Illinois Democratic Gerrymander 12-6 – Updated

Illinois is losing one congressional district this year – going from 19 to 18.  I have created a map that takes the current map with a delegation of 11 Republicans and 8 Democrats to one with 12 Democratic seats and 6 Republican ones.  I consider this an ambitious gerrymander favoring the Democrats, but one that is realistic and keeps a few things in mind:

1.) Michael Madigan is in charge and he will look out for his interests first.  He also will never do a dummymander.

2.) The Democratic incumbents also have input and their interests will be considered.  None of them will want their district lines to change much and all want their Democratic primary bases to be kept intact.  They also don’t want to be thrown from safe seats to possibly competitive ones.

3.) African Americans will insist on maintaining their three black majority districts, no matter how much population they have lost in the city.  The Hispanics will want at least one – two may be forced by the courts – but Madigan and his allies will likely push for one Hispanic district to maintain Lipinski’s seat.  Also, we have seen in the City of Chicago that Hispanic majority seats often go to white incumbents who control the Democratic machine.  Alderman Ed Burke’s 14th ward is 88% Hispanic, Madigan’s 13th ward is 72% Hispanic and just elected somebody named “Marty Quinn” to be Alderman.  

4.) Madigan will go after Freshman GOP before those with more seniority.  Not only are they easier targets, but having seniority on both sides of the aisle is good for Illinois.

Below is each new district with data and analysis.  I have calculated the results from the 2010 Senate race (Kirk v. Giannoulias) and from the 2004 Presidential race (Bush v. Kerry – I know, old).  I used the 2010 Senate race rather than the Governor’s race because it is on the Federal level, and to use data against moderate Republican.  I did not calculate data from the 2008 election, because Obama’s landslide was far too big  and unevenly distributed in Illinois (I feel Chicagoland was much more skewed than Downstate).  The 2010 numbers are exact (to the precinct) except for Tazewell, Marion, Moultrie, and Menard Counties, which I allocated votes by ratio of population in each district.  The same goes for 2004 numbers, except I had to extrapolate the precinct data for Lake and Will counties from 2010 data.

For now, here are three tables with election data, racial population data, and VAP data.  I will add more analysis in the next few days.

