By Chris Hotchkin
Anyone who has been involved in DuPage County politics is aware that Democratic vote totals in our county have generally been on the rise for decades, due to changes in demographics and the drawing of districts.* (See analysis below). We have always known that what happens here in DuPage County profoundly impacts state wide totals and victories. Why? DuPage County is the second largest Democratic vote in the state, because of the size of our population. The race for U.S. Senator from Illinois between Tammy Duckworth and the incumbent Mark Kirk could very well be decided by the Democratic turnout here in DuPage County. And the number of votes and percentage of votes that Tammy Duckworth will receive here in DuPage County will be greatly influenced by our efforts to get Democrats to the polls in 2016. So, no pressure or anything, but our efforts here in Downers Grove Township, one of the largest vote totals in DuPage County, could decide whether or not Democrats take back the majority in the U.S. Senate. Seriously, our grassroots work in our township is that critical. Precinct Committeemen and volunteers, working our precincts thoroughly and well has never been more important. .
Tammy Duckworth is an outstanding and well-liked candidate. She achieved almost 55% of the vote in the DuPage County portion of her congressional district in 2012 and easily defeated Joe Walsh. But Joe Walsh was a terrible, extreme, right-wing candidate. Mark Kirk, despite saying in March that he “certainly would” support Trump, then changing his mind to say now he will write in David Petraeus (who leaked classified information to his mistress) nevertheless is known as a moderate and when he ran for U.S. Senate in 2012 he achieved over 57% of the vote here in DuPage County. To ensure Tammy is victorious state-wide, we must make sure we give her close to 40% or better of the vote here in DuPage County. Is that achievable? Of course it is—but we need to WORK VERY HARD to make sure our DEMOCRATS VOTE!
* Here are some numbers to back up the claim that DuPage County and Downers Grove Township are critical to our victories in 2016. In 2012, Senator Durbin (who has always polled well in DuPage County) received 45.5% of the vote in DuPage County, while Oberweis received 50%. However, Durbin ended up with an easy victory statewide of 53.5% to Oberweis’s 42.7%. On the other hand, in the 2010 general election, Democratic candidate Alexi Giannoulias received just 37.3% of the vote here in DuPage County, while Mark Kirk received 57.4% and Senator Mark Kirk ended up winning a close state-wide race with 48% to Giannoulias’s 46.4%. If a statewide Democratic candidate achieves close to 39% or better in DuPage County, it is likely that candidate will be victorious. If a statewide Democratic candidate receives 37% to 38% in DuPage, he or she could possibly win, but it will be close (Frerichs very narrowly defeated Cross in 2014 with 37% in DuPage). If a Democratic candidate receives less than 37% in DuPage County, he or she has little chance of winning state-wide. In 2010 Pat Quinn achieved 38.6% in DuPage County and closely defeated Brady for governor by about 1 percentage point. Sadly for all of us, in 2014 Pat Quinn achieved just 36.7% in DuPage and lost to Rauner statewide by 4 percentage points. Sheila Simon was not able to capture her father Paul Simon’s popularity here in DuPage County and achieved 36.9% of the vote to Topinka’s 57.8% and Simon lost the Comptroller’s race to Topinka by about 4 percentage points.