Analysis: Precinct-level Vote Totals Now Available

Published on

The State Board of Elections made the precinct-level vote totals available late last week for the 2016 General Election and as promised I’ve compiled them, cleaned them up, made them available for download and incorporated them into my database. The full menu of options can be found here.

Having this granular data allows us to compile vote totals for any two areas that overlap. For example we can determine how each statewide candidate did by congressional or legislative district.

Note: these totals may differ from similar analysis performed elsewhere. Surprisingly enough, many districts only include partial precincts. Different methods for dealing with partial precincts can result in different totals.

 

In 2014 the Republican statewide candidates ran strong across the state, Rauner won 70 House districts, Topinka 69 and Cross 64. This cycle at the top of the ticket the Democrats came storming back with Clinton winning 77 of them while Duckworth won 74. As discussed in the post-mortem in some parts of downstate Trump’s intensity of support was off the charts, it just wasn’t broad enough to be felt throughout the state.

The Comptroller’s race was a bit more even, Mendoza and Munger each bested the other in 59 House districts despite Mendoza winning statewide by 5 points. The House Republicans picked up a net of four seats and overcame the poor showing at the top of the ticket but still underperformed Munger, only winning 51 House seats compared to 67 for the Democrats.

House Districts Won By: # Districts
House Democrats 67
Hillary Clinton 77
Tammy Duckworth 74
Susana Mendoza 59
House Districts Won By: # Districts
House Republicans 51
Donald Trump 41
Mark Kirk 44
Leslie Munger 59

Districts That Changed Hands

 

Let’s take a look at some of the districts that flipped this cycle. In many cases the legislative incumbents outperformed the top of their ticket, unfortunately for this group it wasn’t enough to hold onto their seats. There was a lot of ticket splitting going on though and in some cases there were very large discrepancies between what happened in the legislative race and the top of the ticket suggesting that voters were paying close attention and the campaign messages were getting through the clutter.

 

Sen-59   (R) Dale Fowler vs. (D) Gary Forby (i)   (Map)

2016 RACE
R+ 10.4%
16 PRES 16 US SEN 16 COMP
R+ 40.74% R+ 5.5% R+ 23.45%
14 US SEN 14 GOV 14 AG 14 SOS 14 COMP 14 TREAS
R+ 11.56% R+ 30.97% R+ 6.01% D+ 12.05% R+ 7.35% R+ 24.91%
12 PRES 12 GA
R+ 20.15% D+ 18.2%

Gary Forby was 10 points short of holding a district that Donald Trump won by 41 points, that’s quite a headwind. Forby’s district wasn’t on the ballot two years ago when Rauner won it by 31 points but he did manage a big win in 2012 even with Romney besting Obama by 20 points. Munger did quite well here winning by 23 while Kirk managed to win by just 5.5 points. Perhaps as many as 17% of the voters in this district were Trump/Forby voters but it wasn’t enough.

 


 

Rep-71   (R) Tony McCombie vs. (D) Mike Smiddy (i)   (Map)

2016 RACE
R+ 25.8%
16 PRES 16 US SEN 16 COMP
R+ 5.81% R+ 1.96% R+ 5.66%
14 US SEN 14 GOV 14 AG 14 SOS 14 COMP 14 TREAS 14 GA
D+ 1.68% R+ 14.05% D+ 3.71% D+ 22.4% R+ 15.72% R+ 8% D+ 0.9%
12 PRES 12 GA
D+ 15% D+ 4.2%

Challenger Tony McCombie outperformed every other candidate here by a notable amount in defeating Mike Smiddy. In a district that Obama won by 15 points four years ago and that Rauner won by 14 points two years ago she won by 26 points in a year when Trump and Munger could only manage 6 point wins and Kirk managed a narrow 2 point victory. The voters seemed to really key in on this race at a much greater intensity than the others on the ballot this time.

 


 

Rep-63   (R) Steven Reick vs. (D) John Bartman   (Map)

2016 RACE
R+ 13.0%
16 PRES 16 US SEN 16 COMP
R+ 12.28% R+ 9.62% R+ 22.57%
14 US SEN 14 GOV 14 AG 14 SOS 14 COMP 14 TREAS 14 GA
R+ 20.2% R+ 34.02% D+ 2.49% D+ 20.31% R+ 19.82% R+ 25.77% D+ 17.08%
12 PRES 12 GA
R+ 7.67% D+ 99.2%

When Jack Franks withdrew from this race to run for McHenry County Board Chairman (a race he ultimately won) it was going to be difficult for the Democrats to hold this seat and appointed replacement John Bartman could not, losing by 13 points which roughly mirrored the presidential race. As mentioned in the post-mortem Munger did much better in the collars than either of her two fellow Republican statewide candidates, 10 points better than Trump here and 13 points better than Kirk. Four years ago Romney won this district by almost 8 points, two years ago Rauner won it by 34, the Dems were just sunk without Franks.

 


 

Rep-79   (R) Lindsay Parkhurst vs. (D) Katherine Cloonen (i)   (Map)

2016 RACE
R+ 7.4%
16 PRES 16 US SEN 16 COMP
R+ 12.84% R+ 3.14% R+ 14.31%
14 US SEN 14 GOV 14 AG 14 SOS 14 COMP 14 TREAS 14 GA
R+ 6.72% R+ 22.2% D+ 13.3% D+ 26.36% R+ 14.1% R+ 8.82% D+ 0.38%
12 PRES 12 GA
R+ 1.03% D+ 0.2%

Cloonen won each of the last two cycles in what were essentially coin flips, races that were so close she won by about 100 votes each time. Two years ago Rauner won this district by 22 points suggesting that with enough investment it could be picked up, and it was Parkhurst won by 7. Four years ago Obama held Romney to a narrow 1 point victory here but in 2016 Trump won the district by 13 and Munger won it by 14. Cloonen was able to halve Munger’s margin but it wasn’t enough.