District  Kirk   Alexi    Bush   Kerry    PVI

1        24.80% 75.20% 23.00% 77.00% D+30

2        25.26% 74.74% 26.39% 73.61% D+28

3        48.14% 51.86% 44.25% 55.75% D+8

4        26.57% 73.43% 26.90% 73.10% D+28

5        47.72% 52.28% 41.53% 58.47% D+10

6        63.33% 36.67% 57.66% 42.34% R+6

7        18.61% 81.39% 15.81% 84.19% D+37

8        53.71% 46.29% 46.66% 53.34% D+4

9        47.77% 52.23% 39.12% 60.88% D+11

10       47.75% 52.25% 39.70% 60.30% D+11

11       68.75% 31.25% 60.55% 39.45% R+10

12       53.24% 46.76% 47.02% 52.98% D+4

13       49.12% 50.88% 45.12% 54.88% D+7

14       64.94% 35.06% 59.55% 40.45% R+8

15       68.33% 31.67% 59.68% 40.32% R+10

16       67.03% 32.97% 57.86% 42.14% R+8

17       56.61% 43.39% 46.84% 53.16% D+3

18       68.31% 31.69% 60.39% 39.61% R+10


District  White  Black  Hispanic  Asian

1        35.5%   52.7%   8.2%   2.0%

2        31.4%   52.8%   13.4%   0.8%

3        59.5%   6.1%   27.7%   5.4%

4        18.7%   4.1%   73.3%   2.9%

5        65.1%   2.2%   24.4%   6.7%

6        75.4%   3.7%   8.8%   10.3%

7        27.6%   54.5%   12.2%   4.1%

8        48.6%   8.7%   31.5%   9.1%

9        67.4%   7.8%   10.6%   12.0%

10       72.2%   3.4%   10.9%   11.5%

11       92.7%   3.2%   2.0%   0.8%

12       77.5%   16.6%   2.8%   1.1%

13       53.0%   12.7%   27.3%   5.0%

14       82.5%   1.6%   11.4%   3.2%

15       85.4%   6.8%   3.1%   2.9%

16       88.6%   2.6%   6.3%   1.1%

17       77.9%   12.4%   5.8%   1.5%

18       86.7%   5.4%   4.8%   1.6%


District  White  Black  Hispanic  Asian

1        38.0%   51.7%   6.9%   2.2%

2        34.5%   51.8%   11.7%   0.8%

3        64.0%   5.9%   23.5%   5.7%

4        23.2%   4.1%   68.3%   3.4%

5        69.1%   2.0%   20.9%   6.8%

6        77.7%   3.5%   7.5%   10.2%

7        31.1%   51.8%   11.0%   4.8%

8        54.1%   8.1%   26.9%   9.4%

9        69.2%   7.8%   9.3%   12.1%

10       74.7%   3.3%   9.3%   11.2%

11       93.5%   3.2%   1.7%   0.8%

12       80.0%   15.3%   2.4%   1.1%

13       58.3%   12.1%   23.4%   5.0%

14       85.3%   1.4%   9.4%   3.1%

15       86.7%   6.2%   2.7%   3.2%

16       90.8%   2.4%   4.9%   1.1%

17       81.7%   10.8%   4.6%   1.5%

18       88.7%   5.1%   3.8%   1.5%

Illinois Statewide

Illinois Statewide 2

Northeast Illinois

Northeast Illinois

Northern Chicagoland

Southern Chicagoland

Central Chicago

Central Illinois

Springfield and Decatur

Southern Illinois

Chicago Mayoral Liveblog #1: Countdown to Rahmageddon

9:28pm: With the races for tonight settled, SSP will be calling it a night.  Expect plenty of analysis in the coming days…

9:08pm: With thanks to Johnny Longtorso for the link, Dems hold Missouri SD-09, a KC-based seat. With seemingly all precincts reporting, Sly James also pulls into first for Mayor, with incumbent Mark Funkhouser falling into 3rd.

8:58pm: Here’s a shocker, and perhaps a sign of racial progress in an extremely segregated city: Rahm did better in wards represented by Black aldermen (59% to Chico’s 11%) than in those by White aldermen (55% to Chico’s 32%). CMB did better in the former – 20% – than the latter – 2%. Rahm also got 40% in wards represented by Hispanic aldermen, to Chico’s 32% and Del Valle’s 26%.

8:54pm: Backtracking on HD-99 in Connecticut.  NBC is reporting that the Dem has held the East Haven-based seat.

8:44pm: Chicago wasn’t the only Midwestern city to have an election.  While some of you might be surprised that the Midwest has two cities, in Kansas City, incumbent Mark Funkhouser is barely in second at 22.5%, with challengers Mike Burke and Sly James in first at 27.5% and 22.1%, respectively.  Funkhouser is an indie; Burke and James Democrats.

8:39pm: Looks like CT is over. Says the Courant:

In nine special elections Tuesday night, Republicans picked up a net gain of two seats – one in the House and one in the state Senate.

Both sides were happy as Republicans said they had made inroads on traditionally Democratic territory, and Democrats said they had largely held back a Republican onslaught that was part of a national trend that started last year.

8:37pm: Ghosts of the machine?  Gery Chico’s best ward tonight: 60% in the 14th, run by powerful ward boss – and prominent Chico supporter (and wife of IL Supreme Court justice Anna) – Ed Burke.

8:31pm: Dems also hold SD-6 in New Berlin, CT.

8:23pm: The Hartford Courant is reporting that Dems have lost another seat, HD-99, in “traditionally Republican-leaning Madison.”

8:11pm: Some down in the weeds City Council stuff: Sandi Jackson at 52% in the 7th; incumbent Sharon Denise Dixon has a plurality in the 24th with 19% (yes, 19%. Fortunately, we have runoffs for this reason).  West Ridge stalwart (and Council Wars veteran…and IMO noted ass) Bernie Stone at 38% with Ward Dem Committeeman (and wife of State Sen Ira) Debra Silverstein at 33%.

8:04pm: The Courant is also reporting that Dems hold the West Hartford-based HD-20.

