Bruce Rauner recently announced that he is going to spend the remainder of the race campaigning in and around the Chicago area. There is some decent logic behind this strategy, it has long been the conventional wisdom that Bill Brady lost the 2010 Governor's race in the suburbs, and the numbers back that up. Take a look at the table below that shows the performance of Brady (Governor, lost) and Mark Kirk (US Senate, won) in their 2010 respective races by region (expanded collars).General Election Republican Performance - Expanded Collars (FAQ)
|Region||2010 Kirk||2010 Brady||Difference||Vote Share|
|Cook County (all)||31.63%||28.61%||3.02%||37.51%|
|___Cook Burbs (only)||43.47%||39.50%||3.97%||19.02%|
The expanded collars table groups "downstate" as the 90 counties outside the Chicago media market. You can see that in 2010 it made up a little more than 34% of the vote and the performance of Brady and Kirk is nearly identical, even though Brady is considered to be from the conservative wing of the Republican party while Kirk is less so. Even though Brady is from McLean County and Kirk is from the Chicago suburbrs, the voters in these downstate counties rated them equally and their performance was essentially the same.
The biggest difference was in the Chicago media market. The difference between the two candidates in the Chicago suburbs was about 4% but it varied by township. The difference was most pronounced in the affluent north and western suburban townships:
|Township||2010 Kirk||2010 Brady||Difference|
In the 11 counties in the Chicago media market other than Cook County (collectively referred to here as the Collars) the difference between Kirk and Brady was about 3 and a half points with the Lake County numbers the most pronounced:
|County||2010 Kirk||2010 Brady||Difference|
If the Rauner campaign can win over the Kirk-Quinn voters from 2010 they could have enough votes to win the election and since all of those Kirk-Quinn voters from 2010 are in the Chicago media market it makes sense for them to focus their campaign there now that we have reached the home stretch.
But what about Pat Quinn and the other candidates? 2010 was a strange year for Democratic performance downstate in that it was abnormally low. Take a look at the table below showing the Democratic performance of the candidates in competitive contested elections over the last few decades in the downstate counties outside of the Chicago media market:
In 2010 Pat Quinn, Alexi Giannoulias and Robin Kelly all performed worse than Carol Moseley-Braun did in 1998 outside the Chicago media market, and she was carrying a lot of baggage by then while unsuccessfully trying to fend off a well funded challenger. On this list only Dawn Clark Netsch performed worse than the competitive Democratic candidates of 2010 and she lost in a blowout by 30 points. In 2002 Tom Dart lost his race for Treasurer to the popular Topinka and in 2006 the Republicans actively campaigned against Blagojevich in their legislative campaigns tying the local Democratic candidates to the unpopular downstate incumbent governor, yet both of those candidates performed more than 5 points higher than Quinn and Giannoulias in the 90 counties outside of the Chicago media market.
They weren't just losing, they were losing downstate counties that had a history of going to Democrats like Madison, Fulton and Franklin by almost 20 points:
The downstate numbers for the Democratic candidates in 2010 weren't just bad, they were historically bad. So the question becomes, was this a once cycle free fall or the new normal?
One simple answer is that by 2012 Barack Obama was back up to 45.11% in the downstate 90 counties. As I mentioned before some of those numbers were probably helped in the Quad Cities by Iowa advertising, take a look at the map of Obama's performance by county and you can see that his numbers in the Quad Cities media market are noticeably better than his performance in the surrounding areas. But either way, one cycle later and those numbers bounced back to a historical norm.
The Presidential race was the only statewide race in 2012 but the Democrats performed strongly in a bunch of targeted State Senate races as well. First time candidate Andy Manar won the 48th Senate District (1D, 1R House members) by more than 10 points in a central Illinois district that stretches from Springfield to Decatur and down to eastern Madison County. (you can view district maps here) In the 36th SD (2D House members) up near the Quad Cities Mike Jacobs won re-election by more than 9 points. In the 46th SD (1D, 1R House memebers) in the Peoria area Dave Koehler won re-election by more than 8 points. In the 47th SD (2R House members) that runs from Quincy to Galesburg to almost Springfield John Sullivan was re-elected by almost 13 points. In the Metro East's 56th SD (1D, 1R House members) Bill Haine won by more than 17 points. And in deep southern Illinois' 59th SD (2D House members) perennial target Gary Forby won by more than 18 points.
The historically low downstate numbers for the Democrats in 2010 didn't carry over into the 2012 races. What can we expect in 2014 though? It's not a presidential year so the electorate will be smaller and more Republican leaning than in presidential years. Also Illinois native and favorite son Obama will not be at the top of the ticket, instead it will be Dick Durbin in what looks to be a pretty safe race and then Pat Quinn who remains unpopular downstate, even among his own party.
