In the nail-biter election of 1976, then-President Gerald R. Ford narrowly won the Land of Lincoln while losing the election. His 50.1%-48.13% effectively flipped the two candidates’ national percentage with Carter winning 50.08% to Ford’s 48.02.
The state, once reliably Republican, has moved in recent years into the Democratic camp.
Even with Democrats playing defense in such “blue” states as Pennsylvania, Minnesota and possibly Oregon, almost no one is talking about the president’s home state as a possible Republican pick-up. But, this morning, when reader Kurt alerted me to this post reporting that black Chicagoans are upset with the incumbent administration, I wondered if this anger would depress turnout among one of the incumbent’s core constituencies.
Just before the conventions, we linked a poll showing romney leading the president by only 12 points in Cook County. Obama led in the City of Chicago, but Mitt Romney had the advantage in surrounding suburbs. The poll showed Romney running ahead of Mark Kirk’s tally in the 2010 Senate race where that Republican won only 1 in 3 Cook County votes, yet beat his Democratic challenger by 2 points statewide.
Yesterday, I reported that a Chicago paper which backed Obama in 2008 has endorsed Mitt Romney. That journal bills itself as “the voice of the suburbs“. If indeed it does speak for the Chicago suburbs, that’s not a good sign for the incumbent in his home state.