By thy rivers gently flowing, Illinois, Illinois,
O’er thy prairies verdant growing, Illinois, Illinois,
Comes an echo on the breeze.
Rustling through the leafy trees,
and its mellow tones are these, Illinois, Illinois,
And its mellow tones are these, Illinois.
From a wilderness of prairies, Illinois, Illinois,
Straight thy way and never varies, Illinois, Illinois,
Till upon the inland sea,
Stands thy great commercial tree,
turning all the world to thee, Illinois, Illinois,
Turning all the world to thee, Illinois.
When you heard your country calling, Illinois, Illinois,
Where the shot and shell were falling, Illinois, Illinois,
When the Southern host withdrew,
Pitting Gray against the Blue,
there were none more brave than you, Illinois, Illinois,
There were none more brave than you, Illinois.
Not without thy wondrous story, Illinois, Illinois,
Can be writ the nation’s glory, Illinois, Illinois,
On the record of thy years,
Abraham Lincoln’s name appears,
Grant and Logan, and our tears, Illinois, Illinois,
Grant and Logan, and our tears, Illinois.
Primary day has finally arrived in the Land of Lincoln. We have been besieged with obnoxious robo calls from all candidates, down to state representative, and I am quite sick of them. Of all the forms of campaigning I find robo calls the most annoying. Romney aka the Weathervane has dominated the advertising war, outspending Santorum 6-1. The Weathervane has especially used his money on ubiquitous internet ads. According to all the polls Romney has a wide lead and I would bet that he will probably prevail but I suspect it will be much closer than the polls indicate. Illinois is a hard state to poll due to the splitting of the state into three very diverse regions: Chicago, the Suburbs and Downstate (also known as Real Illinois 🙂 ) and micro-regions within those broad divisions . That diversity can occasionally cause upsets at the polls. We will see if today is one of those days.
We have many hotly contested races here locally and I expect turnout to be heavy for a primary.
My son, Donald J. McClarey, home on spring break from the U of I, and I just voted. My wife will be voting later today. This post will be updated throughout the evening as the votes come in. Now, off to the law mines for me!
Update I: Noon here in the Sucker State. It is a beautiful clear, dry day and unseasonably warm, feeling more like May than March. The farmers are all out in the fields and I can imagine a few of them deciding that taking advantage of the good weather beats voting, although I expect the impact on the election to be minimal. We should be seeing leaked exit polls on Drudge aka MittOwned soon, showing Romney ahead by a gazillion percent, and just as worthless as exit polls have tended to be throughout the Republican primaries thus far.
Update II: 5:50 PM in the Land of Lincoln. The polls close at 7:00 PM, and, right on schedule Drudge aka MittOwened, has a report from leaked exit polls showing Romney up by double digits. We will know soon enough whether the exit polls are any more useful than they have been in earlier primary contests.
Update III: 7:00 PM and the polls close. All the chatter from Fox and around the internet political sites are predicting a slaughter by Romney. Just announced, however, that the Fox decision desk considers it too close to call right now.
Update IV: 7:35 PM, Fox calls it for Romney.
Update V: A good interactive map to follow the results county by county, Illinois has 102 of them, is here.
Update VI: 9:20 PM: Santorum has been narrowing Romney’s lead all night as the Downstate vote comes in. At one point Romney was ahead by twenty points and now the gap is down to thirteen points. My guess is that the victory margin will be about ten points at the end. Santorum won the rural counties while Romney won the cities and racked up a huge margin in Cook and Lake Counties, where most of his victory margin was created. In the Chicago metro area Santorum was outspent 21-1 by Romney.
Update VII: March 21, 6:04 AM. The final margin of victory for Romney will be about eleven points. Romney walks away with 41 delegates to 10 for Santorum and 3 still undecided. In Michigan, and especially in Ohio, Santorum made it close, but not in Illinois. This puts added pressure on Santorum to win Pennsylvania, which explains why Santorum spoke at Gettysburg last night. However, that primary is not until April 24. In between we have Louisiana on March 24, which Santorum will win easily, DC, Maryland and Wisconsin on April 3 which I expect Romney to win, and then the April 24 primaries of New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania. While I expect Santorum to win Pennsylvania, I expect Romney to win everything else. The rest of the primary season is much more inviting for Santorum, but he will have difficulty keeping up his challenge during this time period if his donor base begins to dry up. But for litigation over the redistricting in Texas, that primary, with a probable big Santorum win, would be coming up on April 3. Now it is scheduled for May 29. So many factors can greatly impact a presidential nomination fight, and I believe the Texas primary delay is a significant one this year.