Weekly Roundup – February 12th, 2016

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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.

  • 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.


The Downstate Vote

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Bruce Rauner recently announced that he is going to spend the remainder of the race campaigning in and around the Chicago area. There is some decent logic behind this strategy, it has long been the conventional wisdom that Bill Brady lost the 2010 Governor’s race in the suburbs, and the numbers back that up. Take a look at the table below that shows the performance of Brady (Governor, lost) and Mark Kirk (US Senate, won) in their 2010 respective races by region (expanded collars).

General Election Republican Performance – Expanded Collars (FAQ)

Region 2010 Kirk 2010 Brady Difference Vote Share
Cook County (all) 31.63% 28.61% 3.02% 37.51%
___Chicago (only) 19.47% 17.41% 2.06% 18.50%
___Cook Burbs (only) 43.47% 39.50% 3.97% 19.02%
Collars (11) 56.36% 52.93% 3.43% 28.42%
Downstate (90) 59.26% 59.18% 0.08% 34.07%
Total: 48.01% 45.94% 2.07% 100.00%

The expanded collars table groups “downstate” as the 90 counties outside the Chicago media market. You can see that in 2010 it made up a little more than 34% of the vote and the performance of Brady and Kirk is nearly identical, even though Brady is considered to be from the conservative wing of the Republican party while Kirk is less so. Even though Brady is from McLean County and Kirk is from the Chicago suburbrs, the voters in these downstate counties rated them equally and their performance was essentially the same.

The biggest difference was in the Chicago media market. The difference between the two candidates in the Chicago suburbs was about 4% but it varied by township. The difference was most pronounced in the affluent north and western suburban townships:

Township 2010 Kirk 2010 Brady Difference
Northfield 59.17% 49.37% 9.80%
New Trier 57.55% 48.81% 8.74%
Niles 42.87% 36.03% 6.84%
River Forest 47.31% 40.62% 6.69%
Wheeling 57.76% 51.31% 6.45%
Riverside 51.76% 46.42% 5.34%

In the 11 counties in the Chicago media market other than Cook County (collectively referred to here as the Collars) the difference between Kirk and Brady was about 3 and a half points with the Lake County numbers the most pronounced:

County 2010 Kirk 2010 Brady Difference
Lake 56.59% 50.10% 6.49%
Kankakee 56.32% 52.93% 3.39%
DuPage 57.50% 54.31% 3.19%
LaSalle 54.16% 51.08% 3.08%
Kendall 57.71% 54.96% 2.75%
McHenry 59.53% 56.87% 2.66%
Will 52.66% 50.29% 2.37%
DeKalb 54.16% 52.02% 2.14%
Kane 55.83% 53.79% 2.04%
Grundy 56.89% 54.86% 2.03%
Iroquois 74.62% 73.44% 1.18%

If the Rauner campaign can win over the Kirk-Quinn voters from 2010 they could have enough votes to win the election and since all of those Kirk-Quinn voters from 2010 are in the Chicago media market it makes sense for them to focus their campaign there now that we have reached the home stretch.

But what about Pat Quinn and the other candidates? 2010 was a strange year for Democratic performance downstate in that it was abnormally low. Take a look at the table below showing the Democratic performance of the candidates in competitive contested elections over the last few decades in the downstate counties outside of the Chicago media market:

Candidate Downstate
2008 Obama 50.81%
1996 Durbin 50.20%
1998 Poshard 50.04%
1990 Hartigan 48.09%
2002 Madigan 46.52%
2000 Gore 46.52%
2002 Blagojevich 46.41%
2006 Giannoulias 45.13%
2012 Obama 45.11%
2004 Kerry 44.89%
2006 Blagojevich 39.72%
2002 Dart 39.24%
1998 Mosely-Braun 36.53%
2010 Kelly 35.40%
2010 Quinn 33.99%
2010 Giannoulias 33.82%
1994 Netsch 28.75%

In 2010 Pat Quinn, Alexi Giannoulias and Robin Kelly all performed worse than Carol Moseley-Braun did in 1998 outside the Chicago media market, and she was carrying a lot of baggage by then while unsuccessfully trying to fend off a well funded challenger. On this list only Dawn Clark Netsch performed worse than the competitive Democratic candidates of 2010 and she lost in a blowout by 30 points. In 2002 Tom Dart lost his race for Treasurer to the popular Topinka and in 2006 the Republicans actively campaigned against Blagojevich in their legislative campaigns tying the local Democratic candidates to the unpopular downstate incumbent governor, yet both of those candidates performed more than 5 points higher than Quinn and Giannoulias in the 90 counties outside of the Chicago media market.

