Friday, December 16, 2016

EXTRA: Illinois’ political high point? It seems to be Cook County!

The highest elevation in Illinois is the Charles Mound not far from Galena, but when it comes to a political sense I’m wondering if the high point is right here in Cook County.
ORR: Oversaw record-high voter turnout

It might even be somewhere around suburban Oak Park. That is, if we look at the statistics available for voter turnout and electoral support for the Nov. 8 elections that are becoming a more distant memory with each passing day – albeit one that we’re never likely to forget entirely.

THE COOK COUNTY clerk’s office released its analysis of the election turnout that showed this was an election cycle in which the people cared. If Hillary Clinton wants to find a “fall guy” for her Election Day defeat, she had better not look to the county of her birth.

We turned out, and we backed her presidential aspirations big-time!

For the record, Hillary Clinton got the highest number of votes ever (699,003) by a presidential candidate. Even more than Barack Obama did in that 2008 election cycle that captured the nation’s imagination (or contempt, for the kind of people who are inclined to believe that Donald Trump’s victory was their revenge for having to endure eight years of an Obama presidency).

Oak Park Township in the western suburbs had an 83.4 percent voter turnout.

BUT TURNOUT WAS high all over the county. There were 1.51 million people registered to vote before Election Day, and another 24,000-plus showed up at polling places and registered to vote that very day.

With Cook County Clerk David Orr justifying that by saying, “More than 24,000 residents who wouldn’t have been able to cast a ballot were able to vote as a direct result of Election Day Registration.”

Those figures are records for Cook County voter turnout, although it will be interesting to see if they can be topped come the 2020 election cycle. Or was this phenomenon truly a product of the freakish nature of the ’16 Clinton/Trump brawl that I’m pretty sure no one has recovered from as of yet.

Voter turnout was high all the way around, but as one ventured outside of the Chicago metro area the more that the high turnout produced political support for Trump, rather than Hillary.

BUT COOK’S HIGH population (about 45 percent of the whole state) is why Hillary won Illinois with ease, while the bulk of the Great Lakes states was swayed over to Camp Trump.

So perhaps it is all the more appropriate that the low elevation point of Illinois is the point where the Mississippi and Ohio rivers converge – down by Cairo.
A low-point, in so many ways, for Democrats

That’s the part where Trump support was so strong that it helped translate into the few Republican electoral victories this state experienced this time around.


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