The attached one page analysis of 2012 presidential election results in Illinois may be of interest.
It shows the final statewide totals (official canvass) for the Presidential race in Illinois, including the top 5 counties. This updates the preliminary analysis which was discussed at our post-election meeting in November.
Bottom line - Obama won all 5 top counties. Turnout was very low for a presidential election - at around 70%
Although Democratic turnout for Obama was down sharply from 2008 levels, it has climbed steadily since 2000 in the top counties and statewide.
Meanwhile, Republican turnout has declined in the top counties and only improved slightly statewide.
The Republican party has gone nowhere at organizing and growing the base of voters during the last decade, especially here in the Chicago area which accounts for around 60% of the total votes in Illinois.
The Dems haven't just won by default. They have earned it by getting organized while the IL GOP leaders have made excuses for repeated failures. Despite the demonstrably lousy performance by their leaders in Springfield and in Washington DC, they continue to turn out and grow their base of supporters.
Maybe IL GOP leaders will eventually figure out that it takes more than Lincoln Day / Reagan Day fundraisers, costly ads, and GOTV phone banking to win.
The Republican party continues to operate more like a private social club or bureaucracy rather than a competitive organization fighting to win elections. If this were a business, perhaps there would at least be some recognition that the loss of market share and failure to attract new customers between elections might be a significant problem worth doing something about. Perhaps there would be some recognition of the need to make real changes, rather than accept that a declining market share is inevitable.
If there is a leadership plan to improve party performance and win voter support between elections, it is well hidden.
Indeed, there doesn't even seem to be much recognition yet of the need to change. Instead, like a bureaucracy which is only effective at uniting to attack any whistleblowers who dare to question or try to change anything, as though the status quo was perfect and should never be altered except to reward them with more resources regardless of results, the Republican party is stagnating and becoming largely irrelevant in Illinois, except at the local level in some areas.
The SCC (state central committee) and party leaders seem to remain in denial about even having a problem.
Some even think Tea Party conservatives are the problem. That's like blaming the messenger who calls attention to the problems. They ignore any criticism and assume that we all have to "go along to get along" as inevitable losers.
Best wishes for a happy new year in spite of all that is happening in Springfield and Washington, DC these days.
The holidays are a useful time to reflect on past events, future plans, and a larger perspective on what really matters.
Imagine how George Washington felt before crossing the Delaware to attack Trenton at Christmas 1776. It's not our first crisis as Americans, and won't be our last.
The path to victory is not always easy or predictable. In the end, however, principled leadership changes the world for the better. Rather than be discouraged, we all need to focus on how we can make a difference.