[Comments now opened.]
* Jim Allen with the Chicago elections board appeared with Rep. Tom Cross’ attorney Bill Quinlan on Fox Chicago Sunday with Mike Flannery to discuss Quinlan’s letter to the board alleging irregularities in the counting process and the board’s detailed response. And, yes, that’s the same Bill Quinlan who served as Rod Blagojevich’s chief counsel back in the day. It’s a must-watch…
* Meanwhile, the latest from Scott Kennedy…
UPDATE: 11/15 (11:00am)
I checked every election authority that has public data on a website this morning and the only further update was in Clark County where 3 new votes were added, all for Tom Cross. The new margin is Cross by 381 votes.
Also, Tom Kacich of the Champaign News-Gazette has some more information about the votes expected to be made public early next week in east central Illinois.
Later this afternoon I will have some info on what to expect this upcoming week when the clerks finalize their totals.
* From Kacich…
Hundreds of new votes will be counted in East Central Illinois next week in the state treasurer’s race, where Oswego Republican Tom Cross holds a thin lead over Champaign Democrat Mike Frerichs.
Most of the new votes, though, will come from Champaign County.
County Clerk Gordy Hulten said Friday that he expected between 475 and 500 new Champaign County votes would be added to the existing totals when late-arriving absentee and provisional votes are counted Tuesday morning. […]
In Champaign County, Hulten said, it appears there will be 325 late-arriving absentee ballots to count, plus about 150 provisional ballots. The Frerichs campaign hopes those ballots equal or exceed the 52.85 percent that Frerichs had unofficially in his home county on election night.
* Moving right along, the Frerichs campaign is trying very hard to shift the media’s focus away from Chicago and onto Downstate. I’m not sure they’ll ever win that argument. But it’s clear to me that they, at least, don’t want to make this about the votes left to count in Chicago and Cook County…
Updated vote totals released [yesterday] by the Frerichs campaign show him trailing Republican Tom Cross by only 312 votes as tallies came in across downstate Illinois. The downstate Democrat has received nearly half a million votes from the 95 counties of downstate Illinois, a number the Democrat says he must breach in order to win the hotly contested election. Current unofficial totals from all 110 election authorities across Illinois give Frerichs 498,225 votes in downstate Illinois, compared to: 477,439 in Chicago; 353,055 in suburban Cook County; and 342,309 in the six collar counties of DuPage, Lake, McHenry, Kane, Kendall and Will.
The Frerichs campaign says that as vote totals from mail-in ballots have been tallied in recent days from downstate Illinois, Frerichs has performed better than they had expected in downstate counties. In addition, Frerichs’ campaign notes that they have actually edged out Cross in ballot-counting in Republican-controlled Kane County since election day, receiving 1020 votes to 1015 for Cross. Frerichs says that while there are still tens of thousands of ballots to be counted from Rockford to Illinois’ southern tip of Alexander County, the current trend is in their favor.
“Mike Frerichs is from a farming family in downstate Illinois, we ran a positive campaign focused on his efforts to boost the economy, and we worked hard to earn the vote of downstate Illinois,” says campaign spokesperson Dave Clarkin. “Polls leading up to Election Day showed this race statistically tied, and the vote totals have seesawed back and forth as tens of thousands of ballots have been counted. However, those vote totals have clearly been seesawing in our favor all across the state, and it is a trend we hope to see continue as the tens of thousands of remaining ballots are counted.”
Yes, they’re not doing too badly in Downstate, but it’s my view they can say the “current trend is in their favor” (although it remains to be seen whether that’s true) because a ton of votes are not yet counted in Chicago and Cook.
…Adding… A quick e-mail from Kevin Artl…
I appreciate the “downstate roots” argument, but c’mon. There is no reason to suggest the spreads on these counties will significantly change when their remaining votes are counted. Furthermore, the spreads are very solid for Cross, overwhelming double digit wins across every downstate media market. In fact, Frerichs lost every media market outside of Chicago by double digits, including 6 by 20 points or greater, even though his campaign outspent Cross almost 6:1 on downstate TV.
Mike Frerichs hometown media market (Champaign/Springfield/Decautr): Cross wins 57-39
Quad Cities: 53-42
St. Louis: 55-40
Terre Haute: 67-29
Media market info is from Scott Kennedy’s site.
Frerichs won 6 counties.
Cook, Vermillion (Senate District and only by a few hundred), Champaign (Senate District), Rock Island (few hundred), Alexander and Fulton. The largest spread was obviously in Cook (Chicago included), the rest were all single digit spreads.
Vermillion, Champaign, Rock Island, Alexander and Fulton account for about 16% of the remaining votes to be cast in the Collars and Downstate. The 96 counties Cross won (the overwhelming majority by double digits) account for 84% of the remaining votes to be counted outside of Cook and Chicago.
…Adding More… It never ends with these guys. Frerichs campaign…
Tom Cross stated time and gain he needed to garner 20 percent of the vote in Chicago to win, while the Frerichs campaign believed we had an opportunity to outperform in downstate Illinois. Tom Cross came up short in Chicago with only 19.47% on election night (compared to 20.6% for Rutherford in 2010), while we are largely succeeding.
In downstate, Tom Cross is performing 2% lower and 60,000 votes worse than Dan Rutherford did in 2010, while Mike Frerichs is receiving tens of thousands of more votes than Democrats did in 2010 in downstate. For example:
Dan Rutherford won Champaign County by 12,000 votes in 2010, Mike Frerichs is on pace to win it by 5,000 this year, a 17,000 vote net loss for Cross.
Cross is winning Adams County on the other side of the state with 63% of the vote, but Dan Rutherford won it with 69% of the vote, a net loss of 3,000 votes for Tom Cross.
That is not to say that there were not bright spots for the Cross campaign downstate on election day, but on the whole Tom Cross under-performed Dan Rutherford (a downstate candidate) by 60,000 votes downstate and 140,000 votes statewide.
In downstate, Frerichs has seen a net gain of 235 votes since election day. The Cross campaign correctly point out that is not statistically significant to the overall vote total. What is significant is that Tom Cross needs the downstate mail-in and provisional ballots to go sharply in the other direction and they are not. Moreover, there is no reason to expect provisional ballots to trend sharply in Tom Cross’s favor downstate. If anything, we expect same-day ballots cast from Rockford to SIU-Carbondale and from SIU-Edwardsville to Danville to trend even more in Frerichs’ favor.
Mike Frerichs is currently receiving more votes from downstate than from the city of Chicago, a trend that will hold.