 


 

Rep-117   (R) David Severin vs. (D) John Bradley (i)   (Map)

2016 RACE
R+ 5.8%
16 PRES 16 US SEN 16 COMP
R+ 42.9% R+ 6.04% R+ 24.72%
14 US SEN 14 GOV 14 AG 14 SOS 14 COMP 14 TREAS 14 GA
R+ 14.48% R+ 32.09% R+ 6.69% D+ 11.93% R+ 5.32% R+ 25.51% D+ 99.38%
12 PRES 12 GA
R+ 22.07% D+ 33.3%

They share the same voters so just like Gary Forby mentioned above John Bradley ran into a massive headwind that he just couldn’t overcome. Four years ago Romney won this district by 22 points, two years ago Rauner won it by 32 suggesting that it was fertile ground for a pickup. Bradley lost by just 6 in a district that Trump won by 43 points and Munger won by 25. Perhaps as many as 21% of the voters here were Trump/Bradley voters but it wasn’t enough.

 


 

Rep-76   (R) Jerry Long vs. (D) Andy Skoog (i)   (Map)

2016 RACE
R+ 1.8%
16 PRES 16 US SEN 16 COMP
R+ 9.49% D+ 2.43% R+ 5.18%
14 US SEN 14 GOV 14 AG 14 SOS 14 COMP 14 TREAS 14 GA
R+ 3.89% R+ 9.5% D+ 10.71% D+ 30.66% R+ 5.25% R+ 6.46% D+ 0.98%
12 PRES 12 GA
D+ 6.08% D+ 26.2%

This area of the state appears to have settled into swing territory. Two years ago Jerry Long made a spirited challenge against long time incumbent Frank Mautino coming up just short. Mautino left the legislature to become Auditor General but the local papers were still regularly following the investigation into irregularities in his campaign fund. This time around Long was able to best Andy Skoog, Mautino’s appointed replacement, by just shy of 2 points in a year when Trump won it by 9 and Munger by 5 while Duckworth enjoyed a 2 point win for the Democrats. Obama won it four years ago by 6 while Rauner won by almost 10 two years ago. We’ll likely be keeping an eye on this area for the next few cycles.

 


 

Rep-112   (D) Katie Stuart vs. (R) Dwight Kay (i)   (Map)

2016 RACE
D+ 3.2%
16 PRES 16 US SEN 16 COMP
R+ 5.53% D+ 9.4% R+ 0.75%
14 US SEN 14 GOV 14 AG 14 SOS 14 COMP 14 TREAS 14 GA
R+ 4.48% R+ 20.63% R+ 2.02% D+ 11.68% R+ 15.98% R+ 12.2% R+ 17.48%
12 PRES 12 GA
D+ 0.1% R+ 0.6%

Two years ago Rauner won this district by over 20 points but in presidential election years this looks to be a swing district. Four years ago Dwight Kay was re-elected in a narrow victory in a year when the presidential race here was essentially a tie. This time around Katie Stuart picked up the district for the Democrats by 3 points while the three statewide races were kind of all over the place, Trump won by almost 6, Munger won by less than a point and Duckworth won by more than 9. Even aside from the three statewide races the Republicans still did well here, the Republicans picked up the County Board Chairman’s race from the incumbent Democrat and Mike Bost, Rodney Davis and John Shimkus all won the precincts they had in common with this district (Shimkus was unopposed). This area will almost certainly be heavily contested next cycle.

 

 

Targeted Districts Won by Incumbents

 

Here is a rundown of some of the Senate and House districts that were the focus of heavy spending where the incumbent retained the seat.

 

Sen-23   (R) Seth Lewis vs. (D) Thomas Cullerton (i)   (Map)

2016 RACE
D+ 1.4%
16 PRES 16 US SEN 16 COMP
D+ 11.94% D+ 8.87% R+ 4.43%
14 US SEN 14 GOV 14 AG 14 SOS 14 COMP 14 TREAS
R+ 1.99% R+ 19.19% D+ 11.71% D+ 25.21% R+ 15.4% R+ 15.06%
12 PRES 12 GA
D+ 7.14% D+ 2.4%

Four years ago I was surprised when the Democrats won this mostly DuPage County senate district and now four years later Tom Cullerton has retained the seat. Seth Lewis outperformed the top of his ticket, losing by only a little over a point in a district where Clinton won by 12 and Duckworth by 9. It wasn’t all bad for the Republicans here, Munger won by over 4 but as we discussed in the post-mortem the power base of the Illinois Republican Party is moving from the collar counties to downstate so we’re going to be seeing race outcomes like this one in the suburbs for the next few cycles.

 


 

Sen-49   (R) Michelle Smith vs. (D) Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (i)   (Map)

2016 RACE
D+ 5.4%
16 PRES 16 US SEN 16 COMP
D+ 10.29% D+ 10.26% R+ 0.03%
14 US SEN 14 GOV 14 AG 14 SOS 14 COMP 14 TREAS
D+ 0.59% R+ 13.73% D+ 14.6% D+ 26.88% R+ 11.12% R+ 22.19%
12 PRES 12 GA
D+ 7.3% D+ 6.4%

Four years ago Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant won this district by a little over 6 points and this year despite all the spending it didn’t change all that much, she won by a little over 5. Clinton and Duckworth won by more than 10, compared to just 7 points for Obama four years ago, while the Mendoza/Munger race was essentially a tie here. Rauner won this district by almost 14 two years ago but it isn’t on the ballot next cycle so the Republicans will have to wait for the year of Trump’s re-elect to make another attempt.

 


 

Sen-28   (R) Mel Thillens vs. (D) Laura Murphy (i)   (Map)

2016 RACE
D+ 7.00%
16 PRES 16 US SEN 16 COMP
D+ 19.83% D+ 12.9% R+ 2.22%
14 US SEN 14 GOV 14 AG 14 SOS 14 COMP 14 TREAS
D+ 6.49% R+ 14.82% D+ 21.65% D+ 38.13% R+ 12.81% R+ 10.08%
12 PRES 12 GA
D+ 12.62% D+ 14.6%

Two years ago the Republicans did very well in this district, Rauner won by 15, Topinka by 13 and Cross by 10. However in presidential years this northwestern suburban district trends pretty Democratic. Laura Murphy, who was appointed to the seat when Dan Kotowski left, won her first chance at re-election by 7 points in a district Clinton won by 20, Duckworth won by 13 and Obama had won by 13. The lone bright spot for the Republicans was Munger edging Mendoza by 2.

