Daily Archives: September 26, 2005

Cook County, IL

Cook County 2004

Cook County 2000

The Chicago metropolitan area, including Cook County and the surrounding five counties (Lake, Kane, McHenry, DuPage, and Will) dominates the state with 65.5% of the population. Winning this region goes a long way towards adding the state’s 21 electoral votes to one’s column. With the well-documented rural-urban split of support between Republicans and Democrats, Illinois poses a particular challenge for Republicans to overcome the heavily urban Chicago area. In 2004, Kerry won Illinois handily (55% to 44%), carrying Cook County 1,439,724 to 597,405 – a margin of almost 850,000 votes (41 percentage points!). Bush won the net returns from all the remaining Illinois Counties 1,748,541 to 1,451,826, a margin of about 300,000 votes – a figure that falls well short of overcoming Kerry’s 41 point margin in Cook County.

The trend in Illinois is also not good for the Repulicans. Although Bush increased his percentage in Illinois as a whole between 2000 and 2004 from 42.6% to 44.5% (or 1.9 points), this figure is a full point below his national average (to 50.7% from 47.8% or 2.9 points). In Cook County, Bush’s share of the vote fell one half of a percentage point to 28.7%. The decrease in popularity coupled with an increase in turout added almost 100,000 votes to the Democratic margin between 2000 and 2004. In addition, Bush lost six of the suburban townships in 2004 that he won in 2000 (he didn’t win any that he lost in 2000). Only two townships increased Bush’s margin between 2000 and 2004 (Orland and Lemont – two of the furthest townships from Chicago – in the southwest portion of Cook County).

The Atlas is in the proces of adding additional precinct and township data for Illinois in 2004. DuPage, Kane, Lake, and Sangamon are now available (in addition to Cook) for those interested in further study.