2014 IL-GOV/LT GOV: How Does it Work?

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There have been a few changes in the law that will affect how the Governor and Lt. Governor will be elected in 2014. I’ll cover those changes and their impact below but I’m still left with one unanswered question: can a Lt. Governor candidate raise and spend funds in support of his/her election and if so how does that work?

Let me begin by saying I’m not an election attorney (or attorney of any kind for that matter) so just because I have unanswered questions isn’t necessarily a cause for alarm. However two key changes in the election code will be in effect for the first time in a Governor’s race for the 2014 election:

  1. Contribution limits – the law implementing contribution limits went into effect January 1, 2011 for the start of the 2012 election cycle. The law limits a candidate for elected office to a single “candidate political committee” and provides for contribution limits of amounts depending on the donor type and the office sought. The language on candidate committees and contribution limits can be found in Article 9 of the election code.
  2. Joint nomination of candidates for the offices of Governor and Lieutenant Governor – in 2010 HB5820 which became Public Act 96-1018 changed the election law so that the Governor and Lt. Governor would appear on a primary ballot as a team and be voted on as a joint pair. This bill was passed in the aftermath of the messy divorce between Democratic nominees for Governor and Lt. Governor Pat Quinn and Scott Lee Cohen in the 2010 primary. As you can see from reading the public act the language provides a mechanism for how the process is supposed to work to nominate a joint ticket of Governor and Lt. Governor and is silent on other concerns with this new situation.

Prior to either of these laws going into effect the Governor and Lt. Governor were elected separately and because there were no contribution limits either candidate or both could have as many committees as they wanted. Sometimes candidates for Governor and Lt. Governor would agree to campaign as a team (even though both would still be required to win independent elections) and other times the elections for Governor and Lt. Governor went forward with the candidates willing to let the elections play out and deal with any outcome.

In 2006 Republican Gubernatorial candidate Ron Gidwitz agreed to campaign with Lt. Governor Candidate Steve Rauschenberger and even though each candidate had their own candidate committee for their campaign funds (Gidwitz for Governor and Citizens for Rauschenberger, respectively) they also decided to create a 3rd joint committee called the Illinois Turnaround Team for funds that would ostensibly be used to pay for campaign activities to support both candidates. I can’t think of any legal advantage gained by creating a 3rd committee, it seemed to be only for cosmetic purposes as they campaigned publicly as part of a team (a turnaround team) working jointly. Ultimately both candidates were unsuccessful in their respective primaries but it’s a good example of the various options that were available to candidates prior to the new laws going into effect.

In the 2010 Democratic primary the campaigns for Governor and Lt. Governor proceeded independently and in the end Pat Quinn secured the Gubernatorial nomination while Scott Lee Cohen was the victorious Lt. Governor candidate. Cohen later dropped out after pressure by Quinn and other Democratic leaders. Subsequently the Democratic party selected Shelia Simon as a replacement candidate at Quinn’s behest. Simon could have legally created a campaign committee to raise and spend funds in support of this election however she never opened one in her own name. Quinn has had the longstanding Taxpayers for Quinn committee and also in the spring of 2010 they created a committee called Quinn/Simon for Illinois which was used to raise and spend a significant amount of funds in support of the Quinn/Simon ticket that fall. Again this joint committee doesn’t appear to have provided the Quinn/Simon campaign with any additional legal advantages it simply had the cosmetic effect of a ticket working together.

Looking ahead to 2014 it appears that the law that implemented campaign contribution limits for the first time will also prevent the creation of these additional joint committees as a candidate is limited to one and only one candidate committee:

(10 ILCS 5/9-2) (from Ch. 46, par. 9-2)
Sec. 9-2. Political committee designations.
(a) Every political committee shall be designated as a (i) candidate political committee, (ii) political party committee, (iii) political action committee, (iv) ballot initiative committee, or (v) independent expenditure committee.
(b) Beginning January 1, 2011, no public official or candidate for public office may maintain or establish more than one candidate political committee for each office that public official or candidate holds or is seeking. The name of each candidate political committee shall identify the name of the public official or candidate supported by the candidate political committee. If a candidate establishes separate candidate political committees for each public office, the name of each candidate political committee shall also include the public office to which the candidate seeks nomination for election, election, or retention. If a candidate establishes one candidate political committee for multiple offices elected at different elections, then the candidate shall designate an election cycle, as defined in Section 9-1.9, for purposes of contribution limitations and reporting requirements set forth in this Article. No political committee, other than a candidate political committee, may include the name of a candidate in its name.

What is less clear is how the law applies to someone running for Lt. Governor. Here are a number of questions that immediately come to mind:

  • Now that a candidate for Lt. Governor is no longer elected independently are these candidates still allowed to raise and spend funds in support of their own election (primary and general)?
  • If yes, can they accept contributions from donors that have already maxed out to the Gubernatorial candidate they will be nominated with?
  • If yes, are they allowed to coordinate all of their electoral activities with the Gubernatorial candidate they will be nominated with including making joint fundraising appeals for twice the legal limit (half to the Gubernatorial committee/half to the Lt. Governor committee) and fully coordinated spending decisions from both committee accounts?
  • Pay to play legislation outlawed campaign contributions to any candidate for an office where the donor has been awarded a contract by that officeholder. Could a Lt. Governor candidate accept contributions from donors that are prohibited from giving to a gubernatorial candidate under this provision? Could they then spend those funds in support of their ticket? Can they coordinate that spending decision with the Gubernatorial candidate they will be nominated with and who would not be legally allowed to accept such a donation?