 


 

Sen-31   (R) Mike Amrozowicz vs. (D) Melinda Bush (i)   (Map)

2016 RACE
D+ 8.2%
16 PRES 16 US SEN 16 COMP
D+ 12.8% D+ 5.95% R+ 3.76%
14 US SEN 14 GOV 14 AG 14 SOS 14 COMP 14 TREAS
R+ 2.8% R+ 18.68% D+ 14.64% D+ 26.42% R+ 13.26% R+ 13.34%
12 PRES 12 GA
D+ 6.86% D+ 2.8%

Four years ago Melinda Bush won a relatively narrow 3 point victory, this time around she won by a more comfortable 8. Clinton won this far north Lake County district by 13 while Duckworth won by just 6 and Munger won by almost 4. Two years ago Rauner won this district by almost 19 points but it is not on the ballot next cycle so the Republicans will have to wait four years for another shot at it.

 


 

Rep-20   (D) Merry Marwig vs. (R) Michael McAuliffe (i)   (Map)

2016 RACE
R+ 12.2%
16 PRES 16 US SEN 16 COMP
D+ 8.3% D+ 5.76% R+ 5.3%
14 US SEN 14 GOV 14 AG 14 SOS 14 COMP 14 TREAS 14 GA
D+ 7.85% R+ 5.89% D+ 22.95% D+ 40.45% R+ 15.71% R+ 6.21% R+ 24.9%
12 PRES 12 GA
D+ 7.1% R+ 21.2%

This was the most expensive race this cycle, much of it coming from the Republicans and much of that coming early as McAuliffe was up on Chicago broadcast TV in August during the Olympics, something completely unheard of for a legislative race. In the end McAuliffe overperformed all of the other Republicans winning by 12 in a district Trump lost by 8, Kirk lost by 6 and Munger only won by 5. Even in the wave Republican election year of two years ago Rauner only won this district by 6, although Topinka did win it by 16. It’s a district that favors moderate Republicans.

 


 

Rep-45   (D) Cynthia Borbas vs. (R) Christine Winger (i)   (Map)

2016 RACE
R+ 6.8%
16 PRES 16 US SEN 16 COMP
D+ 2.46% R+ 1.21% R+ 14.89%
14 US SEN 14 GOV 14 AG 14 SOS 14 COMP 14 TREAS 14 GA
R+ 9.63% R+ 28.01% D+ 4.21% D+ 18.83% R+ 21.95% R+ 23.23% R+ 8.88%
12 PRES 12 GA
R+ 2.12% R+ 10.8%

As the collars have been trending toward the Democrats this east-central DuPage district was one they hoped to put in play, but it’s not quite there. Two years ago Rauner won this district by 28 points but Romney won it by just 2 in 2012 and Clinton won it by 2 this time. Christine Winger won it by a comfortable 7 and Munger won by 15 so it’s still a Republican district for competitively contested elections. This may not be a district to keep an eye on two years from now but it seems likely it will be worth paying attention to in four years.

 


 

Rep-81   (D) Greg Hose vs. (R) David Olsen   (Map)

2016 RACE
R+ 6.8%
16 PRES 16 US SEN 16 COMP
D+ 15.97% D+ 3.68% R+ 12.21%
14 US SEN 14 GOV 14 AG 14 SOS 14 COMP 14 TREAS 14 GA
R+ 2.92% R+ 22.9% D+ 8.68% D+ 24.18% R+ 19.88% R+ 20.1% R+ 19.98%
12 PRES 12 GA
D+ 1.67% R+ 100%

This is another one of those DuPage districts that could potentially be a swing district in four years but wasn’t there this cycle. Four years ago Obama won it by less than two points while this cycle Clinton won it by 16 and Duckworth by 4 while Munger still prevailed by 12. David Olsen, appointed to the seat when Ron Sandack stepped down, managed a comfortable 7 point win.

 


 

Rep-118   (R) Jason Kasiar vs. (D) Brandon Phelps (i)   (Map)

2016 RACE
D+ 16.8%
16 PRES 16 US SEN 16 COMP
R+ 38.56% R+ 4.91% R+ 22.17%
14 US SEN 14 GOV 14 AG 14 SOS 14 COMP 14 TREAS 14 GA
R+ 8.58% R+ 30.01% R+ 5.31% D+ 12.33% R+ 9.27% R+ 24.34% D+ 99.74%
12 PRES 12 GA
R+ 18.17% D+ 100%

Brandon Phelps hasn’t has a Republican opponent in either of the two previous cycles under this map but during that time Republican statewide candidates have been running up big numbers in this district. Romney won it by 18, Rauner by 30 and Cross by 24. However Phelps, the nephew of popular former congressman David Phelps, maintains a similar local popularity winning this district by 17 points even though Trump won it by 39 and Munger by 22. Perhaps as many as 30% of the voters in this district were Trump/Phelps voters. This district is adjacent to the district John Bradley just lost and those two House districts make up the Senate district that Gary Forby just lost, this area is trending Republican rather rapidly but so far Phelps has been able to weather the storm. This area will likely be a focal point in 2018.

 


 

Rep-46   (R) Heidi Holan vs. (D) Deborah Conroy (i)   (Map)

2016 RACE
D+ 18.00%
16 PRES 16 US SEN 16 COMP
D+ 23.44% D+ 21.11% D+ 8.3%
14 US SEN 14 GOV 14 AG 14 SOS 14 COMP 14 TREAS 14 GA
D+ 7.99% R+ 7.66% D+ 21.56% D+ 33.59% R+ 6.79% R+ 4.42% D+ 5.06%
12 PRES 12 GA
D+ 18.75% D+ 15.4%

This DuPage County district makes up half of Tom Cullerton’s senate district and just as Cullerton did Deb Conroy was able to retain the seat. Two years ago Conroy defeated Heidi Holan by 5 points even while Rauner won it by 8, Topinka by 7 and Cross by 4. This time around in a rematch against Holan Conroy won it by 18, which was somewhat similar to her 15 point margin in 2012. This district has been reliably Democratic in presidential years, Obama won it by 19, Clinton by 23, Duckworth by 21 and Mendoza by 8. The Democrats appear to have a beachhead in this part of DuPage County.

