2016 Cycle: $134 Million Spent on State Legislative Races, Plus Another $39 Million Could Have Been

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The 2016 cycle will be remembered for the most expensive state legislative races in our state’s history … so far. In all $134 million was spent on races for the Illinois General Assembly and another $39 million remained in the campaign accounts of the the winners, their challengers and legislative leaders. These eye-popping totals do not even include the $50 million Governor Rauner recently added to his campaign account or the $10.4 million that federal superpac Leading Illinois For Tomorrow (LIFT) spent on anti-Trump ads that also tried to tie Trump to Rauner or the $11 million spent in the Comptroller’s race. It also doesn’t include the more than $2 million that the Governor’s IE, Turnaround Illinois, spent on ads promoting term limits.

Not only was there a massive influx of money this cycle but also significant amounts of money were moved around within the system making it hard to keep track of all the money without double counting it. Throughout the cycle we were tracking money raised to try to keep track of how much could be spent. Now that the cycle is over we have switched gears tracking money spent (plus in-kinds which is also spending) which makes it easier to eliminate double counting. See below for an explanation on the methodology.

 

Legislative Spending Totals

Here are the traditional spending totals for the General Assembly, this does not include transfers out but it does include in-kinds.

Spending and In-Kinds 1/1/15 to 3/31/16 4/1/16 to 12/31/16 Total
Senate Democrats on the Ballot $3,821,809.35 $16,657,087.82 $20,478,897.17
Senate Democrats Lost Primary $666,833.59 $12,679.03 $679,512.62
Senate Democrats Not on the Ballot $1,821,571.22 $1,238,002.10 $3,059,573.32
Senate Republicans on the Ballot $2,164,004.26 $10,567,669.76 $12,731,674.02
Senate Republicans Lost Primary $481,869.06 $23,966.43 $505,835.49
Senate Republicans Not on the Ballot $356,638.27 $215,149.77 $571,788.04
House Democrats $11,643,285.77 $26,966,853.71 $38,610,139.48
House Democrats Lost Primary $2,769,853.00 $61,396.66 $2,831,249.66
House Republicans $3,232,609.76 $29,153,040.89 $32,385,650.65
House Republicans Lost Primary $1,111,305.92 $72,799.22 $1,184,105.14
Total $28,069,780.20 $84,968,645.39 $113,038,425.59

$75 million of that total was spent in the House compared to just $38 million in the Senate. Democrats actually spent more than the Republicans, $66 million to $47 million, led by the Senate Democrats who outspent their Republican counterparts $24 million to $14 million. In the House the Democrats outspent the Republicans $41 million to $34 million but much of that was due to the primary, in the general election the Republicans actually outspent the House Democrats $29 million to $27 million.

And here are the independent expenditure totals for the same period.

 
Total IE Spending 1/1/15 to 3/31/16 4/1/16 to 12/31/16 Total
Independent Expenditure Spending $11,129,206.51 $9,671,956.91 $20,801,163.42

Taken together that is $134 million that was spent on state legislative races in the 2016 cycle.

 

Available Funds Left Unspent

In addition to that total there was money left over, here are the combined cash on hand totals for all of the legislative candidates as of 12/31/2016.

Candidate Committee Totals 12/31/16 COH
Senate Democrats $8,279,494.66
Senate Republicans $3,066,880.35
House Democrats $16,491,552.44
House Republicans $3,186,498.16
Total $31,024,425.61

And here are the remaining fund balances for the leadership committees.

Leadership Funds 12/31/16 COH
Democratic Party of Illinois $2,856,471.32
Democratic Majority $1,064,490.82
13th Ward Democratic Org $806,853.09
Senate Democratic Victory Fund $446,650.14
Committee to Support John Cullerton for State Central Committeeman $0.00
Illinois Republican Party $217,206.30
House Republican Organization $15,047.71
House Republican Leadership Committee $56,637.83
Republican State Senate Campaign Committee $185,031.76
Total $5,648,388.97

In addition to the totals above 114th House District Republican candidate Bob Romanik has not yet filed his 12/31/16 quarterly report, as of 9/30 he had $2 million on hand. Taken together there is still another $39 million left in campaign accounts that could have been spent this cycle and will likely be used as a head start for next cycle.

 

Comptroller’s Race

2016 Comptroller’s Race Total Spend and In-Kind
Susana Mendoza $3,908,050.85
Leslie Munger $7,103,305.94
Total $11,011,356.79

The Comptroller’s race cost $11 million. This total does not include the $3 million that Munger transferred to the party. Had she held on to that money and spent it on her own campaign this race could have even been more expensive.

 

Methodology

If you’d like to view the raw data that was used to calculate the above totals and/or you would like to perform your own analysis you can do so here.

The main problem with trying to figure out how much money was raised or spent on legislative races in a given cycle has to do with the potential for double counting money that was moved within the system. For example, the Governor started the cycle with $20 million in his account, all of which he moved to the Illinois Republican party. In turn they either spent some of that on legislative races as independent expenditures, spent some of that on legislative races which were reported as in-kind contributions to the campaigns or transferred it to the caucus leadership committees (HRO and the RSSCC). Those caucus committees either spent some of that on legislative races which were reported as in-kind contributions to the campaigns or made direct transfers to the candidate committees and then those candidate committees spent that money on their races. If you’re not careful you could end up counting that same $20 million four times as it moved through the system and come up with $80 million when in reality it’s just the same $20 million.

In order to eliminate double counting you can look at only the candidate committees of legislative candidates and only the spending line item (not transfers out) and the in-kind totals. Remember, even though our D-2’s list in-kinds in the contribution section they are actually both a contribution and an expenditure. Add these up for all of the legislative candidate committees and you have your spending total.

You may be asking, what about all the money that the Governor had, or the state parties had, or the legislative leader committees had? For all of that money one of three things happened: 1) that ultimately got transferred down the chain to a candidate committee and the candidate committee spent those funds on their own race and is reflected in the totals above, 2) those party/leadership committees spent that money on behalf of a candidate committee and reported it to that candidate committee as an in-kind and then was reflected in the totals above or 3) those party/leadership committee spent it as an independent expenditure on behalf of a candidate committee and that spending is reflected in the totals above in the IE line item.

Now that the cycle is over just looking at the spending side allows us a much simpler method to determine the total amount of money involved without having to worry about double counting all the transfers of money.

Analysis: Precinct-level Vote Totals Now Available

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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.

 

What to Watch For

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These links will have all my live data tonight:

Statewide Races
IL – President
IL – US Senate
IL – Comptroller
General Assembly Races
Illinois State Senate
Illinois State House
 

What to Watch For

 

Final Early and Vote By Mail Totals

Total Vote By Mail Applications: 493,333
Total VBM Ballots Returned: 352,428
Return Rate: 71%
Total Early Voters: 1,390,019
Total Grace Period Voters: 44,722
   
Total Already Voted: 1,787,169
Total VBM Ballots Outstanding: 140,905

With 140,905 outstanding vote by mail ballots any statewide race closer than that could still be affected by late arriving mail ballots. Also, keep in mind that the election authorities are no longer able to count the votes they already have, the early and mail votes, prior to the polls closing on election night. They used to get a head start counting those votes prior to 7pm, the Attorney General clarified that they cannot do that so in some of these jurisdictions those votes will get counted on election night along with the in-precinct votes and in others those votes will be counted tomorrow or in the following few days.

 

National

This seems like Trump’s most plausible path to 270, it involves winning all of Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, New Hampshire, Nevada, Arizona and Iowa, plus the available congressional districts in Maine and Nebraska. The eastern timezone states will probably tell us a lot early in the night.

If Trump is doing well he’ll be in a position to win in FL, OH, NC and NH and will be competitive in MI and PA. If Trump wins either of MI or PA a number of paths open up, otherwise he pretty much has to run the table in the swing states.