They weren’t just losing, they were losing downstate counties that had a history of going to Democrats like Madison, Fulton and Franklin by almost 20 points:

Candidate Madison
1990 Hartigan 57.47%
1996 Durbin 56.98%
2002 Blagojevich 55.97%
2006 Blagojevich 55.31%
2008 Obama 53.75%
2000 Gore 53.17%
2006 Giannoulias 53.13%
1998 Poshard 52.01%
2004 Kerry 51.26%
2002 Madigan 51.23%
2012 Obama 48.11%
2002 Dart 47.47%
2010 Kelly 42.72%
2010 Quinn 40.31%
2010 Giannoulias 39.97%
1998 Mosely-Braun 38.79%
1994 Netsch 35.42%
Candidate Fulton
2008 Obama 59.62%
2006 Giannoulias 56.70%
1996 Durbin 56.61%
2002 Blagojevich 55.02%
2000 Gore 54.92%
2002 Madigan 54.77%
2012 Obama 54.23%
1998 Poshard 54.19%
2004 Kerry 53.30%
1990 Hartigan 50.54%
2002 Dart 50.23%
1998 Mosely-Braun 46.60%
2006 Blagojevich 45.84%
2010 Kelly 42.85%
2010 Quinn 40.81%
2010 Giannoulias 40.21%
1994 Netsch 32.58%
Candidate Franklin
1998 Poshard 83.74%
1990 Hartigan 65.08%
1996 Durbin 60.23%
2006 Giannoulias 58.52%
2002 Blagojevich 58.32%
2002 Madigan 56.83%
2000 Gore 53.10%
2006 Blagojevich 50.89%
2002 Dart 50.31%
1998 Mosely-Braun 48.75%
2008 Obama 47.64%
2004 Kerry 45.56%
2010 Quinn 43.53%
2010 Kelly 42.97%
2012 Obama 40.49%
2010 Giannoulias 40.23%
1994 Netsch 37.27%

The downstate numbers for the Democratic candidates in 2010 weren’t just bad, they were historically bad. So the question becomes, was this a once cycle free fall or the new normal?

One simple answer is that by 2012 Barack Obama was back up to 45.11% in the downstate 90 counties. As I mentioned before some of those numbers were probably helped in the Quad Cities by Iowa advertising, take a look at the map of Obama’s performance by county and you can see that his numbers in the Quad Cities media market are noticeably better than his performance in the surrounding areas. But either way, one cycle later and those numbers bounced back to a historical norm.

The Presidential race was the only statewide race in 2012 but the Democrats performed strongly in a bunch of targeted State Senate races as well. First time candidate Andy Manar won the 48th Senate District (1D, 1R House members) by more than 10 points in a central Illinois district that stretches from Springfield to Decatur and down to eastern Madison County. (you can view district maps here) In the 36th SD (2D House members) up near the Quad Cities Mike Jacobs won re-election by more than 9 points. In the 46th SD (1D, 1R House memebers) in the Peoria area Dave Koehler won re-election by more than 8 points. In the 47th SD (2R House members) that runs from Quincy to Galesburg to almost Springfield John Sullivan was re-elected by almost 13 points. In the Metro East’s 56th SD (1D, 1R House members) Bill Haine won by more than 17 points. And in deep southern Illinois’ 59th SD (2D House members) perennial target Gary Forby won by more than 18 points.

The historically low downstate numbers for the Democrats in 2010 didn’t carry over into the 2012 races. What can we expect in 2014 though? It’s not a presidential year so the electorate will be smaller and more Republican leaning than in presidential years. Also Illinois native and favorite son Obama will not be at the top of the ticket, instead it will be Dick Durbin in what looks to be a pretty safe race and then Pat Quinn who remains unpopular downstate, even among his own party.

In 2014 the Governor’s race was the only statewide primary race on the Democratic side to feature more than one candidate. Pat Quinn faced off against little known candidate Tio Hardiman, the former executive director of Cease Fire. Hardiman had lost his job at Cease Fire after his wife filed a domestic violence case against him, later withdrawn. Prior to running Hardiman also had a different guilty plea to a misdemeanor for domestic violence against a former wife expunged from his record.

You would not expect that a Chicago former executive director of Cease Fire with a history of domestic violence to become the preferred candidate of downstate Democrats but in the 2014 Democratic primary for Governor that is what happened. In this case it likely had less to do with people voting for Hardiman and more likely these votes were cast against Quinn in protest.

First take a look at the map of Hardiman’s performance in the City of Chicago, it’s very consistent with no wards above 30%. Next look at his performance map in the Cook County suburbs, again the same consistency with no townships above 30%. Then look at his county by county performance map, the difference jumps out at you, especially in southern Illinois. Hardiman won Marion county with more than 72% of the vote. In 6 other counties (Alexander, Clinton, Jefferson, Shelby, Union and Washington) he took more than 60% of the vote. The southern half of the map is littered with counties painted shades of blue, green or grey for Hardiman. Once you get outside of Cook and the traditional 5 collar counties everything is over 30%.

It may have been true that 2010 was a historically poor year for Democrats downstate that won’t automatically translate to a repeat performance for Democrats this cycle but it’s also true that Quinn is facing a popularity issue this cycle with downstate members of his own party. If he’s that unpopular among Democrats it’s likely to be true of downstate independents as well.

There is natural room for vote growth for Quinn in his downstate numbers. Even if he can only muster being as popular as Blagojevich was during his 2006 re-elect that would still improve his downstate numbers by about 5 points and a 5 point improvement downstate would translate to about 60,000 votes his way (and 60,000 away from his opponent) based on 2010 numbers. The mid 40’s looks to be about the sweet spot for a typical Democratic candidate in a contested, competitive election, a far cry from the 34% Quinn took in 2010, but if he could somehow increase his downstate performance by 10 points it would be worth 120,000 votes his way (and 120,000 away from his opponent). In 2010 the race was decided by about 30,000 votes so these are meaningful numbers.

But in order to do that he’s going to have to campaign hard there and win over voters that were clearly very angry with him back in March. Unlike Rauner who will focus like a laser on the City and suburbs, Quinn’s path to victory likely includes a significant downstate component.

And what about the downstate Democratic candidates for Treasurer and Comptroller Mike Frerichs and Shelia Simon? Both are native downstaters who can likely count on above average support from the area. But if they’re looking at the very visible Quinn anger displayed in the primary can they afford to risk being lumped in with Quinn downstate if his numbers don’t improve? I am sure they would like to have the luxury to count on longstanding downstate support so they could focus their time and money on the Chicago media market but if Quinn’s downstate numbers don’t improve is that a risk they can afford to take? The Democrats have three downstate candidates on their statewide slate this year, Durbin, Simon and Frerichs, a more favorable downstate slate over recent cycles. They should be well positioned to rebound in their downstate performance but it will be interesting to see how the whole ticket performs and where the candidates and their campaigns spend their time and money to capitalize on the geographic makeup of their statewide ticket.

Updated Data: 2014 Illinois Primary Results

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I mentioned this on Twitter but forgot to update the front page. All of the 2014 Illinois primary data has been completely updated. All of the vote total analysis in the ANALYSIS section is up to date as well as the MAPS and even the ELECTIONS page profiles. If you’re interested in the primary postmortem scroll down below, it turns out our election night numbers were pretty accurate and all the items held up when compared to the actual certified vote totals.

Post Mortem: IL-GOV 2014 Primary

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Thank you to all who spent time with us last night. We had a lot of fun and I have leftover pizza in the fridge so that’s a plus but I’m not sure that we’ll do that again. It’s very labor intensive. My hope is that enough people saw how you can cut and slice all the data that comes in and make it much more useful and helpful than simply knowing the running total for the candidates. Primaries are one thing, but come the general election there is even more useful available data and even more ways to use it. The news organizations get a ton of useful data throughout the night and simply don’t tell you very much about it or display it in a useful way and they don’t put it into a historical context. With the help of a bunch of great volunteers we were able to do that for one race, imagine if they programmed their computers to output it for all the races. I really hope they do.

Ok, on to some observations: (remember none of these results are official and when the official certified numbers are released in about a month there will be some minor changes)

  • In 2010 Dillard got 155,334 votes and in 2014 the Tribune is reporting 100% of precincts in and his total is 301,869, he almost doubled his output from 2010. Now the big question is whether Dillard was the beneficiary of Republicans coming home to him or was the push to get Democrat and independent crossover votes the key to his success? In the 2010 Republican Governor’s primary there were 767,485 total votes, for 2014 the Tribune total currently shows 808,409 with 100% reporting (that number will still likely go up after some absentee, vote by mail, provisional and overseas ballots get included in the final certified totals). So Dillard increased his vote total by about 146K votes while the overall size of the vote only increased by about 41K, that means one of two things:
    1. Dillard’s surge came mostly from regular Republicans.
    2. Dillard’s surge came from from crossover Democrats and independents while at the same time many regular Republicans stayed home. This seems the less likely of the two, in 2006 735,810 voted in the Republican Gubernatorial primary while in 2002 that number was 917,828. Last night’s total Republican primary voters falls within a pretty normal range.
  • The most surprising numbers (to me at least) were Dillard’s downstate numbers compared to Brady. According to our numbers in the downstate 96 counties Dillard beat Brady 40-19. In the 90 counties outside the Chicago Media Market Dillard beat Brady 41-20. The only media market where Brady beat Dillard was Evansville (29-26) a media market so small it only has 5 counties. In the Peoria media market (Brady’s home turf) Dillard beat him 35-25, in the Paducah market (deep southern Illinois) Dillard beat him 49-19, in the Quincy market it was 65-8. Downstate went overwhelmingly for Dillard.
  • It was a much different story in Cook and the collars though, this is where Rauner won the race. Rauner had a slight edge on Dillard in the city proper 43-39 (about 5% of the statewide vote) but Rauner did even better in the 5 collar counties besting Dillard 48-36 (about 28% of the statewide vote) and his best area was the Cook County suburbs where he bested Dillard 52-32 (about 16% of the statewide vote). Dillard lost his home county of DuPage 46-39.
  • It is going to be fun to look at the color coded maps in this race (will be available sometime after the totals are certified next month), particularly the township by township totals in the Cook County suburbs. I’m guessing Rauner ran up some pretty big numbers in the affluent northern suburbs but I’m just as eager to see who won the blue collar NW & SW side townships. I bet there will be some interesting data there.
  • Downstate Dillard did well and bested Rauner overall (40-31 in the downstate 96 and 41-29 in the 90 counties outside the Chicago media market) but Rauner still had pockets where he did well. Rauner won the Quad Cities media market and almost fought to a draw in the Rockford media market. Remember, when these candidates (or outside groups) buy ads they don’t appear on every channel in the state, they generally appear in some but not all media markets. The data that I wish this website had but doesn’t is the campaign spending for/against candidates by media market. It would make this analysis a lot more fun. I’m told that at least some of this data is publicly available, depending on how labor intensive it is that may be on the future to-do list.
  • Incumbent Pat Quinn gave up 28% to an underfunded and not well known opponent, but anyone who says this means trouble for him in the general election is just baiting for pageviews. Quinn may or may not win the general but the outcome of that race does not correlate to his primary election results. The last two incumbent governors who ran for re-election faced a primary opponent. In 1994 incumbent Jim Edgar gave up 25% to Jack Roeser in their Republican Gubernatorial primary and he went on to win his general election by 30 points. In 2006 incumbent Blagojevich gave up 29% to Edwin Eisendrath and he went on to win the general by a larger margin (10%) than he won his 2002 gubernatorial (7%).