It’s entirely possible all of these questions have very clear answers explicitly stated in the law, I’m not an election attorney and even though I have a lot of experience dealing with the Illinois election code I freely admit I’m no expert. But if some of these questions don’t have clear answers hopefully the legislature can use the upcoming spring session to clarify the election code prior to the 2014 election cycle kicking into full gear.

Updated Data: 2012 Targeted IL Congressionals

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

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

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

A few things jump out at me:

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

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

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

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

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

2012 IL Election Analysis

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

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

Updated Data: 2012 IL-PRES Maps & Vote Analysis

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The Illinois State Board of Elections met to certify the vote totals on Sunday night. There was only one statewide race this cycle so I updated the maps and the various vote analysis spreadsheets and they are now available. As always, general election maps can be found in the MAPS section and vote analysis spreadsheets can be found in the VOTE ANALYSIS section. If you’re ever looking for more data than what is displayed just send me an email and if I have it I’ll send it to you regardless of who you are or who you work for.

MAPS

Here are direct links to the 2012 Presidential race maps:

For now the maps only display the color-coded performance of the Democratic candidate. For an explanation to that and answers to other map related questions see the maps FAQ.

VOTE ANALYSIS

Here are direct links to the spreadsheets that include the 2012 Presidential race and allow you to compare performance, turnout and vote share by county, ward, township, media market and region (both traditional & expanded collars) to historical data:

BY COUNTY

BY CHICAGO WARD

BY COOK COUNTY TOWNSHIP

BY MEDIA MARKET

BY REGION (TRADITIONAL COLLARS)

BY REGION (EXPANDED COLLARS

For an explanation on the difference between traditional and expanded collars or any other questions see the Vote Share FAQ.

The data update schedule I laid out previously looks to be on schedule. I’ve started assembling the data to update the 6 targeted congressional races already and all I’m waiting on is for a few local county/municipal clerks to update their websites with the official precinct-level results. Whenever they do it’s only about two days worth of work to get the updated congressional data up. Also I’ve already started assembling the financial records for past statewide candidates to get the campaign budget data for constitutional candidates, I’m guessing sometime around January for that. Plus, I’ve finally figured out how (conceptually) to update the MAPS section so that you can see a color coded map for more than just one candidate. It’s going to take a lot of backend coding (and trial and error) so I have no idea when that will actually be available but at least I’m pretty sure it’s a possibility now. Enjoy.

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.

Updating Data: 2012 General Election Results

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All of the Illinois election results will be made official on or around December 7th when the State Board of Elections is supposed to review and accept the official canvass of the county clerks and the municipal election authorities. I’ll probably update the statewide race (there was only one) first and make available the vote total maps and the new county/ward/township/region/media market vote total numbers. Depending on my free time that should only take a few days.

Next I’ll update the same info but for the targeted congressional districts. That will take a little longer because I have to get the precinct level data individually from the various county clerks and municipal election authorities covering those areas and that data tends to always be in some not very easy to use format that requires reformatting.

The campaign budgets section has always had the campaign budgets of key congressional races and sometime after the 1st of February 2013 when the final reports are filed for the 2012 cycle I’ll go back through these campaign finance reports and do the work to add those budgets to the data sets.

I’ve also always planned to add the campaign budget data sets for key past statewide races in Illinois and with the Governor’s race primaries heating up I plan to do just that early next year. Should be long and tedious but hopefully interesting to look at.

Last, all of the data in the maps and vote total analysis sections are for general elections only so far for a lot of reasons mostly due to time and difficulty. However with interesting primaries headed our way for 2014 I’d like to find a way to update the site to include a lot of primary data (probably not all for practical reasons) and I’m starting to think through how to tackle that massive undertaking. I’m still not really sure how or when but it’s somewhat on the to-do list.

Anyway, looking to have plenty of new data available to look at soon.

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

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

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

Quick Glance

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

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

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

Illinois Poll Numbers

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The news of the day comes from a We Ask America poll on the Illinois presidential race. There had been some speculation that Illinois was trending in play, but this poll seems to put that speculation to rest. However there are still those who think these poll numbers are flawed in some way so I developed this little app to allow people to enter some performance values by region and compute the statewide total.

You can find historical Democratic and Republican performance by region here if you want some reference on how other past candidates have performed in these regions.

