This website has a lot of data stored about various elections, for example you can find performance maps in the MAPS section as well as campaign budget information in the BUDGETS section. I wanted to create an easily navigated quick glance section by race for this data to make the data easier to find and use. Now there is a new section called ELECTIONS. Click on each of the pages below to find a quick glance page for each of the constitutional offices in Illinois with direct links to map and budget data.
You can find performance maps for every Democratic and Republican primary candidate for statewide office going back to at least 2002 and many races from 1994-2000 are also available. You can see maps by county, by Cook County township and/or by Chicago ward.
I'm pretty happy with this development as now this website can display all of the statewide maps I've had in my files and had hoped to include.
You can now see MAPS for all candidates in an election instead of just one. I'm very, very happy to be able to share this latest update, this was something that really bothered me from the day this site went live almost a year ago. Even now the Google software used to generate these maps is officially listed as "experimental" so it should come as no surprise that certain functionality was limited or unavailable when I first launched this site but unfortunately the only workaround would have involved an incredibly labor intensive process so I just waited. Now I'm very happy to be able to visually display all of the data I wanted.
Previously for each race that MAPS were available you could only see the map for one candidate in each race, you could at best then infer how the opposition performed but the limitation was frustrating. Now you can see the performance map for all the candidates. So for example if you happen to remember that in 2006 the Rockford Register Star was fed up with the Democratic and Republican candidates for Governor and instead endorsed Green Party candidate Rich Whitney you can look at this map and see what effect that endorsement had.
So far all the map data has been for general elections only but now I can and will add all the statewide primaries. That will probably take a few weeks (I just do this in my spare time) but I want to have it done before the NHL playoffs start and I'm sure March Madness will make it harder to find some free time.
After I get the statewide primary maps up I'd like to add more to the Chicago Aldermanic data set. The 2011 elections are already in there but I've always been meaning to add 2007 and 2003. So that's the update plan for now. As always I hope you find this information useful. Let me know if you find any errors or have any requests.
A little late but as promised I have updated the BUDGETS section. I had previously made available monthly fundraising and spending budgets (along with monthly payroll and weekly media buys) for about 12 competitive Illinois congressional races in the last few cycles. I had promised to update that report library with the 6 competitive congressional races from the 2012 cycle as well as go back and create the same reports for statewide races.
In order to produce these reports I downloaded the transaction data from the electronically filed reports of the candidates and then went through them line by line and assigned them to their proper budget section. Now not only are the latest congressional races included but I included every major party candidate for constitutional office (Gov, Lt. Gov, AG, SOS, Comptroller and Treasurer) from the 2010, 2006 and 2002 cycles (roughly 75 candidates). Further I created some quick glance tables in case you just want to look at the overall total raised/spent, and I put the entire database of transactions online. If you want to query all of the individual transactions I used to create these reports you can now copy that data for your own files and use it to build your own custom reports.
Even if you consider yourself a political junkie you may not find this part of the site particularly useful. It is really most helpful for campaign staffers who have to manage their campaign budget, usually just a campaign manager and/or an operations director. But for the candidates and staffers responsible for creating a campaign budget and managing the campaign's spending decisions this data is almost invaluable and will save you hours while trying to figure out how other past campaigns have managed the same challenges.
The data includes three types of reports, 1) monthly campaign budgets; 2) monthly payroll budgets and 3) weekly general election paid media (mostly/usually television). There are a number of reasons this information can be useful. If you are running your campaign well you are going to try to keep your payroll and operating costs to a bare minimum, but it is helpful to know just how low you can reasonably keep those operating expenses and it's valuable to see when other campaigns started hiring employees and/or incurring expenses.
Another issue that financial planners struggle with is figuring out how much your campaign will be able to spend on paid media and when to start spending. It's helpful to see when other comparable races started their paid communication and it's very helpful to see how comparable campaigns did in their fundraising in the final weeks/months of the campaign. You will almost certainly start spending your paid media budget before knowing how much money will still come in during the remainder of the campaign. You will have to make some estimates/predictions and you are going to want to base those estimates on comparable data if possible.
Here you will find quick glance tables listing the amount raised and spent during the election cycle for every statewide campaign and the key congressional races in my database.
Here you will find monthly campaign budget reports, monthly payroll reports and weekly (fall) media buy reports for every statewide campaign and key recent congressional campaigns.
You may be curious about the individual transactions that were aggregated to assemble these campaign budget reports. Here you can query the database of individual transactions I used to build these reports including the various data fields I appended when I went through these transactions line by line. Every bit of data I have is available here. With this data you can build your own custom reports to suit your needs.
Like any other data set this one has limitations and caveats so if you're planning to study this highly specialized data it's probably worth your time to be aware of the additional information provided in the FAQ.
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:
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:
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.
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|
A few things jump out at me:
For quick comparison by district to past races here's the Quick Glance:
|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.
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:
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/Area||Total||% of Total|
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|
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:
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.