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View Diary: Bush approval cratering in Illinois: 33 percent (19 comments)

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  •  When I was growing up in IL, (none)
    IL was always considered one of those bellweather states, like OH is now, that would split roughly 50/50 in national elections, so I have been asked several times to try and explain why IL as a whole is now so Democratic. It was always the city v. the suburb/downstaters.

    What I usually say is that in the 60's/70's/80's the national Republican party was not the ultra-conservative party that they are now, which may explain why it seems to me that the suburbs which in the past were solidly Republican are now more and more voting Democratic. I know there are many other factors to explain the shift over the last 40 years, but it is an interesting exercise to try and understand this change in voting patterns.

    Contrast the change in IL from a 50/50 state to voting reliably Democratic to what has happened in Ohio - another midwestern state that is now considered a bellweather state that also has large urban populations v. suburban/rural.

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    "If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers." - Pynchon

    by HairOnFire on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 11:48:16 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly (none)
      In essence, what happened is Illinois is that the Cook County surburbs, which used to be fairly balanced have gone overwhelmingly Democratic. In 2004, Kerry came out of Cook County with an 850,000 vote plurality. (He won the state by about 550,000.)

      The collar counties have gone from about 2:1 Republican to about 55-45 Republican, with the Democrats coming very close in Lake county to winning.

      However, looking at past IL maps, you will see that the Democrats are not doing as well in traditional downstate strongholds. This is part of a shift of both parties as the Democrats become the party of the city and the suburbs, and as the Republican party's southern strategy (by which I mean guns, gays, abortion, as well as barely latent racism) reaps its dividends in the rural parts of the state.

      "Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." -Mark Twain

      by walter mitty on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 03:02:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have many relatives in southern IL (none)
        - some are farmers and a very rural area. It used to be when I heard my grandparents and great aunts argue politics there was more of a split - some were Democrats and some were Republicans. Now amongst my cousins, uncles, and aunts it's all Republican talk with my cousin proudly sporting his Rush Limbaugh baseball cap.

        But southern IL and rural areas in general (like in OH) are just another example of the Republican southern strategy and the guns, gays, abortion, and fundamentalist religion strategy.

        Maybe Democrats need to articulate a better message to farmers in general like politicians in the past did in order to capture more of the rural/small town vote.

        "If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers." - Pynchon

        by HairOnFire on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 05:15:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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