If Clinton is doing well she’ll be winning MI and PA and possibly NH. If she wins all three she probably wins (although she could substitute Nevada for New Hampshire later in the night too), if she wins any of FL, NC or OH it’s hard to find a path for Trump and she probably has it locked down.

 

US Senate – Illinois

The best benchmark for this race is Kirk’s last victory in 2010. That year was a strong Republican year while this year is not expected to be. Here are two things to keep an eye on.

Downstate – In 2010 the downstate 96 counties were especially strong for the Republicans. Kirk and Brady both got 59% of the vote. The Democrats rebounded in 2012, Romney only got about 53% of the vote there, but the Republicans came back strong in 2014 when Rauner took 61%. Can Kirk replicate the downstate Republican performance of 2010 and 2014 or will the Democrats improve as they did in 2012?

On the Democratic side there is some evidence to suggest that 2010 and 2014 were historically bad. In 2010 Quinn and Giannoulias both took 34% in the downstate 96 counties, same with Quinn in 2014. Even Carol Moseley-Braun took 37% in 1998 and Blagojevich got 40% in his 2006 re-elect, both were thought to be unpopular downstate. In 2004 Kerry took 45% and in 2000 Gore got 46%. The downstate 96 counties will probably make up about 38% of the total statewide vote so Duckworth doesn’t necessarily need to hit the high water marks here, she just has to be better than the atrocious Democratic years of 2010 and 2014.

Suburbs (especially the northern ones) – in 2010 Kirk won his race by about a point and a half and Brady lost to Quinn by about half a point. Most of the difference came in the Cook County suburbs and the collars and most of that difference came in the northern end. Kirk had represented the north shore in Congress and those voters rewarded him in his Senate race. Kirk did about three and a half points better than Brady in the 5 traditional collar counties combined but it was even more pronounced in Lake County where the difference was six and a half points (56.6% to 50.1%). He’s going to need to run just as strong in Lake County again to help his chances.

Tonight we won’t have the township by township results in Cook County (I don’t expect, they usually aren’t available until morning) but we will have the results in the Cook County suburbs overall. Six years ago Kirk ran four points better than Brady (43.5% to 39.5%), he’s going to need to do something similar to help his chances.

 

Comptroller

We haven’t had much polling in this race, at least not recently, so I don’t know what to make of this race. The external factors certainly favor the Democrats but the spending favored Munger. I’ll probably keep an eye on this race relative to the 2014 State Treasurer’s race where Frerichs just barely edged Cross.

The other thing to keep an eye on will be the totals by media market. Both candidates have been on TV but Munger has had more money to spend. It will be interesting to see if there were media markets where she was on TV and Mendoza wasn’t and if that shows up in the vote totals.

 

Housekeeping

I’m going to turn off the system that runs live totals for all of the General Assembly races, each time those pages load the server runs all the calculations to pull the live totals. I want to keep the demand on the server light tonight so you can find a static copy of those current totals HERE.

The Money Race for the State House (05/1/2016)

Published on

With the filing deadline passed for the 1st quarter 2016 campaign finance reports (D-2’s) I thought it would be interesting to update our post from last quarter on the state of the money race for the State House. Since we last looked at this data we had a primary election and now this look gives a much better idea of the state of the money race going into the general election. This data is as of 9pm on April 30th.

Here are the key figures: as of right now Democratic committees have an estimated cash available advantage of about $2.1 million ($35.6 million for the Dems, $33.5 million for the Republicans). Looking at spending the Dems have already spent $26 million so far this cycle, Republicans have already spent $18.2 million this cycle and Independent Expenditure committees (B-1’s) spent $11.2 million on legislative races during the primary. That’s a total of $55.4 million already spent. When you factor in the amounts of cash currently estimated available and add it to what’s already been spent it means that even if no additional money is raised and no new independent expenditures appear we’re likely to see $124.5 million spent on legislative races this cycle. Wow!

Let’s take a look at the data starting with the current estimated cash available, here is the current cash position of all the committees involved combining the 3/30 cash on hand, plus the 3/30 investment total plus any reported A-1 amounts so far this quarter.

Current Cash Position

Committee Q1 Cash on Hand Q1 Investments Q2 A-1s Est Funds Available
Democratic Party of Illinois $2,429,001.87 $0.00 $26,500.00 $2,455,501.87
Friends of Michael J. Madigan $1,372,783.15 $0.00 $30,275.00 $1,403,058.15
Democratic Majority $2,333,149.51 $0.00 $91,000.00 $2,424,149.51
13th Ward Democratic Org $1,245,449.07 $0.00 $0.00 $1,245,449.07
Citizens for John Cullerton for State Senate $1,482,635.98 $301,506.32 $0.00 $1,784,142.30
Senate Democratic Victory Fund $2,229,955.11 $405,301.22 $0.00 $2,635,256.33
Committee to Support John Cullerton for State Central Committeeman $769,358.93 $0.00 $0.00 $769,358.93
Dem Senators Not On Ballot This Cycle $3,502,698.50 $42.36 $3,500.00 $3,506,240.86
Dem Senate Candidates $4,994,097.14 $220,007.00 $70,868.24 $5,284,972.38
Dem House Candidates $12,769,369.04 $809,320.66 $482,918.70 $14,061,608.40
Total $33,128,498.30 $1,736,177.56 $705,061.94 $35,569,737.80
Committee Q1 Cash on Hand Q1 Investments Q2 A-1s Est Funds Available
Citizens for Rauner, Inc $20,311,643.80 $0.00 $0.00 $20,311,643.80
Turnaround Illinois $2,254,635.33 $0.00 $0.00 $2,254,635.33
Illinois Republican Party $651,799.75 $0.00 $16,100.00 $667,899.75
Citizens for Durkin $780,472.40 $0.00 $37,200.00 $817,672.40
House Republican Organization $303,042.08 $0.00 $39,500.00 $342,542.08
House Republican Leadership Committee $65,277.40 $0.00 $0.00 $65,277.40
Citizens for Christine Radogno $561,536.37 $0.00 $26,000.00 $587,536.37
Republican State Senate Campaign Committee $517,892.38 $0.00 $13,500.00 $531,392.38
Rep Senators Not On Ballot This Cycle $912,951.84 $0.00 $8,500.00 $921,451.84
Rep Senate Candidates $1,508,708.01 $45,300.00 $48,707.53 $1,602,715.54
Rep House Candidates $4,281,283.44 $0.00 $1,135,461.66 $5,416,745.10
Total $32,149,242.80 $45,300.00 $1,324,969.19 $33,519,511.99
Committee Q1 Cash on Hand Q1 Investments Q2 A-1s Est Funds Available
Democratic Primary Losing Candidates $340,235.14 $0.00 $1,000.00 $341,235.14
Republican Primary Losing Candidates $93,896.41 $0.00 $7,765.00 $101,661.41

Going into the fall general election the Democrats actually have a little more than a $2 million estimated cash available advantage, but as we have seen the Governor and his allies are able to commit additional funds in amounts that are virtually unprecedented in Illinois politics.

