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Um, probably not

Monday, Aug 20, 2012

* The conservative Daily Caller is practically giddy today

President Barack Obama could lose his home state of Illinois in November, a new poll shows.

A poll conducted by Illinois-based pollster and political strategist Michael McKeon found Obama leading Republican Mitt Romney by 49 percent to 37 percent in Cook County, the home of Chicago. That puts him ahead by a far thinner margin than expected in a county he should be winning handsomely.

Cook is the most Democratic leaning county in the state. It is also the most populous.

Those numbers do not bode well for the president. […]

In the city of Chicago itself, he retains a 60-29 lead over Romney. But the Republican challenger leads 45-38 in the surrounding areas. Across the county as a whole, Romney leads 43-31 among independent voters, a crucial voting bloc. Romney also holds a 44-38 lead among male voters, and a 53-40 lead among white voters.

Illinois is not considered a swing state by any means; it is seen as solidly blue, and has been for the past two election cycles. But McKeon pointed to the 2010 gubernatorial race when Republican Bill Brady came within a single percentage point of now-Gov. Pat Quinn because Brady won most of the downstate counties. That is a feat Romney could repeat this year, leaving Obama vulnerable if he cannot expand his lead in Cook County.

* But Lynn Sweet has some recent county-wide poll numbers from Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s campaign which shows that President Obama has high favorables and high job approval ratings in Cook


67 Obama
54 Emanuel
53 Preckwinkle
53 Madigan, Lisa
41 Quinn


21 Madigan, Lisa
21 Emanuel
20 Preckwinkle
20 Quinn
13 Obama


37 Quinn
23 Emanuel
20 Obama
19 Madigan, Lisa
10 Preckwinkle


72/27 Obama
69/26 Emanuel
67/15 Preckwinkle
54/43 Quinn
*Madigan not included [Emphasis added.]

I wouldn’t bet the farm that Romney has a shot in Illinois. He’ll do much better in the suburbs and Downstate than John McCain four years ago. But a shot at winning Illinois? Not yet.

Also, notice Gov. Quinn’s ratings. Not good at all. The person who probably should be worried is Gov. Pat Quinn, not President Obama.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - tominchicago - Monday, Aug 20, 12 @ 9:36 am:

    Yes, Romney should invest a lot time trying to capture Illinois.

  2. - walkinfool - Monday, Aug 20, 12 @ 9:47 am:

    Great! I hope Romney suporters spend a lot of money in Illinois.

  3. - wordslinger - Monday, Aug 20, 12 @ 9:47 am:

    Giddy is a polite word for it.

    In the Cook County favorables, who’s the “Madigan?”

  4. - wordslinger - Monday, Aug 20, 12 @ 9:58 am:

    I’ll add that Romney probably has a better chance of carrying Illinois than he does the state where he was governor and where his campaign is based.

    Somebody named Mitt Romney was governor of Massachusetts; the current candidate doesn’t like to talk about it for some reason.

    Dollars for doughnuts he doesn’t carry the state where he was born and raised and where his father was governor. Nate Silver gives him a one in five chance of carrying Michigan, and Nate’s better than Lefty Rosenthal.

    Utah’s in the bank.

  5. - cover - Monday, Aug 20, 12 @ 10:03 am:

    If Illinois is even close in the presidential race, Romney would be a landslide winner. Not gonna happen, unless the economy goes into a tailspin again in the next 2 months.

  6. - olddog - Monday, Aug 20, 12 @ 10:05 am:

    @ Rich

    Which Madigan? I missed the original story.

  7. - Rich Miller - Monday, Aug 20, 12 @ 10:05 am:

    ===who’s the “Madigan?” ===


  8. - Ravenswood Right Winger - Monday, Aug 20, 12 @ 10:07 am:

    Intrigued by Emanuel’s numbers. Me thinks that unfavorable rating will grow/fail in direct proportion to the city’s homicide rate.

  9. - Downstate - Monday, Aug 20, 12 @ 10:13 am:

    It’s all about enthusiasm (and turnout).

    Romney doesn’t have to spend a dime in the state. The Taxed Enough Already Crowd will be driving the voter turnout in downstate Illinois.

    Wonder what impact the union’s derision of Quinn will have on their GOTV effort for the Dems. They clearly won’t displace Madigan as speaker. But wouldn’t it throw a scare into him if Obama only won Illinois by a whisker?

    Looks like the unions could gain HUGE political capital by NOT working for the Dems in 2012.

