Chicago Municipal Election Useful Info

Published on Author Scott Kennedy6 Comments

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.

6 Responses to Chicago Municipal Election Useful Info

  1. Scott,

    Thanks for your extensive compendium! I know it’s taken an enormous amount of effort to compile.

    I notice that your 2011 map for Emanuel does not completely load, even after trying it several times. DeValle’s map loads fine.

    My own extensive set of maps for the 2011 Chicago Mayoral contest is at http://mapelection.org I think you’ll find them interesting.

    Each map covers one statistic for each candidate in the election, or a statistic for the election as a whole, or the distribution of anomalies found in four of the wards.

    One of the curious phenomena I’ve noticed is in map #2: There’s an extremely sharp difference in Emanuel support along either side of Grand Avenue and of Odgen Avenues. What accounts for the strong difference between two sides of the same streets?

    If you can explain this or any other curiosities in the maps, I’d be please to hear of it.

    Keep up the good work!

    Regards,

    Roy Lipscomb

  2. Yeah unfortunately my maps are built as layers on Google Maps and I’m forced to live with the quirks of Google. If you try zooming in/out it usually fixes the map not loading properly but there’s not a whole lot I can do.

    As to your question about the geographic divide around Ogden and Grand I have no explanation.

  3. Hello blogger, i found this post on 20 spot in google’s search results.
    I’m sure that your low rankings are caused by high bounce rate.

    This is very important ranking factor. One of the biggest reason for high bounce rate is
    due to visitors hitting the back button. The higher your
    bounce rate the further down the search results your posts and pages will end up,
    so having reasonably low bounce rate is important for improving your rankings naturally.
    There is very handy wp plugin which can help you.
    Just search in google for:
    Seyiny’s Bounce Plugin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *