Duckworth Wins 8th Congressional District, Defeats Walsh

Results came in quickly Tuesday night, and by 10:15 p.m. Duckworth was the clear winner.

Update 12:00 a.m.

Republican Congressman Joe Walsh knew Cook County would be a challenge in his quest for the 8th Congressional seat, but he and his staffers hoped conservative voters from DuPage and Kane County would offset that obstacle.

That was not the case on Tuesday.

With 409 of the 430 precincts reporting election results by 11 p.m., Democratic challenger Tammy Duckworth held 56.3 of the votes and Walsh had 43.7. Duckworth had 116,872 votes to Walsh's 97,331 at that time.

DuPage County numbers were slightly closer; Duckworth grabbing 52 percent of the votes to Walsh's 48 percent - with all precincts from that county reporting.

Kane County still had 12 precincts to send in votes, but Duckworth had the lead there, too.

The three hours it took for results to be tallied ended a contentious battle between Duckworth and Walsh - both leveraging heavy television advertisement campaigns until the last day.

In the end, Duckworth said her opponent was both gracious and kind when it was apparent the race was not to be his. Walsh even offered to help Duckworth transition into her new job, she told her supporters on Tuesday night.

Walsh Update 10:30 p.m. Nov. 6 

Walsh has finally arrived to speak to his crowd of supporters. Some people had already begun leaving as the election results appeared to be leaning toward a Duckworth win.

Duckworth Update 10:30 p.m. 

8th congressional district winner Tammy Duckworth told her supporters in her acceptance speech: 

"I am ready to serve this nation, to find practical solutions to our problems, I am ready to serve you."

I have heard seniors who want to keep retirement benefits, business owners who can get a loan a little bit easier to put people back to work.
Embedded in every American, we work to overcome obstacles. When we are knocked down, each of us will struggle mightily to be self reliant. We believe in Americans."

Duckworth Calls the Race! Update 10:15 p.m. Nov. 6

Tammy Duckworth just said, "I am humbled to have been elected as the representative for the 8th congressional district."

Duckworth said Republican Joe Walsh was very kind and gracious and offered for his office to help her transition into her new role.

Walsh  Update 9:40 p.m. Nov. 6

Walsh spokesman Justin Roth just talked to the press and said the
campaign is waiting for numbers from DuPage County to see if Walsh can
make up some numbers against Duckworth, who is in the lead.

He said the campaign expected to lose Cook County, but DuPage County
votes strongly Republican so the results could turn around in Walsh’s

Walsh and his campaign want to wait to be fair to voters before making
a decision to call it a night.

Supporters continue talking and mingling but some are leaving; some
are monitoring other races on iPhones and iPads.

Duckworth  Update 9:30 p.m. Nov. 6

From Tammy Duckworth's press secretary Anton Becker:

"It's going to be close, Tammy ran a great campaign on the issues, but Walsh outspent us close to 13-1, he ran a a lot of negatives and had a lot of TV over the last week, that could make a difference."

Duckworth  Update 9:15 p.m. Nov. 6

Tammy Duckworth told supporters tonight at her election gathering:
"The 8th district needs jobs. If I am elected, I will first start with working to get the transportation bill passed. We need to help small and medium-sized businesses grow."

Can congress be bi-partisan? "I think it's very realistic to work in congress in a bi-partisan way. At the end of the day, we have to remember this is about the American people."

Walsh  Update 9 p.m. Nov. 6

Supporters are milling around the Medinah Shrine Center in Addison
waiting for Walsh to appear. The only election updates are being shown
on the TV monitors set up throughout the room.

Calvin Higgins, 19, of Carol Stream, chatted with friends as he waited
for Walsh to appear. Higgins identifies himself with the Tea Party. He
believes in the party’s principles of lower taxes and smaller

He worries that big government means “less freedom,” Higgins said.

The crowd at Walsh’s election night party ranges from younger voters
to older voters and people from different backgrounds.

Barb White, of Palatine, has gotten to know Walsh, who was her
congressman when she lived in a different town.

“I think Tammy Duckworth’s (campaign) was very dirty. I have gotten to
know Joe Walsh and I have respect for what he stands for and his
integrity,” White said.