In 2014 the Governor's race was the only statewide primary race on the Democratic side to feature more than one candidate. Pat Quinn faced off against little known candidate Tio Hardiman, the former executive director of Cease Fire. Hardiman had lost his job at Cease Fire after his wife filed a domestic violence case against him, later withdrawn. Prior to running Hardiman also had a different guilty plea to a misdemeanor for domestic violence against a former wife expunged from his record.
You would not expect that a Chicago former executive director of Cease Fire with a history of domestic violence to become the preferred candidate of downstate Democrats but in the 2014 Democratic primary for Governor that is what happened. In this case it likely had less to do with people voting for Hardiman and more likely these votes were cast against Quinn in protest.
First take a look at the map of Hardiman's performance in the City of Chicago, it's very consistent with no wards above 30%. Next look at his performance map in the Cook County suburbs, again the same consistency with no townships above 30%. Then look at his county by county performance map, the difference jumps out at you, especially in southern Illinois. Hardiman won Marion county with more than 72% of the vote. In 6 other counties (Alexander, Clinton, Jefferson, Shelby, Union and Washington) he took more than 60% of the vote. The southern half of the map is littered with counties painted shades of blue, green or grey for Hardiman. Once you get outside of Cook and the traditional 5 collar counties everything is over 30%.
It may have been true that 2010 was a historically poor year for Democrats downstate that won't automatically translate to a repeat performance for Democrats this cycle but it's also true that Quinn is facing a popularity issue this cycle with downstate members of his own party. If he's that unpopular among Democrats it's likely to be true of downstate independents as well.
There is natural room for vote growth for Quinn in his downstate numbers. Even if he can only muster being as popular as Blagojevich was during his 2006 re-elect that would still improve his downstate numbers by about 5 points and a 5 point improvement downstate would translate to about 60,000 votes his way (and 60,000 away from his opponent) based on 2010 numbers. The mid 40's looks to be about the sweet spot for a typical Democratic candidate in a contested, competitive election, a far cry from the 34% Quinn took in 2010, but if he could somehow increase his downstate performance by 10 points it would be worth 120,000 votes his way (and 120,000 away from his opponent). In 2010 the race was decided by about 30,000 votes so these are meaningful numbers.
But in order to do that he's going to have to campaign hard there and win over voters that were clearly very angry with him back in March. Unlike Rauner who will focus like a laser on the City and suburbs, Quinn's path to victory likely includes a significant downstate component.
And what about the downstate Democratic candidates for Treasurer and Comptroller Mike Frerichs and Shelia Simon? Both are native downstaters who can likely count on above average support from the area. But if they're looking at the very visible Quinn anger displayed in the primary can they afford to risk being lumped in with Quinn downstate if his numbers don't improve? I am sure they would like to have the luxury to count on longstanding downstate support so they could focus their time and money on the Chicago media market but if Quinn's downstate numbers don't improve is that a risk they can afford to take? The Democrats have three downstate candidates on their statewide slate this year, Durbin, Simon and Frerichs, a more favorable downstate slate over recent cycles. They should be well positioned to rebound in their downstate performance but it will be interesting to see how the whole ticket performs and where the candidates and their campaigns spend their time and money to capitalize on the geographic makeup of their statewide ticket.
Thanks to the wonderful efforts of the DataMade team at Election Money who have made the Illinois State Board of Elections campaign finance data far more usable I have attempted my first crack at creating a (somewhat) current dashboard for the current cash position of each of the major party candidates for constitutional office. Please send me your feedback including any suggestions for new dashboards. My hope is to do the same for the State House and State Senate races and also look at some of the outside money PACs that file with the Illinois SBE. Here are some notes:
I mentioned this on Twitter but forgot to update the front page. All of the 2014 Illinois primary data has been completely updated. All of the vote total analysis in the ANALYSIS section is up to date as well as the MAPS and even the ELECTIONS page profiles. If you're interested in the primary postmortem scroll down below, it turns out our election night numbers were pretty accurate and all the items held up when compared to the actual certified vote totals.
Thank you to all who spent time with us last night. We had a lot of fun and I have leftover pizza in the fridge so that's a plus but I'm not sure that we'll do that again. It's very labor intensive. My hope is that enough people saw how you can cut and slice all the data that comes in and make it much more useful and helpful than simply knowing the running total for the candidates. Primaries are one thing, but come the general election there is even more useful available data and even more ways to use it. The news organizations get a ton of useful data throughout the night and simply don't tell you very much about it or display it in a useful way and they don't put it into a historical context. With the help of a bunch of great volunteers we were able to do that for one race, imagine if they programmed their computers to output it for all the races. I really hope they do.
Ok, on to some observations: (remember none of these results are official and when the official certified numbers are released in about a month there will be some minor changes)
Last, the law was changed last year so that starting with this election all 110 election authorities in this state have to provide the State Board of Elections with precinct-level results in all of these races. Depending on how usable that data is we could potentially format it, collate it and have some fun with it. For example, it would be interesting to know which state rep/sen districts Rauner and Quinn performed the best/worst in. At least it would give them a pretty good idea where they need to shore up their base. Hopefully it is data we can use.
