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.


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.


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:







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.

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/AreaTotal% of Total
Cook Burbs4379455.59%

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):

CountyTownshipTotal% of Total
Cook/ChicagoWard 537644.78%
Cook/ChicagoWard 774229.42%
Cook/ChicagoWard 827773.52%
Cook/ChicagoWard 965828.35%
Cook/ChicagoWard 1034774.41%
Cook/ChicagoWard 3420522.60%
CookRich 11,18714.20%

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.

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.

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:

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

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.


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.

I have added some new data to the Redistricting section. Are you interested in finding out which congressional districts overlap with which state senate districts or state rep districts, or even which counties are involved? I've run all the districts through the computer and created this simple utility to give you more information about the districts. Check it out!

Welcome to Illinois Election Data, a data driven website I've created to share and display useful campaign data on Illinois elections. During my time working on campaigns I have amassed a very large number of files on Illinois election data. Having been through this exercise so many times I know how difficult and time consuming it can be to have to build the same data files over and over and I have a lot of sympathy for those who have to do so. I created this site to try to provide a lot of the basic data in an easy to see, understand and use format to help the overworked campaign staffers who work too many hours.

There is quite a bit of information in this site:

  • MAPS - Click on MAPS to select various types of vote total maps with the results color coded on top of Google Maps.

  • VOTE ANALYSIS - Click on VOTE ANALYSIS to see spreadsheet style data on election results, vote share and/or turnout organized by county, ward, township, media market and/or region.

  • BUDGETS - Click on BUDGETS to see monthly line item fundraising and spending for previous campaigns as well as payroll and media buys.

  • REDISTRICTING - Click on REDISTRICTING to overlay various maps to see how they are different. You can look at the new ward, congressional, state house, or state senate boundaries and see how they compare to the old boundaries, or with each other or even with county boundaries.

If you have any questions check the FAQ for more info.

Over time I plan to add more data and occasionally use this blog to highlight or add some depth to some data I find particularly interesting. If you want to keep an eye out for updates to this site feel free to follow its Twitter feed (see right hand sidebar), new posts will automatically be tweeted as well. Enjoy.

© Illinois Electon Data