Now let’s look at the same info while adding in the amounts that have already been spent so far this cycle (including in-kinds as spending):

Cycle Spending Ability

Committee Already Spent Q1 Cash on Hand Q1 Investments Q2 A-1s Cycle Spending Ability
Democratic Party of Illinois $538,072.80 $2,429,001.87 $0.00 $26,500.00 $2,993,574.67
Friends of Michael J. Madigan $1,640,020.17 $1,372,783.15 $0.00 $30,275.00 $3,043,078.32
Democratic Majority $871,977.99 $2,333,149.51 $0.00 $91,000.00 $3,296,127.50
13th Ward Democratic Org $272,060.96 $1,245,449.07 $0.00 $0.00 $1,517,510.03
Citizens for John Cullerton for State Senate $688,272.67 $1,482,635.98 $301,506.32 $0.00 $2,472,414.97
Senate Democratic Victory Fund $1,536,150.63 $2,229,955.11 $405,301.22 $0.00 $4,171,406.96
Committee to Support John Cullerton for State Central Committeeman $85,590.57 $769,358.93 $0.00 $0.00 $854,949.50
Dem Senators Not On Ballot This Cycle $1,698,911.71 $3,502,698.50 $42.36 $3,500.00 $5,205,152.57
Dem Senate Candidates $4,208,546.60 $4,994,097.14 $220,007.00 $70,868.24 $9,493,518.98
Dem House Candidates $11,203,399.75 $12,769,369.04 $809,320.66 $482,918.70 $25,265,008.15
Total $22,743,003.85 $33,128,498.30 $1,736,177.56 $705,061.94 $58,312,741.65
Committee Already Spent Q1 Cash on Hand Q1 Investments Q2 A-1s Cycle Spending Ability
Citizens for Rauner, Inc $2,624,772.17 $20,311,643.80 $0.00 $0.00 $22,936,415.97
Turnaround Illinois $4,001,086.86 $2,254,635.33 $0.00 $0.00 $6,255,722.19
Illinois Republican Party $1,663,295.77 $651,799.75 $0.00 $16,100.00 $2,331,195.52
Citizens for Durkin $550,350.74 $780,472.40 $0.00 $37,200.00 $1,368,023.14
House Republican Organization $656,686.28 $303,042.08 $0.00 $39,500.00 $999,228.36
House Republican Leadership Committee $3,286.25 $65,277.40 $0.00 $0.00 $68,563.65
Citizens for Christine Radogno $168,490.63 $561,536.37 $0.00 $26,000.00 $756,027.00
Republican State Senate Campaign Committee $693,245.16 $517,892.38 $0.00 $13,500.00 $1,224,637.54
Rep Senators Not On Ballot This Cycle $565,648.77 $912,951.84 $0.00 $8,500.00 $1,487,100.61
Rep Senate Candidates $2,282,987.18 $1,508,708.01 $45,300.00 $48,707.53 $3,885,702.72
Rep House Candidates $3,357,574.75 $4,281,283.44 $0.00 $1,135,461.66 $8,774,319.85
Total $16,567,424.56 $32,149,242.80 $45,300.00 $1,324,969.19 $50,086,936.55
Committee Already Spent
Primary Independent Expenditure Spending (B-1’s) $11,168,207.97
Committee Already Spent Q1 Cash on Hand Q1 Investments Q2 A-1s Cycle Spending Ability
Democratic Primary Losing Candidates $3,337,775.14 $340,235.14 $0.00 $1,000.00 $3,679,010.28
Republican Primary Losing Candidates $1,606,159.06 $93,896.41 $0.00 $7,765.00 $1,707,820.47

Looking at the already spent figures (and including the losing primary candidates) the Democrats have already spent $26 million and the Republicans have already spent $18.2 million, plus another $11.2 million was spent by independent expenditure committees (B-1 filings) on legislative races for an already spent total of $55.4 million. When you factor in the amounts of cash currently estimated available and add it to what’s already been spent it means that even if no additional money is raised an no new independent expenditures appear we’re likely to see $124.5 million spent on legislative races this cycle. That’s unbelievable!

Finally, here are the other top 25 committees that have notable funds and could impact the fall elections if they so choose.

Name COH INV A-1 Est Funds Avail
Friends of Edward M Burke $2,160,076.64 $6,273,896.00 $5,500.00 $8,439,472.64
IllinoisGO IE $6,149,225.57 $0.00 $0.00 $6,149,225.57
Laborers’ Political League – Great Lakes Region $3,023,155.22 $0.00 $0.00 $3,023,155.22
Citizens for Lisa Madigan $2,173,498.62 $0.00 $0.00 $2,173,498.62
Illinois State Medical Society PAC $415,826.75 $1,251,596.00 $14,400.00 $1,681,822.75
Carpenters Helping in the Political Process (CHIPP) $1,612,141.33 $0.00 $0.00 $1,612,141.33
Laborers’ Political Action and Education League $1,443,781.99 $0.00 $0.00 $1,443,781.99
Chicagoland Operators Joint Labor-Management PAC $1,128,549.69 $0.00 $263,144.71 $1,391,694.40
Biss for Illinois $1,360,488.45 $0.00 $0.00 $1,360,488.45
The Burnham Committee $1,307,346.28 $0.00 $0.00 $1,307,346.28
Support Independent Maps $478,768.86 $0.00 $686,500.00 $1,165,268.86
Friends for Susana Mendoza $1,102,541.75 $0.00 $0.00 $1,102,541.75
Stand for Children IL PAC $1,070,877.79 $0.00 $22,600.00 $1,093,477.79
Citizens for Alderman Reilly $1,012,213.26 $0.00 $0.00 $1,012,213.26
REALTORS Political Action Committee $941,494.05 $0.00 $16,700.00 $958,194.05
Roofers’ Political Educational and Legislative Fund $185,753.65 $749,380.67 $0.00 $935,134.32
Dan Rutherford Campaign Committee $13,432.35 $844,463.00 $0.00 $857,895.35
Citizens for Judy Baar Topinka $840,769.03 $0.00 $0.00 $840,769.03
Committee to Elect Joseph Berrios Assessor $831,314.73 $0.00 $0.00 $831,314.73
Citizens for Giannoulias $779,479.42 $0.00 $0.00 $779,479.42
Friends of Suarez $14,708.65 $750,000.00 $0.00 $764,708.65
Cook County Democratic Party $741,225.55 $0.00 $5,000.00 $746,225.55
Illinois PAC for Education (IPACE) $741,903.61 $0.00 $0.00 $741,903.61
Finishing Trades of Chicago Corp PAC $688,727.48 $0.00 $0.00 $688,727.48
14th Ward Regular Democratic Org $669,790.30 $0.00 $0.00 $669,790.30
James Pate Philip Campaign Fund $736.10 $650,000.00 $0.00 $650,736.10

If you’d like to check my math or investigate and calculate further the data I used to create the tables above can be found here.

 

Note: these figures are our best estimates and include some double counting of funds, which cannot be avoided. For example not all funds listed in “Transfers In” come from political committees that are already registered with the State Board but for those that do these transfers aren’t new money coming into the system, they’re simply transfers from one fund to another. If those transfers are from funds that are involved in legislative elections to funds involved in legislative elections (such as when Governor Rauner transferred funds to the state party who then spent money to assist incumbents Bourne and Wojcicki-Jimenez) then we are double counting those funds. The same goes for in-kinds, not all in-kinds are double counted but when a committee that is involved in legislative elections provides and in-kind to another committee involved in legislative elections (such as when the Speaker’s leadership committee, Democratic Majority, spent money on mailings on behalf of incumbent House Dems who then reported those transactions as in-kind donations received) we’re just seeing the same numbers twice. The only way to control for this double counting would involve manually going through and coding tens of thousands of transactions to determine if each transaction a) involved two committees that were both registered with the State Board and b) both funds were involved with this cycle’s legislative elections. That’s just not a realistic option so we’re left with our best estimates above.

 

 

Weekly Roundup – February 19th, 2016

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I’ve been tweeting a lot of interesting updates from recent disclosures and I thought I’d do a weekly roundup to try to summarize the week’s interesting news and organize these developments into a format you can follow. Here is last week’s roundup.

Reminder:
  • A-1 reports are for contributions received by the committee of $1,000 or more.
  • B-1 reports are for independent expenditures made independent of the candidate (cannot be coordinated).
  • Regular expenditures (not independent expenditures) are not reported until the quarterly filings are due, next on 3/31.