7:58pm: We’ll diversify into some non-Chicago news here – in Connecticut, with its slew of special elections for 9 Dem-held seats; Dems have lost the 13th SD.  However, CT-02 loser Janet Peckinpaugh (R) loses again, as Dems hold the 36th HD.

7:53pm: Mayor Emanuel!  Rahm’s dominance today is stunning – 57% on the South Side; 59% on the West Side, and 70% in his former North Side stomping grounds.  Chico did well on the Southwest Side, 50% to Rahm’s 36%.  Rahm just shy of 50% on the Northwest side, 49.1%.

7:47pm: We’re calling this one for Rahm.  He’s over the 50% in 35 of 50 wards, including 75% in the Loop-based 42nd, Lincoln Park-based 43rd, and Lakeview-based 44th.

7:42pm: We’re now at 75% of the vote reporting, and Rahm’s at 54.44%. He’s still got some North Side strongholds to report, which is behind the curve at 72% in.

7:40pm: Alternatively, going by “side” of city, 66% of the Southwest Side is in, 60% of the Northwest Side; 55% of the West Side; 52% of the South Side, and 51% of the North Side.  The Northwest side, which has some heavily Hispanic pockets will be a mixed blessing for Emanuel, who did represent part of the area in Congress.  The North Side should turn out heavily for Rahm.

7:31pm: These votes are pretty evenly distributed.  Using the ever-so-rough approximation of aggregating by the race of the incumbent alderman, 59% of precincts in wards represented by white alderman are reporting; 53% of precincts represented by Black and Hispanic aldermen each.

7:28pm: And with 56% reporting, Rahm’s up to 53.9%, Chico at 25.8%. Del Valle and CMB still in 3rd and 4th.  

7:26pm: With 17% reporting, Rahm’s at 51.4% with Chico at 29.8.  Del Valle’s in 3rd, and Carol “You were strung out on crack” Moseley Braun is in 4th. It will be interesting to see where these votes are coming from.

7:04pm: No results just yet, but there are quite a few downballot races for City Council, where many incumbent aldermen are not seeking re-election. Of particular interest to SSPers might be the 7th ward, where incumbent Ald. Sandi Jackson (wife of IL-02 Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.) is seeking re-election.

Let’s get this party started…polls close at 7pm Central Time.  As my form of rebellion against the tyranny of the East Coast powers that me, all posts tonight will be stamped with Central time!


Chicago: Chicago BoE | Trib | Sun-Times

Connecticut: Hartford Courant

Kansas City: Kansas City Election Board

Don’t Overestimate Rahm Emanuel

By: Inoljt,

In little more than a year several months, the great city of Chicago will select its next mayor. Following the retirement of Mayor Richard Daley, the field is wide open.

Enter Rahm Emanuel. A powerful Democrat and President Barack Obama’s former chief-of-staff, Mr. Emanuel currently looks like the front-runner for the office. With many strong candidates declining to run and his potential opposition divided, things look good for Mr. Emanuel.

And yet one shouldn’t overestimate Mr. Emanuel’s chances as media-anointed front-runner. Mr. Emanuel has a number of hidden weaknesses that may combine to badly damage his campaign.

More below.

A strong attack, for instance, could be levied against Mr. Emanuel as a Washington insider who doesn’t care for the little man. This attack is all the more damaging because its first portion is completely true: it is hard to find a politician more immersed in Washington than Mr. Emanuel.

There are other variations on this theme. There is the geography version: Mr. Emanuel is a carpet-bagger who hasn’t lived in Chicago and doesn’t care about it. There is the populist version: the Washington elite may have already declared Mr. Emanuel the winner, but Chicago doesn’t have to listen to what the elite say. There is the class version: Mr. Emanuel is one of the rich elite who don’t understand the concerns of the working-class. There is the race version: Mr. Emanuel is one of the white elite who don’t understand the concerns of Chicago’s minorities.

None of this possibilities has yet been tried out, or turned into a coherent critique of Mr. Emanuel. It is too early in the game for that. But already there are signs that Mr. Emanuel has limited appeal amongst Chicago’s poor and its minorities (who compose a majority of the city’s population).