  10. - Rick - Monday, Aug 20, 12 @ 10:37 am:

    Rich is right. Nothing to see here as far as the Prez race is concerned….but the Quinn numbers really jump out. I doubt an incumbent Dem has ever had worse numbers in Cook County without being under indictment, which could signal real problems for him in a Dem primary. What’s more, the Democratic Party’s financial and organizational base, (organized labor,) has turned against him. Not sure what he does to pull out of this tailspin…passing pension reform in November will help him close the leadership gap, but only further alienate the base.

  11. - Curious - Monday, Aug 20, 12 @ 10:40 am:

    Why is Preckwinkle doing a poll. I think she has ambitions for higher office.

  12. - Team Sleep - Monday, Aug 20, 12 @ 10:41 am:

    As someone who has either worked or volunteered in many campaigns, I can unequivocally state that campaign staffers and trusted advisors must understand which areas are in play and which areas are not in play. Illinois has very expensive media markets and has not gone red in a presidential since 1988. Mitt needs to spend serious dough in Ohio and Michigan and the RNC should realize Illinois could certainly be in play in 2016. There’s reason to expend large sums of money in and reassign staff to Illinois when those resources are needed elsewhere. If Treasurer Rutherford wants to use some of his top staffers and campaign warchest to help Mitt Romney in Illinois, that’s his prerogative.

  13. - Backwards - Monday, Aug 20, 12 @ 10:41 am:

    “unless the economy goes into a tailspin again in the next 2 months”….would that be a different tailspin that the economy has been in for the last 4 years?

  14. - Michelle Flaherty - Monday, Aug 20, 12 @ 11:10 am:

    All Romney has to do is sit back and let the Pat Quinn grassroots campaign work its magic.

  15. - reformer - Monday, Aug 20, 12 @ 11:31 am:

    Quinn has a ratio of favorable/unfavorable of 41%-37% in his strongest county. That suggests he wouldnt garner such a huge victory margin next time, unless the GOP nominates Brady again.

  16. - titan - Monday, Aug 20, 12 @ 11:42 am:

    If Romeny is even close in Illinois, he won’t care one bit that the loses the state (he’ll be too busy planning his inagural events and ramping up to be President).

  17. - Bill F. - Monday, Aug 20, 12 @ 12:04 pm:

    “Michael McKeon is one of the most accurate pollsters out there,” said no one, ever.

  18. - train111 - Monday, Aug 20, 12 @ 12:56 pm:

    Don’t we have at least one of these “Illinois is compettitive on the Presidential front for the GOP” polls every election? The GOP puts out a few press releases. Giddy party hacks post on every forum how things are going their way and that they will win this year–and then–Nothing!!! After a few days the whole charade is forgotten.


  19. - jeff in gold - Monday, Aug 20, 12 @ 1:38 pm:

    Obama got 72% of Cook county in 2008. If he gets 67%(Job approval)of Cook county this year, he will still have a 800,000 vote margin. He will not lose Illinois, but if he has that level of attrition nationwide he is not going to be reelected.

  20. - Cincinnatus - Monday, Aug 20, 12 @ 1:53 pm:

    - Team Sleep - Monday, Aug 20, 12 @ 10:41 am:

    “If Treasurer Rutherford wants to use some of his top staffers and campaign warchest to help Mitt Romney in Illinois, that’s his prerogative.”

    Certainly a good investment if Rutherford is serious about some appointment in the Romney administration.

    Following up on my Ryan prediction from last month, I think that Obama will win Illinois by 9-11%, far below the current 21% polling average. Romney will win the Presidency 53-47% and by ~40 electoral votes.

  21. - Downstate - Monday, Aug 20, 12 @ 2:16 pm:

    I think you are on the right track. Even though Obama is even in a few swing states, there are still a large number of undecided voters.
    Undecideds rarely if ever swing to the incumbent, particularly in such a horrible economy. Assume that undecideds go to Romney 60-40, in the key states, and we are looking at a new President.

  22. - wordslinger - Monday, Aug 20, 12 @ 2:41 pm:

    –Romney will win the Presidency 53-47% and by ~40 electoral votes.–

    Nostradamus, your math is very interesting, to say the least.

    If Romney gets 53% of the popular vote nationally, he will win in a landslide electorally.

    But, rounding up the usual suspects of competitive states, show us how he gets to 53% nationally and only wins the electoral by 40.