What follows is not every development in each of these races, only the big and/or notable ones. For comprehensive coverage of all the campaign finance data subscribe to either or both of our Racing Forms, updated weekly. The Illinois Racing Form covers all the General Assembly races, the Cook County Racing Form covers all the county candidates, MWRD, judges and committeemen races.

 
5th House (D) – Ken Dunkin (i) vs. Juliana Stratton
 
22nd House (D) – Michael Madigan (i) vs. Jason Gonzales vs. Joe Barboza vs. Grasiela Rodriguez
  • On Saturday Illinois United for Change, the independent expenditure committee that has been supporting Jason Gonzales, added $10K to their IE committee.
  • On Wednesday Jason Gonzales added $9K, mostly from various CEOs.
  • Thursday Illinois United for Change, the independent expenditure committee that has been supporting Jason Gonzales added $100K, including $50K from Hull Investments.
  • Worth noting: the four funds controlled by Speaker Madigan have an estimated funds available of almost $9 million.
 
26th House (D) – Christian Mitchell (i) vs. Jay Travis
  • Last Friday right after reporting an A-1 for $27K from member dues the National Association of REALTORS Fund they then filed a B-1 for independent expenditures supporting Christian Mitchell for $27K for direct mail, phone calls and online ads.
  • On Sunday Jay Travis added $26K, including $25K from the IFT.
  • On Tuesday Jay Travis added $31K, including $25K from CTU.
  • On Tuesday Jay Travis reported an in-kind for $4K for a mailing from the 42nd Ward Democratic Organization.
  • Thursday Jay Travis informed the State Board that her Tuesday filing was in error and the contribution from CTU should have been for $12K instead of $25K.
 
66th House (R) – Paul Serwatka vs. Daniel Wilbrandt vs. Allen Skillicorn vs. Carolyn Schofield
 
72nd House (D) – Jeff Jacobs vs. Michael Halpin vs. Katelyn Hotle vs. Glen Evans
 
72nd House (R) – Brandi McGuire vs. Jordan Thoms
 
74th House (R) – Wayne Saline vs. Dan Swanson vs. Mike DeSutter
 
95th House (R) – Avery Bourne (i) vs. Dennis Scobbie vs. Christopher Hicks
  • On Tuesday the Illinois Republican Party filed a B-1 for $153K for TV ads supporting Avery Bourne.
  • On Tuesday the Illinois Republican Party filed a B-1 for $5K for telephone polling and ID supporting Avery Bourne.
 
99th House (R) – Sara Wojcicki Jimenez (i) vs. Kent Gray
  • On Tuesday the Illinois Republican Party filed a B-1 for $171K for TV ads supporting Sara Wojcicki Jimenez.
 
102nd House (R) – Brad Halbrook vs. Randy Peterson vs. Jim Acklin
 
110th House (R) – Reggie Phillips (i) vs. Jonathan Kaye
  • On Monday Liberty Principles PAC filed a B-1 for $7K for graphic design work supporting Reggie Phillips.
  • On Tuesday incumbent Reggie Phillips added $5K from the candidate committee of Leader Jim Durkin.
  • Thursday Liberty Principles PAC filed a B-1 for $11K for TV ads for Reggie Phillips.
 
5th Senate (D) – Patricia Van Pelt (i) vs. Bob Fioretti
  • On Wednesday Patricia Van Pelt added $21K including $20K from the Illinois Senate Democratic Victory Fund, President Cullerton’s caucus leadership fund.
 
26th Senate (R) – Dan McConchie vs. Casey Urlacher vs. Martin McLaughlin
 
50th Senate (R) – Sam McCann (i) vs. Bryce Benton
  • On Saturday Liberty Principles PAC filed a B-1 for $10K for research supporting Bryce Benton.
  • Very late on Saturday night Sam McCann filed an A-1 adding $103K in mostly labor money but also including $10K from Stand for Children.
  • On Tuesday Bryce Benton added $1K from the candidate committee of former State Rep and current Ag Director Raymond Poe.
  • Thursday Liberty Principles PAC filed a B-1 for $648K for TV ads and polling for Bryce Benton.
 
58th Senate (R) – Paul Schimpf vs. Sharee Langenstein
 
Cook County State’s Attorney (D) – Anita Alvarez (i) vs. Kim Foxx vs. Donna More
  • Last Friday Illinois Safety and Justice, the IE supporting Kim Foxx, filed another B-1 for $17K on mail for her.
  • On Tuesday Illinois Safety and Justice, the IE supporting Kim Foxx, added $70K from George Soros. There are no contribution limits in this race, Donna More met the self funding threshold to remove the contribution limits, so Soros could have donated this amount directly to the Foxx campaign, which is a little odd.
  • On Tuesday Anita Alvarez added $78K, including $50K from the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters PAC.
  • On Tuesday Kim Foxx filed not one but two A-1’s totaling $245K including $200K from Fred Eychaner.
  • On Wednesday the Sun-Times reported that the Kim Foxx campaign violated the campaign finance laws by failing to report a poll paid for by the candidate committee of Toni Preckwinkle as an in-kind contribution. That same day the Foxx campaign did file an A-1 reporting the in-kind contribution.
  • On Wednesday Anita Alvarez added $31K, including $20K from the Illinois Pipe Trades PAC .
  • Late Thursday night Kim Foxx filed not one, not two, but three A-1’s for a total of $81K including $50K from SEIU Illinois Council PAC.
 
Other Notable Contributions Received
  • Last Friday Chicago Treasurer Kurt Summers filed an A-1 for about $20K.
  • Last Friday Judge Anna Loftus filed an A-1 for a personal loan to her campaign of $30K.
  • Last Friday UFCW Local 881 filed an A-1 adding $200K in member dues to their PAC.
  • “Put it on the Underhill tab.” Last Friday judicial candidate Ed Underhill filed an A-1 for a personal loan of $25K to his campaign committee.
  • Last Friday Wine and Spirits Distributors of Illinois PAC filed an A-1 for $43K.
  • Last Friday the Illinois Association of REALTORS added $100K to their PAC.
  • Last Friday the Illinois Pipe Trades PEF reported adding $95K in member dues to their PAC.
  • Support Independent Maps continues to add funds, but this time just $5K.
  • On Saturday Elaine Nekritz, who currently has no opponent in the primary or general, added $28K of mostly trial lawyer money.
  • On Tuesday the IBEW added $42K in member dues to their PAC.
  • On Tuesday SEIU Illinois Council added $75K in member dues to their PAC.
  • On Wednesday SEIU Healthcare Illinois Indiana added $214K to their PAC.
  • On Wednesday the IFT added $140K from their locals, including $51K from CTU.
  • On Wednesday Melinda Bush, who has a general election opponent but no primary opponent, added $56K, including $54K from the IEA.
  • On Wednesday Kwame Raoul, who is on the ballot this cycle but currently faces no primary or general election opposition, added $34K in mostly trial lawyer money.
  • On Wednesday Dan Beiser, currently facing no opposition in the primary or general elections, added $30K from the IBEW.
  • On Wednesday Barbara Flynn Currie, who currently has no opponent in the primary or general elections, added $30K from 22 different donors.
  • The Comptroller’s race has been very, very quiet but Thursday Leslie Munger added $5K.
  • Thursday the Illinois Laborers’ Legislative Committee filed not one but two A-1’s adding about $85K of member money to their PAC.
  • Thursday Citizens for Rauner, Inc filed its first A-1 since October and just the 3rd since taking office, for $7,500.
 