Also, this app defines collars as the traditional 5 collars of Lake, McHenry, DuPage, Kane and Will. For more on that topic see the FAQ here.

h/t

What Early Vote Numbers Do (and Don’t) Mean

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Early voting in Illinois began just a few days ago and in some other states around the country it has been going on for as many as a few weeks now. Most states have some form of early voting with some combination of early vote, vote by mail and/or no-fault absentee voting. The county clerks in each jurisdiction are busy taking record of which voters have already completed a ballot, the clerks must do this to ensure that the same voter doesn’t show up to his/her polling place on election day and cast a 2nd ballot, and so we are starting to see some numbers reported both in polling data and in actual numbers voted in media reports.

For example this poll in Time Magazine shows that among early voters in Ohio 60% are supporting President Obama while 30% are supporting Governor Romney, and according to this data from the Iowa Secretary of State 542,000 people have requested an early ballot and 376,000 have already returned their ballot. Here is a good site that is trying to aggregate as many of the available statistics and analysis on early voting.

While any candidate would strongly prefer to have any and all of their supporters vote as early as possible to ensure their vote is heard and counted it’s important to understand that some early votes are more interesting and significant than others. Consider two types of early voters, one we’ll call Habitual Voters. These are voters who were 100% certain to vote and couldn’t wait to cast their vote. The other type we will call Sporadic Voters. These are voters who were likely or very likely to support your candidate but for whatever reason they don’t always make it to the polls. Sometimes they forget, maybe they work multiple jobs at strange hours or perhaps they travel a lot. For whatever reason some voters are just sporadic voters.

Sporadic Voters are the voters that most interest campaigns during early vote. A well organized campaign should be taking advantage of the convenience offered by early vote to help their likely supporters take advantage of this convenience and make sure they cast their ballot. A good GOTV (get out the vote) operation should help a campaign by increasing their vote total among supporters by encouraging sporadic voters to vote.

However the early voting data reported by polling firms, county clerks and state boards of elections can’t distinguish between Sporadic Voters and Habitual Voters. That sort of data just isn’t easily available publicly.

But the campaigns know.

In Illinois, for example, each county clerk (or municipal election authority – there are 8 of them) are required to send a list of voters who have early voted to the State Board of Elections within two days. That data is then aggregated by the State Board and made available to the campaigns who will update their voter files with that data. The campaign voterfiles are sophisticated enough that they can be easily queried to see which voters are Sporadic vs. Habitual Voters and they can keep score on which types of voters have voted and which candidate they are supporting (at this point in a presidential campaign the campaigns know who each voter is voting for with a pretty high degree of accuracy).

Both the Republicans and the Democrats have released memos taking credit for their progress on early voting. This memo from the RNC doesn’t mention any data relative to sporadic voters, but here’s their take:

In the battleground states with available data, Republican AB/EV activity is strong. In addition to raw Republican versus Democrat turnout numbers, there are two key metrics by which we can measure this. First, we can calculate the party’s share of AB/EV activity as compared to the party’s share of voter registration. The data show the percentage of AB/EV activity from Republicans is greater than the percentage of registered voters which are Republican, indicating higher turnout rates among registered Republicans than among registered Democrats. For example, Republicans are outperforming our share of voter registration in absentee requests and early votes by 5.6 points in Florida, 8.73 points in Ohio, and nearly 12 points in Pennsylvania.

Second, we can measure the party’s share of AB/EV activity as compared to its share in 2008. In most cases, the data show Republicans making up a larger share of early voters this year than they did four years ago. Democrats make up a smaller share, giving Republicans an important advantage. Across the eight states, Democrats are underperforming their share of 2008 AB/EV votes cast by a net 5.85 percentage points, while Republicans are over-performing their share by 2.13 points, yielding a net swing of +7.98 percentage points for Republicans.

I’d prefer a more data driven analysis, but that’s their take.

On the other side of the coin is this memo from the Obama campaign field director. I wish they’d make their daily spreadsheets available by state and give us more data but they do have some analysis on Sporadic Voters (defining sporadic voters as voters who early voted in 2012 but didn’t vote at all in 2010):

Non-midtermvoters: Across nine battleground states, Democrats have a 19.7 point advantage in ballots cast among non-midterm voters. More than half (51.5 percent) of non-midterm voters who have voted already are Democrats, while fewer than a third (just 31.8 percent) are Republicans.

  • For example, in North Carolina, 51.5 percent of those who have already voted are Democrats, compared with just 25.1 percent who are Republicans. That’s a major advantage. And among these non-midterm voters who have voted in North Carolina so far, 87 percent of them are youth (under 35), African-American, Latino, or new registrants (registered after the 2008 election).

This is more useful and interesting data but it’s no guarantee of success. Hopefully reporters who are working on early voting stories are asking the campaigns to provide data (not just spin) on the performance and partisanship of sporadic voters who have voted early.

Now having said all this it’s important to keep in mind that the data is not perfect and it’s the larger counties with larger staffs that provide the most reliable data. For example, in Illinois every county clerk is supposed to send their early voting data to the State Board of Elections but I’m certain that many of the smaller counties just don’t have the capacity to meet this obligation daily. So the most reliable data is generally coming from the areas with large populations and if you think population and/or population density correlate to specific candidate performance then you should take that into account when trying to understand the data.