Last, the law was changed last year so that starting with this election all 110 election authorities in this state have to provide the State Board of Elections with precinct-level results in all of these races. Depending on how usable that data is we could potentially format it, collate it and have some fun with it. For example, it would be interesting to know which state rep/sen districts Rauner and Quinn performed the best/worst in. At least it would give them a pretty good idea where they need to shore up their base. Hopefully it is data we can use.

Data: IL-02 Special Election

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Closer Look: 2012 Democratic Primary for 39th State House

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I’m not planning on going too in depth on many of these past primaries but very close elections are always interesting and this election was very close. Incumbent Toni Berrios edged out challenger Will Guzzardi 4,021 to 3,896, a difference of 125 votes.

The new 39th district is a majority hispanic district, with 55.06% of the voting age population identified as hispanic in the 2010 census. The map on the right shows the hispanic percent of the population by census tract for every census tract that lies in whole or in part of the district. Click on the map to view the census data in greater detail. You can also see census data on median household income and/or percent of the population with at least a bachelor’s degree by clicking here.

As you can see from the census data, the central part of the district has a very high concentration of hispanic voters. The southeastern portion of the district is the gentrifying part with a high concentration of college graduates and a stronger median income. The northwestern part of the district has a significantly lower college graduate rate than the southeastern corner but an only somewhat lower median income.

The race pitted an hispanic incumbent female with a strong ballot name (her father is the Assessor of Cook County as well as the county party chairman) against a motivated young progressive with an ivy league background. Based on the demographic profile of the district and the candidates’ respective backgrounds you would expect each to find a regional base of support in the district. However as an incumbent female (typically the female to male ratio in democratic primaries is about 55-45) in a majority hispanic district the district favored Berrios.

The map on the right shows Guzzardi’s performance by precinct (click on the map to see it in greater detail). As you can see from the map he ran strong in the Logan Square neighborhood in the southeastern part of the district with a collection of precincts where he performed better than 60% (dark green and light green). In the northwest part of the district he once again had a handful of blue precincts but most of these precincts were either light blue (50-55%) or pink (45-50%) meaning they were narrow victories/losses. Throughout the district he only won two precincts with better than 70% (with the exception of the 20th precinct in Ward 31 which had only 1 total vote) so while he was able to earn votes throughout the district he didn’t really rack up any large numbers with dominant precincts.

This map shows Berrios performance by precinct. As expected her strongest area was in the central part of the district where she was able to run up some big numbers in precincts that would be expected to be her base. You can see a greater number of precincts in the dark grey (70-80%) and even a few in the light grey (80-90%). Since this map is essentially the mirror image of the Guzzardi map you can see that he outperformed her in the southeast corner of the district, but up in the northwest part you can see that Berrios won her fair share of narrow victories (light blue 50-55%) and held quite a few of her losses to narrow losses (pink 45-50%).

The difference in this race was that Berrios was able to run up bigger numbers in her base (the central part of the district) than Guzzardi was able to in his (the southeastern part) while holding the northwestern part of the district to about a draw.

Guzzardi has asked for a recount and has alleged some irregularities on election day. With electronic voting machines a recount seems unlikely to overturn a 125 vote margin strictly on the basic arithmetic of adding up votes.

A number of stories in the media have pointed out that Berrios’ father is the committeeman of the 31st ward where Berrios performed especially well (in the central part of the district). This shouldn’t come as a surprise, based on the demographics and past performance this is where Berrios would be expected to perform best. The map on the right shows the performance of Anita Alvarez in the 2008 primary for Cook County State’s Attorney. The comparison isn’t exactly the same, Alvarez ran against several candidates instead of just one and one of her opponents came from a base in the 38th ward which takes up the northwestern part of this district, but you can see the same type of vote intensity. Alvarez, the only hispanic woman in the race, performed very well in the central part of the district comparable to Berrios’ performance.

Perhaps there was some inappropriate or impermissible behavior that hasn’t yet come to light, but it seems more likely that the battleground to decide this race was in the northwestern part of the district where the vote was up for grabs and neither candidate was able make a strong claim to the vote there so Berrios prevailed because her base in the central part of the district was deeper than Guzzardi’s in the southeastern part.