Mr. Emanuel does have a lot of things going for him, more than for any other single candidate. He has the support of most of Chicago’s machine, the business community, the politically influential North Side, and probably President Barack Obama (although most pundits probably overrate the importance of an Obama endorsement). Other candidates would probably love to be in his position.

On the other hand, Harold Washington had all this interests aligned against him when he campaigned for mayor. Yet Mr. Washington – the first and to date only black mayor of Chicago – still won consecutive elections on the back of minority support.

Chicago has a run-off system, in which if nobody gets more than 50% of the vote, then the first two winners go on to a second-round.  Most experts expect Mr. Emanuel to get in the somewhere in the 40s, if not an outright majority of the vote.

But it’s also quite conceivable that Mr. Emanuel polls in the low 30s come election day, if he fails to attract the working-class and minority votes that he needs to win in a place like Chicago.

IL-05: A Detailed Look at the Special Election

(More phenomenal work from jeffmd – promoted by James L.)

If I lived a few miles south, I’d live smack in the middle of Illinois’ 5th Congressional District.

Given that 12 candidates were running in the election on Tuesday – and that Quigley won with no more than 25% of the vote, I wanted to take a detailed look at the results by precinct.

A few Saturdays ago, I was running errands in Ravenswood. As I rode the Brown Line south towards the Loop, I noticed a distinct pattern in yard (or perhaps more accurately, window) signs – each neighborhood had the majority of signs supporting one candidate. North-South, they roughly went O’Connor, then Fritchey, then Quigley, then Feigenholtz.

So using the results available from the Chicago BoE, I tried to see if these yard signs were actually reflective. I also look at if each candidate did better in the district (whether State House, County Commissioner, or City Ward) that they represented.

I only got around to analyzing results within the city of Chicago though. Illinois (go figure) establishes separate election authorities for the City of Chicago and Suburban Cook County, and the Cook Suburbs didn’t give me the requisite shapefiles to play with.

So, here’s the goody that I think we’re all waiting for: the winner by precinct (within the City of Chicago).

More maps and results below the flip.

Of course, this map doesn’t show what the magnitude of the win in each precinct was, so this is a map that does. The legend might be unclear, so a color in the first column of the box indicates a precinct won by a candidate with 0-20%. In the second column, 20-30%, etc.

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Grey indicates a tie in both maps. Just some quick qualitative comments: Wheelan’s 7 precincts all came in Lincoln Park – the most affluent neighborhood of Chicago. Feigenholtz’s strength was in Lakeview, especially in Chicago’s LGBT center along North Halsted. Fritchey did well in Rahm’s homebase of North Center, as well as some outlying precincts here and there. Forys did best in Portage Park – a predominantly Polish neighborhood, and O’Connor did well in his base in Lincoln Square. Quigley’s strongholds are harder to point out – some precincts in Albany Park and Irving Park in the center of the district, but also the sliver of Edgewater that isn’t in the 9th CD, and much of Wrigleyville and Lakeview beyond Belmont.

Just to recap, here were the results from the city of Chicago:

Wheelan Feigenholtz Fritchey Forys Geoghegan Quigley O’Connor Other
5th CD 3,501 8,261 9,147 5,495 3,228 11,551 6,139 3,452
6.90% 16.27% 18.02% 10.82% 6.36% 22.75% 12.09% 6.80%

Overall, there are 486 precincts in the Chicago part of the district. Quigley won 153, Fritchey 98, Forys 90, Feigenholtz and O’Connor 57 each, and Wheelan 7. Additionally, 23 precincts were tied.

So sure, the maps are pretty and all, but what do they actually indicate? Well, let’s break it down by the various districts involved.

For those of you keeping score:

-Fritchey represents the 11th Legislative District; Feigenholtz represents the 12th.

-Quigley represents the 10th Cook County Commissioner District.

-O’Connor represents the 40th Ward of the City of Chicago.

