The Land of Lincoln Votes

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By thy rivers gently flowing, Illinois, Illinois,

 O’er thy prairies verdant growing, Illinois, Illinois,

 Comes an echo on the breeze.  

Rustling through the leafy trees,

 and its mellow tones are these, Illinois, Illinois,

 And its mellow tones are these, Illinois.

From a wilderness of prairies, Illinois, Illinois,

Straight thy way and never varies, Illinois, Illinois,

 Till upon the inland sea,

  Stands thy great commercial tree,

 turning all the world to thee, Illinois, Illinois,

 Turning all the world to thee, Illinois.  

When you heard your country calling, Illinois, Illinois,  

Where the shot and shell were falling, Illinois, Illinois,

 When the Southern host withdrew,

 Pitting Gray against the Blue,  

there were none more brave than you, Illinois, Illinois,

 There were none more brave than you, Illinois.

Not without thy wondrous story, Illinois, Illinois,

 Can be writ the nation’s glory, Illinois, Illinois,

 On the record of thy years,

 Abraham Lincoln’s name appears,

 Grant and Logan, and our tears, Illinois, Illinois,

 Grant and Logan, and our tears, Illinois.




Primary day has finally arrived in the Land of Lincoln.  We have been besieged with obnoxious robo calls from all candidates, down to state representative, and I am quite sick of them.  Of all the forms of campaigning I find robo calls the most annoying.  Romney aka the Weathervane has dominated the advertising war, outspending Santorum 6-1.  The Weathervane has especially used his money on ubiquitous internet ads.    According to all the polls Romney has a wide lead and I would bet that he will probably prevail but I suspect it will be much closer than the polls indicate.  Illinois is a hard state to poll due to the splitting of the state into three very diverse regions:  Chicago, the Suburbs and Downstate (also known as Real Illinois 🙂 ) and micro-regions within those broad divisions .  That diversity can occasionally cause upsets at the polls.  We will see if today is one of those days.

We have many hotly contested races here locally and I expect turnout to be heavy for a primary.

My son, Donald J. McClarey, home on spring break from the U of I, and I just voted.  My wife will be voting later today.  This post will be updated throughout the evening as the votes come in.  Now, off to the law mines for me!

Update I:  Noon here in the Sucker State.  It is a beautiful clear, dry day and unseasonably warm, feeling more like May than March.  The farmers are all out in the fields and I can imagine a few of them deciding that taking advantage of the good weather beats voting, although I expect the impact on the election to be minimal.  We should be seeing leaked exit polls on Drudge aka MittOwned soon, showing Romney ahead by a gazillion percent, and just as worthless as exit polls have tended to be throughout the Republican primaries thus far.

Update II:  5:50 PM in the Land of Lincoln.  The polls close at 7:00 PM, and, right on schedule Drudge aka MittOwened, has a report from leaked exit polls showing Romney up by double digits.  We will know soon enough whether the exit polls are any more useful than they have been in earlier primary contests.

Update III:  7:00 PM and the polls close.  All the chatter from Fox and around the internet political sites are predicting a slaughter by Romney.  Just announced, however, that the Fox decision desk considers it too close to call right now.

Update IV:  7:35 PM, Fox calls it for Romney.

Update V:  A good interactive map to follow the results county by county, Illinois has 102 of them, is here.

Update VI: 9:20 PM:  Santorum has been narrowing Romney’s lead all night as the Downstate vote comes in.  At one point Romney was ahead by twenty points and now the gap is down to thirteen points.    My guess is that the victory margin will be about ten points at the end.  Santorum won the rural counties while Romney won the cities and racked up a huge margin in Cook and Lake Counties, where most of his victory margin was created.  In the Chicago metro area Santorum was outspent 21-1 by Romney.

Update VII:  March 21, 6:04 AM.  The final margin of victory for Romney will be about eleven points.  Romney walks away with 41 delegates to 10 for Santorum and 3 still undecided.  In Michigan, and especially in Ohio, Santorum made it close, but not in Illinois.  This puts added pressure on Santorum to win Pennsylvania, which explains why Santorum spoke at Gettysburg last night.  However, that primary is not until April 24.  In between we have Louisiana on March 24, which Santorum will win easily, DC, Maryland and Wisconsin on April 3 which I expect Romney to win, and then the April 24 primaries of New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania.  While I expect Santorum to win Pennsylvania, I expect Romney to win everything else.  The rest of the primary season is much more inviting for Santorum, but he will have difficulty keeping up his challenge during this time period if his donor base begins to dry up.  But for litigation over the redistricting in Texas, that primary, with a probable big Santorum win, would be coming up on April 3.  Now it is scheduled for May 29.  So many factors can greatly impact a presidential nomination fight, and I believe the Texas primary delay is a significant one this year.


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  1. (Guest comment from Don’s wife Cathy:) The robocalls have come from even lower levels of government than Don has noted. I’ve answered at least one robocall from someone running for our local County Board, for example. Last night was especially bad for robocalls; it seemed one couldn’t go more than 15 minutes (if that) without yet another one. Such a relief when a real person making a non-political call would contact us instead!