Other Interesting Developments
  • On Tuesday Stand for Children’s IE reported an in-kind for $8,500 for research and then Thursday they reported an in-kind for $2K for data. It appears likely that they are about to start spending some money on independent expenditures, likely for mail.
  • This cycle there are two Metropolitan Water Reclamation District elections, one for a 6 year term that has six active candidates (voters choose 3) and one for a 2 year term that has three active candidates (voters choose 1). One of the candidates in the 2 year election, Marty Durkan, has raised an impressive amount disclosed on A-1’s so far this quarter, despite not being slated by the Cook County Democratic Party. He has reported almost $255K in A-1’s this quarter but it appears some are duplicates and his actual haul is more likely about $199K which is still an impressive sum and far more than the $86K that the other 8 MWRD candidates have disclosed raising so far this quarter COMBINED. Then on Monday Michelle Harris, slated candidate for Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court, filed an A-1 disclosing an in-kind contribution of $50K for a mailing from Friends of Marty Durkan. A Twitter follower sent along a scan of the mailer, it’s double sided featuring Durkan on one side and Harris on the other. The next day Rich Miller followed up with a little more info on the mailer and as you can see in the comments some of his commenters reported receiving the mailer despite not having a Democratic primary voting history and another one of my Twitter followers mentioned that both he and his wife received one so whoever set up their data file apparently didn’t household it. Durkan has raised a lot of money so it’s a race to keep an eye on.
 
Compliance Issues
  • Last Friday NBC5’s Ward Room blog posted an item about a new ad attacking Ken Dunkin that debuted last Wednesday from Citizens Against Corruption, chaired by William J. Kelly. There is no active committee named “Citizens Against Corruption” registered with either the Illinois State Board of Elections or the FEC. In fact, there is no active committee with the word “corruption” in its name registered with the State Board of Elections and none in Illinois that are registered with the FEC.
  • On Thursday 109th district Republican House candidate John Curtis (not to be confused with 93rd district Democratic House candidate John Curtis) filed a D-1 to create his candidate committee named “Citizens to Bring Illinois Back“. Per 5/9-2. (b): “The name of each candidate political committee shall identify the name of the public official or candidate supported by the candidate political committee.” He’ll have to amend his D-1 to change the name of his committee to include his own name.
  • On Wednesday I tweeted that I thought 5 General Assembly races had had enough independent expenditure spending to exceed the $100K threshold to remove the contribution limits for those offices. After studying the code on independent expenditures more closely I now believe that was in error and only 3 General Assembly races have had enough (and the right kind of) independent expenditure spending to remove the contribution limits for those offices. Upon closer reading of 5/9-8.5 (h-5) and 5/9-8.5 (h-10) that only independent expenditures made by natural persons or independent expenditure committees that aggregate to over $100K (as opposed to independent expenditures made by party committees or PACs) will trigger the provision that removes the contribution limits for that office. Based on that narrower reading 3 General Assembly races should already meet that standard, the 5th House (Ken Dukin, IllinoisGO), the 72nd House (Brandi McGuire, Liberty Principles PAC) and the 50th Senate (Bryce Benton, Liberty Principles PAC). The State Board’s Contribution Limits Off List appears to be up to date.
 

You can find the complete list of all the funds available, every A-1 filed, every B-1 filed and a complete listing of all the candidates and districts in our Racing Forms. The Illinois Racing Form covers every General Assembly race while the Cook County Racing Form covers all the countywide, judicial, MWRD and Chicago committeemen races, full details below.

The Illinois Racing Form
  • District profiles for every General Assembly race including district map, current candidate listing, candidate headshots and past electoral performance.
  • Current financial status for each candidate’s campaign committee as well as other relevant committees, such as the Governor, legislative leaders and IE’s.
  • Latest candidate filings.
  • Candidates’ social media presences, including websites, Facebook , LinkedIn and Twitter.
The Cook County Racing Form
  • District profiles for every countywide, judicial, MWRD and Chicago committeeman race including district map, current candidate listing, candidate headshots and past electoral performance.
  • Current financial status for each candidate’s campaign committee as well as other relevant or related committees.
  • Latest candidate filings.
  • Candidates’ social media presences, including websites, Facebook , LinkedIn and Twitter.

Weekly Roundup – February 12th, 2016

Published on

I’ve been tweeting a lot of interesting updates from recent disclosures and I realize that the volume is so great that it’s starting to turn into white noise for most followers so I thought I’d do a weekly roundup to try to summarize the week’s interesting news and organize these developments into a format you can follow.

Reminder:
  • A-1 reports are for contributions received by the committee of $1,000 or more.
  • B-1 reports are for independent expenditures made independent of the candidate (cannot be coordinated).
  • Regular expenditures (not independent expenditures) are not reported until the quarterly filings are due, next on 3/31.
 
2nd House (D) – Theresa Mah vs. Alex Acevedo
 
5th House (D) – Ken Dunkin (i) vs. Juliana Stratton
  • Last month IllinoisGO filed three B-1’s for Ken Dunkin for $240K for field work, production and mailings. (more on this at the bottom)
  • Last week Ken Dunkin filed an A-1 for $502K, including a $500K contribution from the Illinois Opportunity Project, it is believed to be the largest single donation ever for a General Assembly race. (more on this at the bottom)
  • Last week IllinoisGO filed three B-1’s for Ken Dunkin for $36K for mailings, another $36K for mailings (this time technically opposing Juliana Stratton) and $19K for printing.
  • On Sunday Juliana Stratton filed an A-1 for $235K in labor money from AFSCME, SEIU and the carpenters.
  • On Monday IllinoisGO filed a B-1 for Ken Dunkin for $10K for production.
  • On Tuesday IllinoisGO filed a B-1 for Ken Dunkin for $30Kfor TV ads.
  • On Wednesday IllinoisGO filed a B-1 for Ken Dunkin for $3Kfor field work.
 
22nd House (D) – Michael Madigan (i) vs. Jason Gonzales vs. Joe Barboza vs. Grasiela Rodriguez
  • Late last month a new independent expenditure committee was created, Illinois United for Change that was later seeded with $100K including $50K from Hull Investments.
  • Last Friday they started spending some of that money, filing a B-1 in support of Jason Gonzales for $28K for field work, palm cards and robo calls.
  • On Tuesday Jason Gonzales filed an A-1 for $16,400.
  • Worth noting: the four funds controlled by Speaker Madigan have an estimated funds available of almost $9 million.
 
66th House (R) – Paul Serwatka vs. Daniel Wilbrandt vs. Allen Skillicorn vs. Carolyn Schofield
 
72nd House (D) – Jeff Jacobs vs. Michael Halpin vs. Katelyn Hotle vs. Glen Evans
  • Last Friday Democratic Majority, the leadership PAC for the House Democrats, filed its first B-1 of the season for $3,730.07 for postage opposing Katelyn Hotle.
  • On Tuesday Democratic Majority once again filed a B-1 for $3,730.07 for postage opposing Katelyn Hotle.
 
72nd House (R) – Brandi McGuire vs. Jordan Thoms
 
95th House (R) – Avery Bourne (i) vs. Dennis Scobbie vs. Christopher Hicks
  • On Monday the Illinois Republican Party filed a B-1 for $238K for Avery Bourne for advertising and production.
  • Also on Monday the Illinois Republican Party filed a B-1 for $7K for Avery Bourne for consulting and mail.
 