    It doesn’t work that way, just on the math, in a, largely, winner-take-all electoral college. Check out 1960, 1968 and 2000 for reference.

  23. - Nathan Hale - Monday, Aug 20, 12 @ 3:00 pm:

    Cincinnatus - I think you are spot on.

    It should get real interesting if Quinn runs against Dillard or Rutherford…

  24. - amalia - Monday, Aug 20, 12 @ 4:22 pm:

    The Steinberg column in the Sun Times on Preckwinkle and former Medical Examiner Jones was quite interesting. Jones is well respected for her medical knowledge and she really blasts Preckwinkle.

  25. - wordslinger - Monday, Aug 20, 12 @ 4:34 pm:

    – Even though Obama is even in a few swing states, there are still a large number of undecided voters.–

    Where are the large number of undecided voters? Pretend we’re from Missouri and show me.

    Obama is leading by aggregate polls in all swing states but NC.

    Let’ face it. Romney has to run the table in the swing states. If he doesn’t put Florida and NC in the bank soon, it’s katie-bar-the-door.

    He has to spend a lot of money trying to secure those two crucial states while leaving Virginia and Ohio twisting in the wind, and trying to play catchup in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

    But without Florida and NC, it ain’t happening for Romney.

    Since the Nixon/Reagan/Bush I GOP landslides, the high point for GOP candidates in the electoral college is 286 for Bush II in 2004.

    Not a lot of wiggle room there.

    You can’t forego the West Coast, the East Coast from Maine to DC and the Great Lakes — where the educated, cultured working people with money who built the country live — and expect to win.

    The last president who ran Mitt’s strategy was Jefferson Davis.

  26. - Marty - Monday, Aug 20, 12 @ 5:24 pm:

    Whoever wrote that Daily Caller piece knows nothing about Illinois

  27. - Carl Nyberg - Monday, Aug 20, 12 @ 6:15 pm:

    A Republican pollster is saying Romney has a shot at beating Obama in Illinois?

    He sounds like a genius. I hope Republican campaigns don’t use him. It would be a real danger to Democratic campaigns if such a genius deployed his full talents.

  28. - wordslinger - Monday, Aug 20, 12 @ 6:41 pm:

    – Jones is well respected for her medical knowledge–

    But maybe not so much on her stacking of stiffs.

    The outcry on her firing has been…. non-existent.

    Seriously, no one but Neil Steinberg? That’ll stir the pot.

    Who’s the clout clamoring for Neil Steinberg columns, anyway? Richard Roeper fans?

    Put them both in a cage-match with Kass, and we can all ignore the one who survives.

    Sponsored by Bob Greene and Boredom.

  29. - anon sequitor - Monday, Aug 20, 12 @ 6:42 pm:

    Bill F nailed it.
    Never, ever believe in a McKeon poll.

  30. - amalia - Monday, Aug 20, 12 @ 7:58 pm:

    @wordslinger, I urge you to read again the comments from County Board members during the controv. I do agree that Neil Steinberg is lacking, but the positive comments from Commissioners about her ability are what stick with me.

  31. - wordslinger - Monday, Aug 20, 12 @ 9:05 pm:

    Amailia, although we don’t always agree, you’re about the brightest banana in the bunch.

    But I was a cops and courts reporter for many years and scooted around in the nasty places for a long time.

    Believe me, if the stiffs are being stacked up like that, if you’re in charge, you better howl, becasue you no one else cares.

    Nasty business. Not one you want to be in. It didn’t turn out great for her.

  32. - Southern Peggy R - Monday, Aug 20, 12 @ 11:06 pm:

    Wordslinger: “You can’t forego the West Coast, the East Coast from Maine to DC and the Great Lakes — where the educated, cultured working people with money who built the country live — and expect to win.”

    Wow! So, only “educated cultured” people “built the country”? Wow. I know many a well-educated person who gets it that the ditch-digger, construction workers, farmers, etc., are those who “built” this country. Even Ms Warren knows the roads are necessary for success. What snobbery! Oh, and Nixon apparently won his landslide though a liberal journalist could not name one person who she knew voted for him.

  33. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Aug 21, 12 @ 6:54 am:

    Southern Peggy R, should we put you down as being against education and culture? Whoops, you were already on the list.

    It’s not snobbery to say that it was the Yankees who did the heavy lifting and have had to drag the Rebs along with them every step of the way. Just the facts.

    Plenty of hard workers among those Yankees, too. That’ the point, actually.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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