  2. Your comments about robocalls give me pause. We’re set to kick off the campaigning in Maryland, and of course making phone calls is part of our itinerary. I suppose calls from live human beings are not as annoying as robocalls, but I still worry that it’s overkill.

    As for IL, as is the case with just about all the states, the delegate allotment is proportional, so Santorum should be able to win a fair number of delegates if he takes the more conservative congressional districts.

  3. True Paul. I am in the 15th Congressional District and I expect that Santorum will prevail here. That will be doubly sweet for me as we have some local politcos as Romney delegates, including one that I have long nicknamed “THE EMPTY SUIT”, and it will put a smile on my face to see them deprived of their delegate slots!

    As to robocalls Paul I have always hated them. I hang on long enough to hear who it is from before slamming down the receiver. I think when all campaigns are using them, and calling the same household multiple times, it diminishes whatever effectiveness they had when they were a relative novelty and merely serves to exasperate most of the recipients of the calls.

  4. Yep BA that is what happens when you start out as a presidential candidate on less than a shoestring and with apparently a zero chance. It is a tribute to Santorum as a candidate, and to the vast unpopularity of Romney with much of the Republican base, that Santorum is now slugging it out toe to toe with Romney and turning what Romney expected to be a coronation into a real contest.

  5. My law partner, whose astuteness apparently exceeds Dave Hartline’s expectations, just emailed me the following: “I spent a few minutes scanning through the exit poll data from Illinois. Romney increased his lead over Santorum in the Catholic vote compared with prior primaries, gaining 53% to 30%. He also won the sub-stratum of Catholic voters that attend service every week, 48-39% (contrary to claims by some in the Santorum camp that Romney doesn’t fare well among practicing Catholics). As expected, Santorum won the Evangelical vote, 39% to 48%, but that is a lower margin than elsewhere. Generally speaking, Romney won every possible demographic except unmarried males between 40-49, those with no education beyond high school, and those who make less than 30k. Interestingly, it looks like Santorum and Hillary share much of the same base, just in different parties.”

  6. We’re talking ILLINOIS here, right? My bet would be that every demographic in Illinois – the state which, along with Massachusetts, showed a remarkable immunity to the GOP gains in 2010 – is further to the left than similar demographics in every other state. I would bet that practicing Catholics and Evangelicals in Illinois, though perhaps conservative, are less so than practicing Catholics and Evangelicals in other states.

    So, those figures quoted above give me absolutely no pause whatsoever. Illinois is arguably one of the two most liberal states in the union. It gave us Obama. It would be tragic if conservatives and Republicans allowed yesterday’s results in a liberal state that Republicans have absolutely NO CHANCE of EVER winning in a presidential election to give us Obama Lite (aka Romney), as well.

  7. Jay nailed it–I mentioned on another blog this morning that “it appears Mitt Romney has carried yet another state he has no chance of winning in November.”

  8. Actually Jay in 2010 the Republicans in Illinois picked up four congressional seats, made gains in the legislature and almost took the governorship. Illinois is not Massachusetts and given a well funded GOP candidate, it is a pretty 50-50 state at the polls, except at the presidential level where the Democrats have dominated since 1992. Obama in 2004 replaced a conservative Republican senator who decided not to run for re-election. The main problem in Illinois is that terrible corruption runs rampant throughout both parties, and that conviction politicians of a conservative bent have difficulty gaining any support from the GOP establishment.

  9. In regard to Santorum’s loss I attribute it almost entirely to Romney’s overwhelming spending advantage, lockstep support of Romney by the corrupt GOP establishment in this state, and the fact that Santorum did not spend enough time in the state to start a grass roots movement to compensate for those disadvantages.

  10. “…and the fact that Santorum did not spend enough time in the state to start a grass roots movement to compensate for those disadvantages.”

    That’s an excellent point. I didn’t get Santorum’s decision to go to PR, of all places. His campaign discipline still needs some work.

  11. Jay,
    Unfortunately, I agree with your assessment of my native state. That said, Dave and others have been pretty emphatic in pointing out that the GOP base in IL is quite conservative and that this would be demonstrated by success for Santorum in the primary. My take is that Dave et al are right that the IL GOP base is plenty conservative notwithstanding the liberal bias of the state, but they were wrong in assuming that that this would translate into success for Santorum. Romney’s difficulties are concentrated in a few key demographics, but these demographics are not directly related to one’s degree of conservatism.

  12. “Actually Jay in 2010 the Republicans in Illinois picked up four congressional seats, made gains in the legislature and almost took the governorship.”

    I stand corrected then, Don, on Ilinois’ immunity to the GOP tide in 2010. I suppose I was basing my assessment almost entirely on the state’s electing a hardcore anti-Catholic “Catholic” leftist Democrat as Governor even after the whole Blago imbroglio.

  13. I can tell you exactly how that occurred Jay. Personal Pac, a pro-abort lobbying group run by a personal nemesis of mine from college named Terry Cosgrove, ran endless internet ads attacking pro-life Bill Brady. Brady made the mistake of ignoring them, due to almost every poll showing him winning comfortably. Bad mistake. It stampeded enough suburban women into voting for the worst governor in the country, Quinn, who is now immensely unpopular in the State due to the tax hike he rammed through the legislature in a midnight session. Quinn’s margin of victory was 0.9%.

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