2010 R-IL GOV PRI there were 767,485 total votes, looks like 2014 will have around 800K. Dem crossover didn't carry Dillard, Republicans did— IL Election Data (@ILElectionData) March 19, 2014
In the 90 counties outside the Chicago Media Market Dillard beat Brady 41-20. I would have lost a lot of money predicting these numbers.— IL Election Data (@ILElectionData) March 19, 2014
One more quick number before we leave, in the downstate 96 counties Dillard beat Brady 40-19.— IL Election Data (@ILElectionData) March 19, 2014
Have a good night, thanks for hanging with us.— IL Election Data (@ILElectionData) March 19, 2014
We have almost 95% of the precincts reporting and a 2 point race. The AP has called the race so I'm taking my team to the bar.— IL Election Data (@ILElectionData) March 19, 2014
More important reminder, the projections are based on a lot of incomplete data and should be taken with a huge grain of salt.— IL Election Data (@ILElectionData) March 19, 2014
Reminder, we are doing this by data entry because the AP refuses to let me pay for their data. Imagine if we could do this for all the races— IL Election Data (@ILElectionData) March 19, 2014
With more than 89% of the vote in we have Rauner with about a 2% lead and projecting that he pretty much holds it.— IL Election Data (@ILElectionData) March 19, 2014
Man I wish there was good data on TV spending by media market.— IL Election Data (@ILElectionData) March 19, 2014
In the Champaign/Spfld/Decatur media market Dillard leads Rauner 48-25, in Quads MM it's Rauner 36-33, in Peoria its Dillard 36-24.— IL Election Data (@ILElectionData) March 19, 2014
Here's what can affect those projected totals, we don't always have the right number of precincts reporting affecting those projected number— IL Election Data (@ILElectionData) March 19, 2014
Ok I've turned on the projected totals, and these numbers are based on some assumptions, AND WE'RE DOING DATA ENTRY, but damn this is close— IL Election Data (@ILElectionData) March 19, 2014
Most of the outstanding vote will come from outside Cook, right now Rauner is up 15% in the collars while Dillard is up 9% downstate.— IL Election Data (@ILElectionData) March 19, 2014
Historically the downstate 96 makes up about 46-47% of the primary total and the collars make up about 31-32%.— IL Election Data (@ILElectionData) March 19, 2014
Surprise of the night (for me) in the downstate 96 counties with 34.91% in Dillard leads w/ 40.99%, Rauner 30.62%, Brady 17.97%, Rford 10.91— IL Election Data (@ILElectionData) March 19, 2014
There is 48% of the vote in in the Chicago media market, none of the rest have more than 15% reporting.— IL Election Data (@ILElectionData) March 19, 2014
Rauner is at just over 50% in the Chicago media market, his strongest, and that's where most of the vote is from so far.— IL Election Data (@ILElectionData) March 19, 2014
Republican Gubernatorial election results are starting to trickle in, you can see in great detail here: http://t.co/mb6vY3pL94— IL Election Data (@ILElectionData) March 19, 2014
As promised we are bringing live election results for the Illinois Gubernatorial Primary tonight. @ILElectionData.
Reminder: We'll have live election night results of the Rep. Gov's race. You can get a peek at the dashboard here: http://t.co/mb6vY3pL94— IL Election Data (@ILElectionData) March 17, 2014
On the night of the Illinois primary I plan to have live election night returns for the Illinois Gubernatorial Republican Primary. While you can get live statewide totals at almost any Illinois news site (and some even give you county by county totals) I plan to have live data that shows real time totals for the statewide vote broken out by county, by media market and by region (both traditional and expanded collars) and showing vote share. Right next to the live results you'll be able to scroll through all of the historical results for Republican primaries going back years or even decades. I spent the weekend building the dashboard display for this and I'm happy with how it turned out.
Most major news organizations subscribe to the AP election package and they get live data from the AP on election night, that is how they are able to display the election results. I have tried to pay the AP for this data and they refuse to let me subscribe because this isn't a "news organization". So while I'd really like to have complete access to live data on every race in the state and be able to display it in a way that is helpful and useful to the people who like or need to see results in great detail for this election we still have to do it by hand and so we can only do this one race for now.
This effort is more likely to crash this website than to work and be cool but we are going to try it anyway. I have bribed a group of friends with pizza and beer to lookup the live election results for the Republican Gubernatorial primary from all 110 election authorities. I have created a big spreadsheet that a group of about 10-12 friends will be entering data into and it is set up to run a bunch of calculations and display all the data the way I like to see it. If it works it should be interesting and a lot of fun, but most likely the hosting company will be down that day or the website will crash though. Either way I just hope it works well enough to encourage the big news organizations in Illinois to take a look at how they display election night results and see what they could be doing better.
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.