 


 

Rep-111   (R) Mike Babcock vs. (D) Daniel Beiser (i)   (Map)

2016 RACE
D+ 5.2%
16 PRES 16 US SEN 16 COMP
R+ 16.26% D+ 10.96% D+ 0.94%
14 US SEN 14 GOV 14 AG 14 SOS 14 COMP 14 TREAS 14 GA
D+ 1.14% R+ 16.52% D+ 2.85% D+ 19.11% R+ 9.83% R+ 5.06% D+ 100%
12 PRES 12 GA
D+ 5.18% D+ 17%

This district is adjacent to the district that Katie Stuart picked up for the Democrats from Dwight Kay and those two districts combine to form the senate district held by Bill Haine who was surprisingly unopposed this cycle. The Republicans put a surprising amount of money in this race, perhaps for good reason, Rauner won it by 17, Topinka by 10, Cross by 5 and this cycle Trump won it by 16. Despite all of that Dan Beiser won a rather comfortable 5 point race while Duckworth won by 11 and Mendoza narrowly edged Munger by a point. This looks like one of those areas where Trump was a strength but he didn’t have much coattails, we’ll see what happens in this district in 2018.

 


 

Rep-62   (R) Rod Drobinski vs. (D) Sam Yingling (i)   (Map)

2016 RACE
D+ 4.8%
16 PRES 16 US SEN 16 COMP
D+ 16.23% D+ 8.89% R+ 2.44%
14 US SEN 14 GOV 14 AG 14 SOS 14 COMP 14 TREAS 14 GA
D+ 0.79% R+ 15.94% D+ 16.75% D+ 29.9% R+ 11.98% R+ 11.23% D+ 4.2%
12 PRES 12 GA
D+ 11.18% D+ 10.6%

Despite all of the heavy spending in this race the final margin wasn’t much different from two years ago when these two candidates faced off, 4.8 points this year vs. 4.2 points in 2014. Two years ago Yingling won despite a strong showing from the Republicans, Rauner won it by 16, Topinka by 12 and Cross by 11 but in presidential election years the Democrats have done well here, Obama won it by 12, Clinton by 16 and Duckworth by 9. Munger did manage to win it by 2 and it seems likely that the Republicans will be back again in 2018 for another try.

 

2014 GE Precinct-Level Election Data

Published on

As I mentioned before starting with the 2014 General Election the Illinois State Board of Elections has made precinct-level vote totals available for all races. The State Board offers flat files in csv format for each of the state’s election authorities. I have assembled that data, formatted it and created some interesting tools.

First, to find this new data click on “ANALYSIS” and then “Precinct Level Election Results“. Here is a rundown of what is available:

  • Download Raw/Formatted Data – Click here to download 1) all of the raw data aggregated from the State Board of Elections (flat file); 2) a statewide csv file of all races formatted for use (flat file); and 3) a sample Microsoft Access database that uses the full statewide formatted file plus has some query examples that demonstrate how the data can be used.
  • View Race by Precinct – Click here to select a race and view the election results by precinct. Every race except for the statwides can be viewed by precinct, the statewide races are too large to load on the screen. Instead there is an option to download each of the statwide races that can be opened in any spreadsheet program.
  • View Race by County – Click here to select a race and view the election results by county. This code aggregates the precinct-level database into county by county results. If you are concerned that there is an error in the precinct-level database file you can use this tool to view the county by county totals and compare them to the certified election results and check for discrepancies.
  • View Statewide Race by Districts (Simple Method) – Click here to select a statewide race and view the election results by districts (congressional, state senate or state rep). This process uses the simple method, which has to do with instances where more than one district are represented in a precinct. Using the simple method the entire precinct data is used for any precinct that is in part or in whole in each district. More complicated methods may be available in the future.

Also if you want to see Statewide Race by Districts in table format we have that too:

The statewide file is large, it’s about 1.8 million records so some pages may take a few seconds to load. Also, when looking at statewide races by district (congressional, state senate, state rep) currently the only method available is the Simple Method which includes any precinct that is in whole or in part in the district. I hope to be able to add a more complex apportionment method where precincts that include more than one district have those votes apportioned to one district or another. For reasons I won’t get into you can’t guarantee that one method is more accurate than the other but the apportionment method is generally favored. If you’d like to develop your own methodology for evaluating the data I have made the raw and formatted data available for easy download so you can use it as you wish. In the meantime I wanted to publish what I had here so I could move on to finishing up the maps and then get the 2014 monthly campaign budgets done later this month.

Feel free to contact me with any questions at Scott.Kennedy (at) illinoiselectiondata.com or on Twitter at @ILElectionData.

Enjoy.

Updated Data: Campaign Budget Reports

Published on

A little late but as promised I have updated the BUDGETS section. I had previously made available monthly fundraising and spending budgets (along with monthly payroll and weekly media buys) for about 12 competitive Illinois congressional races in the last few cycles. I had promised to update that report library with the 6 competitive congressional races from the 2012 cycle as well as go back and create the same reports for statewide races.

In order to produce these reports I downloaded the transaction data from the electronically filed reports of the candidates and then went through them line by line and assigned them to their proper budget section. Now not only are the latest congressional races included but I included every major party candidate for constitutional office (Gov, Lt. Gov, AG, SOS, Comptroller and Treasurer) from the 2010, 2006 and 2002 cycles (roughly 75 candidates). Further I created some quick glance tables in case you just want to look at the overall total raised/spent, and I put the entire database of transactions online. If you want to query all of the individual transactions I used to create these reports you can now copy that data for your own files and use it to build your own custom reports.

Even if you consider yourself a political junkie you may not find this part of the site particularly useful. It is really most helpful for campaign staffers who have to manage their campaign budget, usually just a campaign manager and/or an operations director. But for the candidates and staffers responsible for creating a campaign budget and managing the campaign’s spending decisions this data is almost invaluable and will save you hours while trying to figure out how other past campaigns have managed the same challenges.

The data includes three types of reports, 1) monthly campaign budgets; 2) monthly payroll budgets and 3) weekly general election paid media (mostly/usually television). There are a number of reasons this information can be useful. If you are running your campaign well you are going to try to keep your payroll and operating costs to a bare minimum, but it is helpful to know just how low you can reasonably keep those operating expenses and it’s valuable to see when other campaigns started hiring employees and/or incurring expenses.