99th House (R) – Sara Wojcicki Jimenez (i) vs. Kent Gray
 
5th Senate (D) – Patricia Van Pelt (i) vs. Bob Fioretti
 
19th Senate (D) – Michael Hastings (i) vs. Max Solomon
 
26th Senate (R) – Dan McConchie vs. Casey Urlacher vs. Martin McLaughlin
 
50th Senate (R) – Sam McCann (i) vs. Bryce Benton
 
58th Senate (R) – Paul Schimpf vs. Sharee Langenstein
 
Cook County State’s Attorney (D) – Anita Alvarez (i) vs. Kim Foxx vs. Donna More
 
Other Notable Contributions Received
  • Continuing a trend that was very evident if you closely studied the fundraising totals of targeted House Dems from last quarter those targeted candidates have been raising very large sums into their candidate committees in what appears to be part of a team approach. Last quarter 11 House Dems raised over $247K (3 of them were over $500K). Last Tuesday four House Dems all filed similar A-1’s:
  • Last week AFSCME added $200K in member dues to their PAC. So far this year they’ve added $800K to their PAC.
  • Last Friday Julie Morrison filed an A-1 for $50K.
  • On Monday Support Independent Maps filed an A-1 for $35K. They now have an estimated funds available of $545K.
  • On Tuesday Deb Conroy filed an A-1 for about $94K, including $53,900 from the Engineers and $25K from AFSCME.
  • On Tuesday Water Rec candidate Marty Durkan filed an A-1 for about $88K.
  • On Wednesday the National Association of REALTORS Fund replenished their PAC fund with $106K of member dues. They started the year with only $500 in the bank so this A-1 represents the bulk of their current spending power. Later that afternoon they spent almost all of that money on the various independent expenditures outlined above.
  • On Wednesday the Chicagoland Operators Joint Labor-Management PAC bulked up their PAC fund with $364K of member money. They began the year with $912K on hand so now they have about $1.275 million available.
  • On Wednesday judicial candidate Gregory Lapapa filed an A-1 for a loan of $50K of what appears to be his own money.
 
Other Interesting Developments
 
Compliance Issues

The Democratic primary between Ken Dunkin and Juliana Stratton is not just heated and expensive, it is so unique that it is triggering some sections of the election code and State Board rules that are not often needed.

  • Are B-1’s subject to rule 100.70(c) of the State Board rules? After reading through the language once again I can’t find anything to suggest that they aren’t. Independent expenditures are a relatively new phenomenon that didn’t exist until contribution limits became law in 2011 so it’s entirely possible that this issue hasn’t been addressed before, at least as it applies to B-1 filings. Rule 100.70(c) is the “conduits rule”, the rule that prevents committees from hiding the true recipient of a disbursement by paying an intermediary who acts as a conduit and then pays out another. It’s the rule that forces committees to itemize their credit card bills and payroll rather than just showing a lump sum to the credit card company or payroll processing company. IllinoisGO filed a B-1 that included a $140,705.82 lump sum payment for “field work” that seems very likely to be subject to the conduits rule and if B-1’s are subject to this rule then their method of disclosure is probably not in compliance. If you’re interested in reading some more about rule 100.70(c) I went into it in some depth when discussing the Governor’s gift card controversy last summer.
  • Committees that receive more that 33% of their funds from a single source have to list that source as a Sponsoring Entity. The $500,000 donation from the Illinois Opportunity Project to Ken Dunkin is large enough that it may trigger this provision, in which case Dunkin’s committee would have to file an amended D-1 and list the IOP as its sponsoring entity.
 

You can find the complete list of all the funds available, every A-1 filed, every B-1 filed and a complete listing of all the candidates and districts in our Racing Forms. The Illinois Racing Form covers every General Assembly race while the Cook County Racing Form covers all the countywide, judicial, MWRD and Chicago committeemen races, full details below.

The Illinois Racing Form
  • District profiles for every General Assembly race including district map, current candidate listing, candidate headshots and past electoral performance.
  • Current financial status for each candidate’s campaign committee as well as other relevant committees, such as the Governor, legislative leaders and IE’s.
  • Latest candidate filings.
  • Candidates’ social media presences, including websites, Facebook , LinkedIn and Twitter.
The Cook County Racing Form
  • District profiles for every countywide, judicial, MWRD and Chicago committeeman race including district map, current candidate listing, candidate headshots and past electoral performance.
  • Current financial status for each candidate’s campaign committee as well as other relevant or related committees.
  • Latest candidate filings.
  • Candidates’ social media presences, including websites, Facebook , LinkedIn and Twitter.

The Money Race for the State House

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Last Friday was the filing deadline for the 4th quarter 2015 campaign finance reports (D-2’s) and since we have all of that data I thought it would be interesting to update this tweet with a more up to date and thorough look at the state of the money race for the State House. When we last looked at this data it was late December, two and a half months into the quarter and so we had a lot of recent contribution data via A-1 filings but our data on spending and true cash on hand was quite out of date. The data we have now is much closer to the start of the filing period and these estimates are much closer to the true picture.

The race for the State House began almost right after the 2014 election when then Governor-elect Rauner and his allies put $20 million into his campaign committee and later created another Independent Expenditure committee, Turnaround Illinois, with $4.25 million. The Governor, as leader of his party, has pledged to use his resources this cycle to help elect more Republicans to the General Assembly. The Democrats have been playing catch up ever since and by some measures may have actually passed the Republicans in the fundraising race.

Total Raised (including in-kinds) for Q4 2015

Democratic Committee Q4 Raised & In-kind
Democratic Party of Illinois $1,786,444.01
Friends of Michael J. Madigan $1,747,639.53
Democratic Majority $1,632,063.67
13th Ward Democratic Org $638,950.00
Citizens for John Cullerton for State Senate $884,520.00
Senate Democratic Victory Fund $1,554,358.12
Committee to Support John Cullerton for State Central Committeeman $476,011.73
Dem Senators Not On Ballot This Cycle $637,882.30
Dem Senate Candidates $1,792,328.42
Dem House Candidates $7,190,292.50
Total $18,340,490.28
Republican Committee Q4 Raised & Inkind
Citizens for Rauner, Inc $4,199.00
Turnaround Illinois $1,320.78
Illinois Republican Party $179,912.70
Citizens for Durkin $344,572.77
House Republican Organization $282,875.47
Citizens for Christine Radogno $303,275.39
Republican State Senate Campaign Committee $306,385.96
Rep Senators Not On Ballot This Cycle $259,036.64
Rep Senate Candidates $705,473.89
Rep House Candidates $1,185,456.33
Total $3,572,508.93

The Democrats outraised the Republicans in the 4th quarter, that was expected since they have been playing catch up. What is quite noticeable however is the disparity, the Democrats raised roughly $15 million more than the Republicans this quarter, and not just in leadership, much of it going into the actual candidate committees. Aside from Durkin and Radogno the only Republican campaign committee to raise six figures last quarter was Jil Tracy ($105K). On the Democratic side aside from Madigan and Cullerton 19 other Democratic campaign committees raised more than $100K including 11 House committees over $247K and 3 over $500K.

Now let’s look at the current cash position of all those involved by combining the 12/31 cash on hand, plus the 12/31 investment total plus any reported A-1 amounts so far this quarter.

Current Cash Position

Democratic Committee Q4 COH Q4 INV Q1 A-1s Est Funds Avail
Democratic Party of Illinois $2,394,998.90 $0.00 $3,900.00 $2,398,898.90
Friends of Michael J. Madigan $2,157,364.97 $0.00 $10,600.00 $2,167,964.97
Democratic Majority $2,732,949.01 $0.00 $1,214.00 $2,734,163.01
13th Ward Democratic Org $1,254,380.90 $0.00 $55,000.00 $1,309,380.90
Citizens for John Cullerton for State Senate $1,211,497.20 $300,300.46 $0.00 $1,511,797.66
Senate Democratic Victory Fund $2,145,308.24 $404,232.00 $17,475.00 $2,567,015.24
Committee to Support John Cullerton
for State Central Committeeman
$695,817.67 $0.00 $0.00 $695,817.67
Dem Senators Not On Ballot This Cycle $3,597,832.59 $42.36 $4,600.00 $3,602,474.95
Dem Senate Candidates $4,722,092.16 $220,007.00 $75,681.80 $5,017,780.96
Dem House Candidates $13,052,436.87 $770,871.69 $571,430.80 $14,394,739.36
Total $33,964,678.51 $1,695,453.51 $739,901.60 $36,400,033.62
Republican Committee Q4 COH Q4 INV Q1 A-1s Est Funds Avail
Citizens for Rauner, Inc $19,555,040.91 $0.00 $0.00 $19,555,040.91
Turnaround Illinois $2,595,379.90 $0.00 $0.00 $2,595,379.90
Illinois Republican Party $400,498.12 $0.00 $21,600.00 $422,098.12
Citizens for Durkin $773,783.80 $0.00 $9,500.00 $783,283.80
House Republican Organization $290,416.05 $0.00 $14,500.00 $304,916.05
Citizens for Christine Radogno $534,402.53 $0.00 $2,500.00 $536,902.53
Republican State Senate Campaign Committee $427,720.49 $0.00 $60,600.00 $488,320.49
Rep Senators Not On Ballot This Cycle $944,113.77 $0.00 $0.00 $944,113.77
Rep Senate Candidates $1,447,659.18 $45,300.00 $85,500.00 $1,578,459.18
Rep House Candidates $3,198,673.67 $0.00 $209,343.02 $3,408,016.69
Total $30,167,688.42 $45,300.00 $403,543.02 $30,616,531.44