So by LD first:

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Wheelan Feigenholtz Fritchey Forys Geoghegan Quigley O’Connor Other
11th LD 1,244 1,674 2,238 94 865 2,812 591 438
12.49% 16.81% 22.48% 0.94% 8.69% 28.24% 5.94% 4.40%
12th LD 652 2,587 440 74 413 1,916 184 238
10.02% 39.78% 6.77% 1.14% 6.35% 29.46% 2.83% 3.66%
Other LD 1,605 4,000 6,469 5,327 1,950 6,823 5,364 2,776
4.68% 11.66% 18.85% 15.52% 5.68% 19.88% 15.63% 8.09%

As you can see, Feigenholtz clearly had the ‘in-district’ effect – earning 40% within the 12th LD compared to 13% outside. She dominated here, winning 42 of 63 precincts, including half with 45%+.

The effect for Fritchey is less clear, he earned 22% within the 11th LD compared to 17% outside. He carried 26 of 91 precincts, compared to Quigley’s 48.

For Cook County Commission Districts:

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Wheelan Feigenholtz Fritchey Forys Geoghegan Quigley O’Connor Other
10th Commis. 1,296 3,577 1,089 235 795 3,477 1,876 508
10.08% 27.83% 8.47% 1.83% 6.19% 27.05% 14.60% 3.95%
Other Commis. 2,205 4,684 8,058 5,260 2,433 8,074 4,263 2,944
5.81% 12.35% 21.25% 13.87% 6.42% 21.29% 11.24% 7.76%

The effect for Quigley is of questionable magnitude as well. He got 27% inside the 10th Commis, compared to 21% outside. Precinct-wise, his numbers weren’t amazing either, winning 37 of 121 – compared to Fritchey’s 48. For those of you with fast math skills, that means Quigley won 30.5% of precincts within his district and 32% of those not. Go figure.

Incidentally, yes, the 10th Commissioner district is contiguous – it simply runs outside the 5th, so I did not display it here.

Lastly, by city ward:

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Wheelan Feigenholtz Fritchey Forys Geoghegan Quigley O’Connor Other
40th Ward 97 323 197 16 200 445 1,562 91
3.31% 11.02% 6.72% 0.55% 6.82% 15.18% 53.29% 3.10%
Other Wards 3,404 7,938 8,950 5,479 3,028 11,106 4,577 3,361
7.11% 16.59% 18.71% 11.45% 6.33% 23.21% 9.57% 7.03%

The ‘home district’ effect is clearest for 40th Ward Alderman O’Connor. He earned a stunning 53% within his ward, compared to 10% throughout the rest of the city. He swept 22 of 27 precincts as well. 12 of these 22 yielded 60%+ for him. Remnants of the machine? I’ll leave you to decide.

So was there a home district effect? Maybe. I think Quigley was able to win simply because he wasn’t limited to it. He was able to perform consistently both within and outside the 10th Commissioner district – enough to squeeze out a win.

A Brief Introduction To . . . Me!

Hello to all my fellow denizens of the Swing State Project!  I’m Ari, better known as the Caped Composer.  For the record, I really am a composer (and a female one at that!  How many female composers do you know?  For that matter, how many female Ari’s do you know?  I’m a double rarity!)  Regarding the “caped” part of my name, I’ve only worn a cape once in my life, when some friends dared me to wear one to a college football game.  That incident gave rise to the nickname.

I am not trained in political science– my degrees are both in music, as a matter of fact.  During my adolescence, I had no inclination toward political activism at all.  That all changed with the election of 2000, the first presidential election in which I was old enough to vote.  The debacle in my native South Florida splashed cold water on me, so to speak, and I have grown increasingly active in left-leaning politics ever since.

In 2004, I was living in Chicago (I went to graduate school there,) and I am proud to say that I spent election day in Wisconsin, getting out the vote for Kerry in the crucial suburban districts outside Milwaukee.  Many other Chicagoans also participated in this manner, and I believe that it was our efforts that gave Kerry the razor-thin victory over Bush in Wisconsin.

Since that time, I moved to New York, but have kept my fingers on the pulse of congressional and senate races across the country.  2006 was an invigorating and ultimately rewarding time; I spent a great number of hours calling voters in swing districts all over the place!  

My greatest hope for 2008 is that we can significantly increase our majority in the senate, and, furthermore, elect genuine progressives to both houses of congress.  Donna Edwards’ victory over Al Wynn earlier this week was, I hope, a sign of good things to come.

So, with that . . . I conclude my introduction.  I can’t wait to blog about more and more congressional races!