Another issue that financial planners struggle with is figuring out how much your campaign will be able to spend on paid media and when to start spending. It’s helpful to see when other comparable races started their paid communication and it’s very helpful to see how comparable campaigns did in their fundraising in the final weeks/months of the campaign. You will almost certainly start spending your paid media budget before knowing how much money will still come in during the remainder of the campaign. You will have to make some estimates/predictions and you are going to want to base those estimates on comparable data if possible.

Campaign Raised/Spent Quick Glance

Here you will find quick glance tables listing the amount raised and spent during the election cycle for every statewide campaign and the key congressional races in my database.

Campaign Budget Reports

Here you will find monthly campaign budget reports, monthly payroll reports and weekly (fall) media buy reports for every statewide campaign and key recent congressional campaigns.

Campaign Budget Database

You may be curious about the individual transactions that were aggregated to assemble these campaign budget reports. Here you can query the database of individual transactions I used to build these reports including the various data fields I appended when I went through these transactions line by line. Every bit of data I have is available here. With this data you can build your own custom reports to suit your needs.

Like any other data set this one has limitations and caveats so if you’re planning to study this highly specialized data it’s probably worth your time to be aware of the additional information provided in the FAQ.

Updated Data: 2012 Targeted IL Congressionals

Published on

As promised I have the updated quick glance and scorecards for the 6 targeted congressional districts in Illinois with the exception of some of the data in IL-17. The Peoria and Tazewell county clerks have not yet published their precinct-level election returns for 2012GE so I haven’t yet been able to pull the Presidential race and turnout info for that district, I’ll update everything once that data is available. Since everything else was ready I saw no need to delay publishing this. As always, you can find this data in the VOTE ANALYSIS section.

Take a look at the table below. The first three column in the table show the Dem Perf/Rep Perf/Diff for the congressional race and then the last three columns show the Dem Perf/Rep Perf/Diff for the Presidential race:

Cong D Cong R Diff   Obama Romney Diff
IL-08 54.74% 45.26% D +09.48   57.35% 40.97% D +16.38
IL-10 50.63% 49.37% D +01.25   57.47% 41.19% D +16.28
IL-11 58.39% 41.31% D +17.08   57.32% 40.95% D +16.37
IL-12 51.65% 42.74% D +08.91   49.62% 48.17% D +01.44
IL-13 46.21% 46.55% R +00.34   48.26% 49.19% R +00.93
IL-17 53.28% 46.72% D +06.55   N/A N/A N/A

A few things jump out at me:

  • In IL-08 Obama did about two and a half points better than Duckworth while Walsh did more than 4 points better than Romney. As you can see from the Obama statewide numbers he may have done poorly downstate but he was surprisingly strong in the collar counties.
  • In IL-10 Obama was almost 7 points better than Schneider and Dold was more than 8 points better than Romney. As previously noted Obama ran well in the suburbs but it’s also hard not to conclude that Dold just ran very well as a Republican in a Democrat-friendly district.
  • In IL-11 there was little difference between the congressional race and the presidential race, Foster ran about a point stronger than Obama while Biggert was about four tenths of a point stronger than Romney. The two races basically mirrored each other so it doesn’t appear any of the four candidates enjoyed a local advantage.
  • I previously noted that Obama ran much poorer than Democratic State Senate candidates in downstate districts, particularly in the southern half of the state so it’s no surprise that in IL-12 Enyart was 2 points stronger than Obama, however it is somewhat a surprise that Plummer ran about five and a half points worse than Romney. While Enyart didn’t get into the race until well after the primary when the Democratic nominee withdrew Plummer was the early choice of the local party faithful, was independently wealthy and came from a family with strong business ties to the area so he was expected to be a strong contender for this seat but for whatever reason he didn’t perform up to expectations. Plummer lost his race by almost 9 points in a district Obama only won by about a point and a half. Maybe it wasn’t winnable for Plummer if Romney couldn’t best Obama who struggled downstate but I’m still surprised this wasn’t closer.
  • IL-13 was the closest of the targeted races for both the congressional race and the presidential race. Most notable about this race was that independent 3rd party candidate John Hartman from Edwardsville took 7.24% of the vote in a race where Republican Rodney Davis edged Democrat David Gill by 0.34% overall. The presidential race wasn’t much different, Romney edged Obama by just under a point. This was the most Republican leaning of the 6 targeted congressional districts so it’s no surprise that this was the district where the Republicans performed the best.
  • I noted previously that Obama ran particularly well in the Quad Cities media market where some of the northwestern Illinois counties were exposed to the same advertising that voters in eastern Iowa saw. I don’t yet have districtwide totals for the presidential race because two election authorities don’t yet have their precinct-level vote totals published but if you look at the counties that we do have data for you’ll notice that it appears that Obama ran much stronger than Bustos did, and Bustos won her race by six and half points. This strong showing at the top of the ticket helps explain why Democratic State Senator Mike Jacobs was able to win reelection by almost 10 points in the 36th senate district despite pre-election polls that showed him far behind.

For quick comparison by district to past races here’s the Quick Glance:

IL-08 IL-10 IL-11 IL-12 IL-13 IL-17 Statewide
12CONG D +09.48 D +01.25 D +17.08 D +08.91 R +00.34 D +06.55  
12PRES D +16.38 D +16.28 D +16.37 D +01.44 R +00.93   D +16.87
10SEN R +11.33 R +12.79 R +06.28 R +08.52 R +18.72 R +14.84 R +01.59
10GOV R +07.64 R +00.93 R +03.96 R +06.08 R +19.99 R +14.59 D +00.69
10AG D +27.10 D +30.96 D +29.26 D +19.73 D +18.25 D +22.90 D +33.07
10SOS D +39.33 D +41.61 D +41.56 D +27.14 D +28.91 D +33.39 D +42.85
10COMP R +26.34 R +21.08 R +18.49 R +10.04 R +24.79 R +16.74 R +11.74
10TREAS R +19.11 R +13.19 R +12.39 R +04.70 R +19.97 R +09.76 R +04.42
08PRES D +21.18 D +25.57 D +21.32 D +10.99 D +09.31 D +19.37 D +25.14
08SEN D +34.08 D +37.08 D +33.53 D +30.06 D +29.97 D +35.27 D +39.31
06GOV   D +08.28   D +14.74   D +08.31 D +10.55
06AG   D +51.06   D +33.62   D +32.84 D +48.20
06SOS   D +32.87   D +24.01   D +24.23 D +29.79
06COMP   D +30.45   D +27.21   D +27.33 D +32.76
06TREAS   D +09.18   D +11.67   D +10.53 D +12.70
04PRES       D +02.57   D +06.20 D +10.34
04SEN       D +33.15   D +38.42 D +42.92

And as always you can find the full scorecards for each district by clicking on VOTE ANALYSIS on the top toolbar and then scrolling down to “Congressional District Analysis” or just follow this direct link.