White has always been an independent and has voted for the best person.

“There’s no way I could have voted for Duckworth after taking a look
at the brutal ads she put out there,” White said.

- reported by Patch editor Gloria Casas

Duckworth  Update 8:30 p.m. Nov. 6

Dukworth told the crowd: "I'm excited and energized to see the first set of results. I'm glad the campaign is over, and now there is nothing to do but wait and see what 8th congressional constituents want in their leadership."

"I think it's going to be long night. There are so many passionate people in the 8th congressional district, and going into tonight I know that the race tightened," Duckworth said.

Walsh Update 8 p.m. Nov. 6

Joe Walsh spokesman Justin Roth has appeared at the party. He said Walsh is expected to appear within the hour.

Walsh is “feeling great. The early returns look positive,” Roth said.

He did not have specific specific numbers.

Walsh spent the morning talking to voters and spent time with his wife and children in their McHenry County home.

Roth answered questions about the 8th Congressional race being a referendum on the Tea Party, but he said Walsh has been fighting for the silent majority, disenfranchised voters.

Walsh has the pulse of those people who make up the majority of the district, he said, according to Patch reporter editor Gloria Casas.

Walsh  Update 7:45 p.m. Nov. 6

The press is gathering at the Medinah Shrine Center in Addison. Supporters are gathered around television sets - all tuned into Fox News, according to Patch editor Gloria Casas. U.S. Congressman Joe Walsh has not arrived, Casas said.

Duckworth  Update 7:30 p.m. Nov. 6

Democract candidate Tammy Duckworth has arrived at her election night rally at the Holiday Inn in Elk Grove Village. She told reporters that although her campaign was outspent by Republican Joe Walsh, she is feeling confident about the race. She also expressed her gratitude to her supporters.




Candidate Percentage Total Vote  Precincts Reporting


Joe Walsh (R)






 430/ 430


Tammy Duckworth (D)






 430/ 430

Above results last updated at 1 a.m.


Duckworth was a Black Hawk helicopter pilot in the Iraq War who lost both of her legs in 2004 after her helicoter was hit by an RPG. She has served as Director of Illinois' Department of Veterans' Affairs and was Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs under President Obama.

Walsh defeated Democrat Melissa Bean in 2010, . Walsh, a self-described TEA-party conservative, is a former Public Policy Director of The Heartland Institute and has become known for his outspoken style.


Click on a candidate's name for biographical information and answers to our candidate questionnaires, and check back for updates.

  • Joe Walsh
  • Tammy Duckworth

Read Patch's past coverage of the Eighth Congressional District.

Jennifer November 07, 2012 at 08:16 PM
What do you mean about Walsh giving up his perks?
Joe O'Malley November 08, 2012 at 12:28 AM
"She has served as Director of Illinois' Department of Veterans' Affairs and was Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs under President Obama."....... Bang up job for her fellow buddies at the V.A. She'll fit in nicely with the rest of the Dem's and Repub's that wallow in the Illinois quagmire of political mediocrity.
Craig Doherty November 10, 2012 at 05:43 AM
Cynthia, we were the laughing stock of the country for letting some fools vote Joe Walsh into office in the first place. He is without a doubt the biggest *ss to hold office in about 20 years. He did absolutely nothing for his district and instead spent his time shouting down his consituents and making silly videos to Obama like some demented 4 year-old. Joe didn't deserve $1 of pay nevermind pensions and other perks. If your idea of good character for a candidate is Joe Walsh instead of someone who put their life on the line for our country, then you are truly sad indeed.
Melissa D November 14, 2012 at 08:26 PM
He was neither honest nor hard working.
Melissa D November 14, 2012 at 08:31 PM
I would like to complain about Ralph's choice of profile avatar. I flagged his comment hoping there would be a field to explain my complaint, but there wasn't, so I am hoping you will catch this in approving this comment. Everyone has freedom of speech and I do not object to his comment nor to his right to express his opinion on President Obama. I do, however, strongly object to his avatar as it is an acronym for a well known phrase including a curse word. He is entitled to his political feelings but this logo is inappropriate. Please consider removing it.


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