As of right now there is roughly $67 million sitting in the accounts of various campaign committees waiting to be spent on General Assembly races this cycle and the Dems have about a $6 million advantage ($36.4m to $30.6m). That’s a lot of money.

However it does not take into account all of the money that has already been spent. Candidates have been hiring staff, buying yard signs, doing polls and spending money on any number of useful needs that will help them come election time. So let’s combine the totals above with the amounts already spent by each committee (plus in-kinds) in 2015.

Cycle Spending Ability

Democratic Committee 2015 Spent Q4 COH Q4 INV Q1 A-1s Cycle Spending Ability
Democratic Party of Illinois $466,425.77 $2,394,998.90 $0.00 $3,900.00 $2,865,324.67
Friends of Michael J. Madigan $588,244.74 $2,157,364.97 $0.00 $10,600.00 $2,756,209.71
Democratic Majority $329,315.45 $2,732,949.01 $0.00 $1,214.00 $3,063,478.46
13th Ward Democratic Org $181,628.13 $1,254,380.90 $0.00 $55,000.00 $1,491,009.03
Citizens for John Cullerton for State Senate $568,926.16 $1,211,497.20 $300,300.46 $0.00 $2,080,723.82
Senate Democratic Victory Fund $1,049,868.27 $2,145,308.24 $404,232.00 $17,475.00 $3,616,883.51
Committee to Support John Cullerton
for State Central Committeeman
$42,706.07 $695,817.67 $0.00 $0.00 $738,523.74
Dem Senators Not On Ballot This Cycle $1,464,126.75 $3,597,832.59 $42.36 $4,600.00 $5,066,601.70
Dem Senate Candidates $2,894,326.73 $4,722,092.16 $220,007.00 $75,681.80 $7,912,107.69
Dem House Candidates $5,143,207.88 $13,052,436.87 $770,871.69 $571,430.80 $19,537,947.24
Total $12,728,775.95 $33,964,678.51 $1,695,453.51 $739,901.60 $49,128,809.57
Republican Committee 2015 Spent Q4 COH Q4 INV Q1 A-1s Cycle Spending Ability
Citizens for Rauner, Inc $1,372,553.02 $19,555,040.91 $0.00 $0.00 $20,927,593.93
Turnaround Illinois $1,659,222.07 $2,595,379.90 $0.00 $0.00 $4,254,601.97
Illinois Republican Party $652,689.76 $400,498.12 $0.00 $21,600.00 $1,074,787.88
Citizens for Durkin $405,035.31 $773,783.80 $0.00 $9,500.00 $1,188,319.11
House Republican Organization $427,965.08 $290,416.05 $0.00 $14,500.00 $732,881.13
Citizens for Christine Radogno $139,374.47 $534,402.53 $0.00 $2,500.00 $676,277.00
Republican State Senate Campaign Committee $575,939.69 $427,720.49 $0.00 $60,600.00 $1,064,260.18
Rep Senators Not On Ballot This Cycle $458,611.18 $944,113.77 $0.00 $0.00 $1,402,724.95
Rep Senate Candidates $997,741.47 $1,447,659.18 $45,300.00 $85,500.00 $2,576,200.65
Rep House Candidates $2,203,396.72 $3,198,673.67 $0.00 $209,343.02 $5,611,413.41
Total $8,892,528.77 $30,167,688.42 $45,300.00 $403,543.02 $39,509,060.21

Even if all of these committees never raise another penny they already have the ability to spend almost $90 million this cycle and it’s only January. Despite starting from well behind Governor Rauner’s significant funds the Democrats are currently able to spend $10 million more than the Republicans. However the Governor and his allies have demonstrated that they have very deep pockets and they can make up the difference any time they choose. Not every penny will be spent of course, many of the Senators that are not up for election this cycle will likely save their money for their next election. Also a number of these districts have primary races and quite a bit of money will be spent on primaries rather than general election contests.

And then there’s the big elephant in the room, the $9 million that IllinoisGO has. They aren’t the only PAC with significant funds, here is a list of the top 25 other committees that could get involved if they choose.

Committee Q4 COH Q4 INV Q1 A-1 Est Funds Avail
IllinoisGO IE $8,999,970.00 $0.00 $0.00 $8,999,970.00
Friends of Edward M Burke $2,280,827.14 $6,356,353.45 $0.00 $8,637,180.59
Liberty Principles PAC $2,746,295.33 $0.00 $1,818,000.00 $4,564,295.33
Laborers’ Political League – Great Lakes Region $2,345,342.74 $0.00 $0.00 $2,345,342.74
Citizens for Lisa Madigan $2,137,044.04 $0.00 $0.00 $2,137,044.04
Illinois State Medical Society PAC $399,945.90 $1,230,136.00 $0.00 $1,630,081.90
Carpenters Helping in the Political Process (CHIPP) $1,483,716.29 $0.00 $0.00 $1,483,716.29
Stand for Children IL PAC $1,372,305.91 $0.00 $0.00 $1,372,305.91
The Burnham Committee $1,309,846.28 $0.00 $0.00 $1,309,846.28
Illinois PAC for Education (IPACE) $1,164,664.87 $0.00 $0.00 $1,164,664.87
Citizens for Alderman Reilly $1,006,703.57 $0.00 $29,000.00 $1,035,703.57
Cook County Democratic Party $977,199.32 $0.00 $10,000.00 $987,199.32
REALTORS Political Action Committee $943,064.66 $0.00 $4,000.00 $947,064.66
Roofers’ Political Educational and Legislative Fund $174,347.22 $749,380.67 $0.00 $923,727.89
Illinois Federation of Teachers COPE $754,802.93 $0.00 $163,746.73 $918,549.66
Chicagoland Operators Joint Labor-Management PAC $912,148.74 $0.00 $0.00 $912,148.74
Dan Rutherford Campaign Committee $14,974.34 $887,432.00 $0.00 $902,406.34
Citizens for Judy Baar Topinka $840,769.03 $0.00 $0.00 $840,769.03
Committee to Elect Joseph Berrios Assessor $836,485.17 $0.00 $0.00 $836,485.17
Friends of Suarez $72,823.28 $750,000.00 $0.00 $822,823.28
Citizens for Giannoulias $779,764.79 $0.00 $0.00 $779,764.79
14th Ward Regular Democratic Org $722,156.15 $0.00 $0.00 $722,156.15
Laborers’ Political Action and Education League $720,332.88 $0.00 $0.00 $720,332.88
Friends of Anita Alvarez $697,191.18 $0.00 $7,000.00 $704,191.18
Friends for Susana Mendoza $674,701.28 $0.00 $4,738.71 $679,439.99

The battle for the State House in 2016 is going to be intense. There is already almost $90 million in play, it will certainly eclipse the $100 million mark and may push to $150 million.