If you find an error or you think something might be wrong let me know. In order to compile this data I have to aggregate data from many different sources and then try and format it so that it all fits together. There’s a lot of copying and pasting involved and even though I check and doublecheck for mistakes they’re still pretty easy to make.

2012 IL Election Analysis

Published on

Here are some thoughts on the data that stood out after looking at the various data points from the 2012 election in Illinois, in no particular order:

  • Illinois was not a contested state so it would certainly have been different in some ways if the two candidates had contested the election here. It’s impossible to tell in what way it would have changed though.
  • Of the 9 contested swing states two of them bordered Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa, none of the Wisconsin media markets bleed into Illinois though. However the Quad Cities media market covers both Illinois and Iowa and Obama performed very strongly in the Illinois counties in this media market relative to the rest of the state. He took 55.43% in the Quad Cities media market. Just glancing at the county totals map it becomes apparent that there must be some local geographic democratic performance explanation for the counties closest to the Quad Cities as there is a cluster of counties with strong Obama performance that is unmatched anywhere else in the state. Obama got over 60% in Rock Island county, over 55% in Whiteside, Knox and Henderson, had over 50% in Henry, Mercer and Warren and even won Carroll and JoDaviess with narrow pluaralities. The only two counties Romney won in the media market were Stark county by a very significant margin and Bureau county by less than two tenths of a point. Perhaps Obama was carried on the coattails of the contested congressional race in this area but since Bustos lost many of these counties that Obama won the more likely explanation is that Obama performed well in the areas that were heavily exposed to both campaigns’ TV ads.
  • As for the rest of downstate Obama’s county wins were mostly limited to counties with large college towns like Dekalb (Northern Illinois University), Champaign (U of I), Peoria (Bradley), and Jackson (SIU). He also won St. Clair and Alexander, two counties that were won by both Quinn and Giannoulias in 2010 a year in which the Democrats did historically poor in 2010, plus Winnebago and Fulton with majorities.
  • The 2012 election in Illinois would be largely unremarkable compared to 2008 but for the fact that in between those two elections was the Republican landslide year of 2010, a year in which much of the state behaved in ways not seen since 1994. Since 1990 the worst performing Democratic candidate downstate was Dawn Clark Netsch’s 28% in her gubernatorial run in 1994 (the last Republican landslide year) but that was not at all a competitive election, she lost by 30 points statewide (64-34). A typical democratic performance in the downstate 96 counties for a Democrat in a competitive election is somewhere in the mid 40s, this was true for Obama 2012 (45%), Giannoulias 2006 (45%), Kerry 2004 (45%), Blagojevich 2002 (46%), Madigan 2002 (46%) and Gore 2000 (46%). Even native downstaters in competitive elections Poshard in 1998 (49%) and Durbin in 1996 (50%) performed only slightly better. The low point in a competitive election prior to 2010 for an actual competitive election was for Carol Mosely-Braun in 1998 (37%), a race she only lost by 3 points statewide. Despite all of Braun’s troubles in her 1998 campaign she still outperformed Quinn’s narrow 2010 victory and Giannoulias’ narrow 2010 loss downstate, they both only took 34% downstate. So after the historic drubbing the Democrats received in 2010 and the much discussed problems Obama had with white voters, rural voters and especially rural whites it was quite noticeable to see the President’s democratic performance in the downstate 96 counties return to typical levels.
  • It was a strong year for Democrats locally and nationally so much of the analysis is disproportionately tilted toward the Democrats but it wasn’t all good, at least not for Obama. The Illinois Senate Dems won a historic supermajority of 40 seats (30 is a majority, 36 is a supermajority) including several key targeted downstate races where Obama performed much more poorly than the local State Senate candidate. (you can see maps of these districts here) In central Illinois Andy Manar won the hotly contested 48th State Senate district by more than 10 points but Obama didn’t win any of the counties in this district. In western Illinois John Sullivan won re-election in the 47th State Senate district by 12 points and the only counties that Obama won in this district were in the vote-light portion in the northern part of the district. In deep southern Illinois perennial target Gary Forby won the southernmost 59th State Senate District by 18 points despite the fact that Obama only won Alexander and Jackson (partial) counties. In the Metro East Bill Haine won his targeted re-election race in the 56th State Senate district by 18 points despite the fact that the President had a narrow loss in Madison county. In fact every countywide election in Madison County was won by the Democratic candidate despite the fact that the President had a narrow loss in the county.
  • In the Gubernatorial blowout year of 1994 when Republican Jim Edgar beat Democrat Dawn Clark Netsch by 30 points Netsch only won one county, Gallatin County, in deep southern Illinois. In 2012 Romney won Gallatin county by 18 points.
  • Obama once again won the 5 traditional collar counties collectively, winning all but McHenry county outright. Democrats in competitive elections have performed better in the collar counties in Presidential election years than off years. In Presidential election years Obama 2012 (51%), Obama 2008 (56%), Kerry 2004 (45%), Gore 2000 (44%) and Durbin 1996 (45%) were much stronger than off-year elections like Quinn 2010 (39%), Giannoulias 2010 (38%), Blagojevich 2006 (42%), Giannoulias 2006 (46%), Blagojevich 2002 (39%), Madigan 2002 (36%), Poshard 1998 (32%), Mosely-Braun 1998 (36%), and Hartigan 1990 (36%).
  • Not only are Democrats showing strength in the collar counties, once the GOP stronghold, but the vote share coming from the collar counties is increasing as well. As recently as 1998 the vote share among the regions was the easy to remember 20/20/20/40, meaning 20% of the statewide vote came from the City of Chicago, 20% from the Cook County suburbs, 20% from the 5 traditional collar counties and 40% from the downstate 96 counties. However that balance of power has shifted towards an increasing vote share coming from the collar counties at the expense of downstate. Now it’s almost 25% of the statewide vote coming from the 5 collar counties while both the city of Chicago and the Cook County suburbs are responsible for about 19% each and the remaining 37% coming from the downstate 96 counties. So not only are the collar counties trending more Democratic but they are also responsible for an increasing amount of the overall vote statewide.
  • The Democrats had been making inroads into both Will and Lake counties for some time but that momentum came to an abrupt halt in 2010. For example in 2006 Democrats Blagojevich (GOV) and Giannoulias (TREAS) won narrow pluralities in both Lake and Will counties in their competitive elections. However in 2010 Lake County was a strong performer for area native Mark Kirk and Will County had a particularly well organized Tea Party faction. Yet in 2012 Obama carried both Lake (53%) and Will (52%), clear victories in both cases.
  • Despite all the attention given to voter enthusiasm (or lack thereof) among various political parties, subgroups of voters or the electorate as a whole the actual turnout was pretty much consistent with past turnout. In Illinois a typical presidential year election gets turnout around 70% and in an off-year election the turnout is in the ballpark of 50%. In the past three presidential election years the statewide turnout was 2012 (70.2%), 2008 (71.6%) and 2004 (71.3%) and in the last three off years it was 2010 (50.5%), 2006 (48.7%) and 2002 (51.9%). For all the hype surrounding this enthusiastic electorate in 2008 it turns out the 2008 turnout was only .3% higher than 2004 in Illinois and the falloff to 2012 was 1.4%, a drop but not much. Almost all of that drop-off came from the Cook County suburbs and the collar counties, Chicago turnout was actually up a bit while downstate turnout remained flat.
  • The 2012 election featured a notable discussion on wealth and how tax policy affects the various economic classes in the country. Additionally the preceding four years included a number of policy initiatives from the Obama White House geared toward reform of financial investing and the Republican nominee was well known for his successful private equity firm and abundant wealth. It was therefore interesting to look at the Obama performance in the wealthy north shore, specifically New Trier township in Cook County notable for its wealthy communities but also its historically competitive Democratic performance. Obama’s 2012 performance in New Trier was 54%, down from a notable high of 63% in 2008 but still rather favorable when viewed against historical Democratic performance in past competitive elections such as Quinn 2010 (47%), Blagojevich 2006 (42%), Giannoulias 2006 (47%), Kerry 2004 (56%), Blagojevich 2002 (47%), Madigan 2002 (48%), Gore 2000 (52%), Poshard 1998 (30%), Mosely Braun 1998 (49%), Durbin 1996 (60%) and Hartigan 1990 (32%). Obama lost 9 points in this highly affluent area between 2008 and 2012 but even with that performance degradation his 2012 performance in New Trier township still put him among the top tier of past statewide candidates in competitive elections in the township.
  • In the City of Chicago the affluent communities are downtown in wards like 42 and 43. County and township boundaries don’t change but ward boundaries are redrawn after each census and the most recent boundary change just happened so comparing this year’s ward totals to historical performance isn’t exactly apples to apples but it’s notable that both wards 42 & 43 saw about a 9 point drop in Obama’s performance from 2008 to 2012, mirroring that of New Trier township. However even with that performance drop Obama was still over 60% in both wards. In fact there was only one ward in the city that held Obama under 60% and that was the far northwest side 41st ward which has long been the Republican party’s most favorable ward, but even there he won 53-45. In the City of Chicago overall Obama dropped about 1.5% from 2008 to 2012 but he still took 84% in the City and turnout in Chicago was up whereas it was down everywhere else. When a Democrat takes 84% in the City and turnout is up in the City relative to other parts of the state it’s usually a very strong sign that the Democrat is going to perform well.
  • I’ll have more on the 6 contested congressional races once I finish tabulating the scorecards for those districts but for now you can view the district boundaries here and here are the official results for IL-08: (Duckworth (D) 55% – Walsh (R) 45%), IL-10: (Schneider (D) 51% – DOld (R) 49%), IL-11: (Foster (D) 59% – Biggert (R) 41%), IL-12: (Enyart (D) 52% – Plummer (R) 43%), IL-13: (Davis (R) 46.6% – Gill (D) 46.2%) and IL-17: (Bustos (D) 53% – Schilling (R) 47%).

