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Carol Marin had a great column in today’s Chicago Sun-Times highlighting the really bad news for Democrats in Illinois stemming from the early voting numbers thus far:
Let’s look at early voting, for instance, and the fact that for the first time since its inception, the suburbs are surpassing the city in turnout. In some cases, the ratio is 3-1.
…With just one more week of early voting left, Cook County Clerk David Orr, a Democrat, doesn’t mince words: “There is certainly a scare here for the Democrats.”
Quinn and Giannoulias have real concerns about turnout of the black vote in Chicago:
Though midterm elections always show a drop in voter participation from the preceding presidential election, there are 40,000 fewer registered black voters now than in the 2006 midterm.
And though the historic presidential run of Barack Obama registered new voters of all races and ethnicities in droves, producing a spike of 190,000 voters in 2008 in Chicago, that gain has nearly been erased in the current canvass. There are today almost 160,000 fewer voters than two years ago. For whatever reason — the highly mobile young may have moved, the elderly may have died — they’re gone now.
Here’s one more thing to consider. In all of Chicago’s 50 wards, only two have picked up, rather than lost, registered voters since 2008. They are Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan’s 13th Ward, with 584 new voters, and Ald. Ed Burke’s 14th Ward, with 44 new voters. Madigan’s increase speaks to disciplined organization, Burke’s to a heated contest in which his state representative brother nearly lost in the last election.
In other Chicago wards, decreases range from 1,000 to 4,000 voters. Eighteen African-American wards took a big hit.
With Downstate voters expected to turn out for Republicans, and suburban women the wild card in this election, Democrats have got to deliver their base in Chicago or Quinn and Giannoulias are cooked.