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.
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:
Here's a quick glance comparison of the difference between the Democratic/Republican candidate by past statewide contest for each district:
|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.
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.
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.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.
- 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).
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:
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.
|▪||ILGA: For Your Consideration (Updated)|
|▪||ANNOUNCEMENT: New Subscription Service and Free iPhone/iPad app|
|▪||2018 Cycle District Rankings|
|▪||Understanding the Governor's Race (General Election) - Governor Rauner's 2014 Fundraising|
|▪||Understanding the Governor's Race (Dem Primary) - The 2004 Primary for US Senate|