Data: IL-02 Special Election

Published on

Now that Congressman Jackson has resigned his congressional seat it’s up to Governor Quinn to call for a special election to replace the congressman, and one plausible scenario would have the special primary in late February with the special general in early April.

The special election will almost certainly be decided during the special primary as the district leans so overwhelmingly Democratic that it is very unlikely that the Democratic nominee would lose the general election. Even the much maligned Jesse Jackson Jr. won re-election in this district with 63% of the vote in 2012 in a year where he was surrounded by a media firestorm and was too ill to campaign in any meaningful way, so it’s difficult to envision a plausible scenario where this district is won by anyone other than a Democrat.

The district is geographically large, at least for a Chicago based district, encompassing some of the south side of Chicago, the southeastern part of Cook County, the eastern part of Will County and all of Kankakee County. However the population density of the Democratic Primary electorate leans heavily towards the Cook County portion of the district. Here is the distribution of Democratic Primary voters from 2012, I’ve separated Cook County into Chicago and Cook Suburbs even though they are both within Cook County:

County/Area Total % of Total
Chicago 26074 33.10%
Cook Burbs 43794 55.59%
Kankakee 4420 5.61%
Will 4493 5.70%
  78781 100.00%

As you can see about a third of the Democratic Primary vote came from Chicago, about 55% from the Cook County suburbs and then only a little less than 6% from each of Will and Kankakee counties. Here’s the same data but broken out by ward/township (I didn’t bother breaking out the data for Kankakee since the total is so small):

County Township Total % of Total
Cook/Chicago Ward 5 3764 4.78%
Cook/Chicago Ward 7 7422 9.42%
Cook/Chicago Ward 8 2777 3.52%
Cook/Chicago Ward 9 6582 8.35%
Cook/Chicago Ward 10 3477 4.41%
Cook/Chicago Ward 34 2052 2.60%
Cook Bloom 8,779 11.14%
Cook Bremen 3,954 5.02%
Cook Calumet 158 0.20%
Cook Rich 11,187 14.20%
Cook Thornton 19,716 25.03%
Kankakee All 4420 5.61%
Will Crete 2014 2.56%
Will Monee 1529 1.94%
Will Peotone 273 0.35%
Will Washington 463 0.59%
Will Will 127 0.16%
Will Wilton 87 0.11%
    78781 100.00%

Vote rich townships like Thornton, Rich and Bloom along with Wards 7 & 9 stand out as possible areas of candidate vote strength. However all of this data is based on the primary electorate in 2012 which featured a reasonably high profile race between incumbent Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. and former Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson. It is very much uncertain what voters may turn out for a special primary election this winter and predicting what that electorate will look like and who will turn out will be a difficult challenge. That challenge makes polling difficult and also direct mail potentially inefficient and unnecessarily expensive for those who get it wrong. It’s likely that the candidate that emerges successful will have an experienced team who were able to accurately capture the likely electorate.

