Presidential Politics And Election Returns
Last Updated July 14, 2003
Illinois's presidential primary, for years held fittingly on or around St. Patrick's Day, clinched the nominations for Republican victors Gerald Ford in 1976, Ronald Reagan in 1980 and George Bush in 1988, and Democratic victors Jimmy Carter in 1980, Walter Mondale in 1984 and Bill Clinton in 1992. In 1988 the Democratic nomination would probably have been clinched here for Michael Dukakis, except for the dominance of two Illinois candidates, Paul Simon and Jesse Jackson. But in the 1990s and 2000, as more states voted earlier, Illinois was too late to decide any nomination. Illinois' Republican primary voters are about evenly split between the suburbs, with their affluent free-market dislike for taxes, and Downstate, with their old-fashioned, practical-minded Midwestern politics. More than 60% of Illinois' Democratic primary votes are cast in Cook County, most of them in Chicago.
By 2000 Illinois had become as solidly a Democratic state in presidential elections as California, a development that has not attracted as much national notice because California in 2004 will cast 55 electoral votes and Illinois 21. Only a major move in the suburbs away from Democrats and toward George W. Bush will make Illinois competitive in 2004. Otherwise, it remains the Democrats' strongest state between the District of Columbia and California.
|2000 Presidential Vote|
|2000 Republican Primary|
|2000 Democratic Primary|
|1996 Presidential Vote|
For 1992 and 1996 presidential results in Illinois, please see the Almanac 2000 online.
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