are. He says the enthusiasm means he stands a good chance of beating Rauner.

Rauner isn't going down without a fight. He criticized Pritzker in a new ad and during a campaign stop.