There are a great many rumored candidates, see below for a partial list. Here’s a very handy tool I’ve developed that will allow you to see not only the 2nd Congressional District boundaries in great detail but also the boundaries (past and present) for the districts many of these candidates have represented or run in before. As you can see some candidates only partially shared voters with the voters of IL-02 while others have represented large portions of this district and would benefit from a built in name ID among voters. Here’s a partial list of potential candidates, see this piece from the Sun-Times’ Mark Brown for more opinionated and in depth analysis:

  • Sandi Jackson – wife of the current congressman and both Alderman and Committeeman of the 7th Ward.
  • Debbie Halvorson – was elected congresswoman of IL-11 in 2008 and then lost re-election in the general election of 2010, also ran unsuccessfully in the Democratic Primary for IL-02 in 2012. Prior to running for Congress she was the State Senator from the 40th Senate District.
  • Robin Kelly – was the Democratic nominee for State Treasurer in 2010 but lost in the general election. She was Chief of Staff to Treasurer Giannoulias during his term and prior to that was the State Representative for the 38th District. She currently works as the COO for Cook County under Toni Preckwinkle. (full disclosure: I formerly worked for Kelly)
  • David Miller – was the Democratic nominee for State Comptroller in 2010 but lost in the general election. Prior to that he was the State Representative of the 29th District.
  • Todd Stroger – was elected Cook County Board President in 2006 but lost re-election to Toni Preckwinkle in 2010. Prior to that he was the 8th ward Alderman and had been State Representative of the 31st District.
  • Darcel Beavers – rival to Sandi Jackson, she ran against Jackson unsuccessfully for Alderman of the 7th Ward in 2007 and 2011.
  • Anthony Beale – current Alderman and Committeeman of the 9th Ward.
  • Donne Trotter – longtime member of the State Senate currently representing the 17th District and having represented the 16th District in the 90’s prior to redistricting. He also ran unsuccessfully for IL-01 in 2000 against Bobby Rush and Barack Obama.
  • Toi Hutchinson – current State Senator of the 40th District, she succeeded Debbie Halvorson in that role when Halvorson left to run for Congress.
  • Will Burns – current Alderman of the 4th Ward and former State Representative for the 26th District.
  • Napoleon Harris – recently elected to his first term as State Senator from the 15th District.
  • Mel Reynolds – was formerly the Congressman in IL-01 in the mid-1990s and resigned his seat after a criminal conviction.
  • Robert Shaw – He and twin brother Bill were once rivals of Jackson. He is a former 9th Ward Alderman and former Cook County Board of Review Commissioner. He also ran unsuccessfully for State Representative from the 29th District and for Village President of South Holland.
  • Sam Adam Jr. – high profile attorney who defended both R. Kelly and former Governor Rod Blagojevich.
  • Scott Smith – because #WhyNotScott2012

All of this district lies within the Chicago media market so it seems that broadcast television advertising for this race will probably be prohibitively expensive unless some candidate(s) really excel at fundraising. The more plausible scenario is that the most flush candidates could end up on cable television. Here’s the Comcast coverage map for their regional cable markets in the Chicagoland area. Unfortunately their map is rather small and difficult to read but you can see that a candidate in this district would only need to buy just a few regions.

Scorecards for IL-08, IL-10, IL-11, IL-12, IL-13 & IL-17

Published on

I’ve completed the analysis for the 6 new targeted congressional districts in Illinois by going through them precinct by precinct and comparing the performance of past statewide candidates, plus turnout and vote share. Not long after I started this I really wished I hadn’t, this took forever but it’s pretty interesting data now that it’s done.

You can get to this data in the future by going through the VOTE ANALYSIS toolbar at the top. Or you can go to the individual pages directly:

Quick Glance

Here’s a quick glance comparison of the difference between the Democratic/Republican candidate by past statewide contest for each district:

IL-08 IL-10 IL-11 IL-12 IL-13 IL-17 Statewide
10SEN R +11.26 R +12.98 R +06.64 R +08.52 R +18.72 R +15.38 R +01.59
10GOV R +07.60 R +01.16 R +04.31 R +06.08 R +19.99 R +14.59 D +00.69
10AG D +27.18 D +30.74 D +29.01 D +19.73 D +18.25 D +22.90 D +33.07
10SOS D +39.38 D +41.42 D +41.35 D +27.14 D +28.91 D +33.39 D +42.85
10COMP R +26.29 R +21.21 R +18.81 R +10.04 R +24.79 R +16.74 R +11.74
10TREAS R +19.05 R +13.39 R +12.74 R +04.70 R +19.97 R +09.76 R +04.42
08PRES D +14.69 D +25.40 D +21.01 D +10.99 D +09.31 D +19.37 D +25.14
08SEN D +34.13 D +36.89 D +33.34 D +30.06 D +29.97 D +35.27 D +39.31
06GOV   D +08.14   D +14.74   D +08.31 D +10.55
06AG   D +50.95   D +33.62   D +32.84 D +48.20
06SOS   D +32.73   D +24.01   D +24.23 D +29.79
06COMP   D +30.28   D +27.21   D +27.33 D +32.76
06TREAS   D +09.03   D +11.67   D +10.53 D +12.70
04PRES       D +02.57   D +06.20 D +10.34
04SEN       D +33.15   D +38.42 D +42.92

Unless something drastically changes I’m probably not going to be in front of a computer crunching numbers on election night, but for any of you preparing a master spreadsheet for a boiler room on any of these races you should have enough here to put together a good system.