We will keep an eye on it for you and we’ll keep you up to date. If you want to track all of these races and see the campaign fundraising totals in real-time subscribe to the Illinois Racing Form, it’s only $15. We have been updating weekly but once the candidate objections are finalized we will probably set up the computer to publish an updated version daily, coming within the next week or two. For just $15 you can check to see the latest fundraising totals for every race every day. We put a lot of work into it so if you find this info in any way useful do us a favor and sign up.

Note: if you’d like to check my math or investigate and calculate further the data I used to create the tables above can be found here.

 

Updates! Updates! Updates!

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Updates – Illinois State Board of Elections

The omnibus election bill passed late last year requires that after election day each election authority must report the number of uncounted ballots to the State Board of Elections and the SBE must make this data available on their website. You may remember that the 2014 Illinois State Treasurer’s race was too close to call after all of the ballots were counted on election night and the outcome of that race remained in doubt for some time as the vote by mail, early vote and same day registration votes had to be counted before the official winner was determined. Keeping track of the developments in that ballot counting process was difficult because in some cases it was difficult to get information about how many ballots still needed to be counted by each election authority. Hopefully this process will be easier to follow if a similar situation arises in the future as more data will be publicly available.

Since that law went into effect a special election was held to fill the vacancy in the 18th congressional district. In accordance with the new law each election authority sent the State Board of Elections the data about uncounted ballots and the SBE displayed this data on their website, as required. To navigate to this page on the Illinois State Board of Elections website you can go:

Home –> Reporters (top nav bar) –> Uncounted Ballots (center column)

 

Updates – Illinois Election Data

Over the last few months I have updated this website’s various sections with data from both the 2014 general election as well as the 2015 Chicago municipal elections. Additionally I had long been planning to make changes to almost every part of this site and I finally put the work in to do that. Here is a rundown of all the new changes along with a detailed explanation for each.

  • New Look and Feel: the visual layout and design of this website used to look like a 4 year old drew it in crayon. I have made wholesale changes and incorporated a modified version of the Bootstrap framework and it now looks more like a 9 year old drew it in washable marker, which I’m told is an improvement.
  • 2014 Election Cycle Budgets: data now available in the budgets section for all of the 2014 election cycle statewide candidates as well as the targeted congressional races.
  • 2014 Election Cycle Statewide Race Maps: maps now available in the maps section for all of the statewide candidates from the 2014 general election. For example here is the map of Bruce Rauner’s victory by county.
  • 2015 Chicago Municipal Election Maps (general and runoff): maps now available in the maps section for all of the Chicago municipal candidates from the 2015 general and runoff elections. For example here is the map of Rahm Emanuel’s victory by ward in the runoff.
  • New Budgets Back End: the budgets section is a tremendous tool for campaign managers (or designated budget staffers) that can display the past monthly campaign fundraising and spending for so many statewide and congressional races. All of this data used to be static, it was copied and pasted from database work done offsite. Now I have completely rebuilt this section using onsite data hosted in a backend database and the data displayed is derived from calculations run on that database. This work has two advantages, 1) fewer chances for copy/paste errors meaning the displayed data is more likely to be accurate and 2) for those users wishing to study the data more closely you can now quickly see all of the receipts and all of the expenditures in a table that is easy to filter and has a one-touch download button so you can easily download all of the individual transactions and perform whatever further analysis you would like on the underlying data.
  • Reduced Reliance on Google: in order to get this site up and running when it was first launched I used a lot of Google tools to keep from having to do a lot of initial design work, for example I often embedded/displayed data in a Google Spreadsheet instead of displaying data in a formatted HTML table. It didn’t look good then and later when Google made some changes to how they display embedded Google docs it looked even worse. I have since gone back and taken the time to fully develop each section and reduced the reliance on various Google tools and overall most areas are just better now. The lone key exception is the Maps section, all of the vote total maps are overlaid on Google Maps which is still by far my preferred method.

Chicago Municipal Election Useful Info

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UPDATE: our election night tracker for the Chicago’s Mayor’s race is now live:

2015 Chicago’s Mayor’s Race Election Night Tracker

End of update.

The Chicago municipal elections are on Tuesday for all 50 aldermen/women, the Mayor, the City Clerk and the City Treasurer.

Since the last Chicago municipal election in 2011 the City of Chicago has redrawn their ward boundaries. The Mayor’s race is not expected to be close on Tuesday but it is expected that Mayor Emanuel will come very close to reaching or exceeding the 50% + 1 threshold needed to avoid a runoff. I thought it would make sense to take the precinct level data from the 2011 Mayoral election and reconfigure those vote totals based on the new ward map. Some of the wards are similar to the 2011 map but some, such as the 2nd ward, are very different. I think it will be interesting to see how the Mayor’s 2015 numbers compare to his 2011 numbers and this will give a better apples to apples comparison.

Download 2011 Chicago Mayor by 2015 Ward Boundaries

I took the shapefiles for the 2011 citywide precincts and dumped that into some GIS software and ran an “Intersect” against the shapefiles for the current ward boundaries. I then used the percent of land area to assign a percentage to precincts that covered multiple wards. This is not exact for reasons I won’t bore you with but it’s pretty close. If you download the link above you’ll see a summary sheet with the data I just described as well as a worksheet that shows the precinct by precinct analysis and also there’s a sheet that shows the percentage of voters by race in each ward from census data. You may find any or all of that useful.

State of the Mayor’s Race

Both the City Clerk’s race and the City Treasurer’s race feature unopposed incumbents so the only actual citywide race is the Mayor’s race.

Thanks to the team at Aldertrack, this cycle’s indispensable daily must-read for all Chicago related election news, who teamed up with pollster Ogden & Fry for a regular tracking poll we have this graphic below showing how little traction the challengers have made.

Prior to the start of early voting the Mayor was polling in the low 40’s, undecided was in 2nd place in the low 20’s and the challengers were either in the teens or single digits. Since the first week of February when early voting started they have stopped offering undecided as an option and the Mayor is hovering right around 50% with his challengers well behind. Unless something really unexpected happens Emanuel will finish first on Tuesday and the main point of interest will be to see if he can beat the 50% + 1 threshold needed to avoid a runoff. (Emanuel avoided a runoff in 2011 with 55.28% of the vote)

I am going to spend some time over the weekend looking at building a dashboard for the Mayor’s race. If I can make it work the way I hope I may turn it on for election night on Tuesday. I’m mainly interested in seeing in real time how the Mayor is doing against his runoff threshold and how each ward compares to his 2011 numbers. If I can build a straightforward easy to read dashboard that auto-updates every 2 minutes or so I’ll make it live and distribute the link. Keep an eye on the Illinois Election Data Twitter account @ILElectionData and I’ll try to let you know by Monday if I think I can do something for Tuesday night. (Why is there always a Hawks game on election night?)

Chicago Board of Elections Website

The Chicago Board of Elections already has live links to their 2015 Municipal election results in their Election Results section. If you go to their website then click on Election Results you’ll see that in the dropdown below you can select “2015 Municipal General – 2/24/15” as one of the options. From there you can select whatever race you want. None of the race pages have numbers yet, obviously, but it’s nice that the links are live and available so that you know where you can find the results when they’re available.


A note about Aldertrack: this group of political hobbyists have spent the last few months amassing a wealth of political information and making it widely available for little or no cost. You can buy their data-rich Racing Form for $10 (it’s actually currently free until election day but if you find it useful you should give them some money). Also you can sign up to receive a free daily email that includes original reporting, polling, reports from the field and a news roundup for all the Chicago races. I highly recommend.

At at time when news organizations are downsizing both Aldertrack and the also terrific Illinois Observer have been very welcome additions to the Illinois political news scene. I am not affiliated with either organization.

2014 GE Precinct-Level Election Data

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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.