Tuesday, February 26, 2013

EXTRA: Kelly a big winner; urban vote crushes rural political aspirations

Why was it such a done deal that one-time state Legislator Robin Kelly will get to be a member of Congress – replacing Jesse Jackson, Jr., following an April 9 special election?
KELLY: The new member of Congress?

It was all a matter of population.

THE ILLINOIS SECOND Congressional District may stretch from 53rd Street south to the Kankakee/Iroquois County border. But the bulk of the people living in the district are in Chicago and the inner suburbs of Cook County.

Those people who live in the rural portions of Will and Kankakee counties that got lumped into the district just don’t have enough people to counter the urban mass that the district’s boundaries were drawn around!

Look at it this way. Suburban Cook County, which accounts for about 60 percent of the registered voters of the district, gave former Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson some 5,924 votes (according to unofficial tallies from the Cook County clerk’s office) in Tuesday's special primary election.

By comparison, Kankakee County gave the resident of Crete 3,999 votes.

YET HALVORSON’S KANKAKEE County total was good for 64.51 percent of the vote. Her suburban Cook tally? A mere 19.13 percent – which was only good for second place amongst the inner suburban voters.

When countered with the fact that Kelly managed to take 58.08 percent of the suburban Cook vote and 57.8 percent of the Chicago vote, the Kelly camp became a vote-rich juggernaut that nobody whose primary appeal is to the rural voter was going to overcome.

I did get one giggle from the preliminary election results I saw Tuesday night. The congressional dreams of 9th Ward Alderman Anthony Beale were dependent on him dominating the Chicago portion of the district.

Instead, all Beale got was 20.5 percent of the city vote – compared to the majority of the Chicago vote that went for Kelly.

THE LADY FROM Matteson cleaned Beale’s clock in the city, and thoroughly dominated in her home portion of the Cook County suburbs.

That is why Kelly is going to Washington and Halvorson (who got 8.91 percent of the Chicago city vote) gets to remain in Will County. At least she had the sense to concede this election early on – instead of stubbornly keeping people waiting late into the night in some desperation play to dream of victory.

A couple of other tidbits. It seems that 866 people in suburban Cook spoiled their ballots by voting for state Sen. Toi Hutchinson, D-Olympia Fields. She had killed her campaign and backed Kelly, but her name was still on the printed ballots and some people voted for her anyway.

And I’d like to meet the Will (0.09 percent) and Kankakee (0.1 percent) county residents who actually cast ballots for candidate Fatimah Muhammad – a onetime television broadcaster (for the Univision affiliate in Chicago) turned activist and a member of Minister Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam church.


No comments: