ILLINOIS 21 Electoral Votes

Most attention focused on the U.S. Senate race.  The Democrats had a star quality nominee in Barack Obama, while Republicans had to scramble following the withdrawal of their nominee Jack Ryan in late June 2004.  Eventually they settled on Alan Keyes as the nominee.

In terms of presidential campaign activity there were a few visits, many tied to fundraising.  In general, however, Illinois was largely ignored.

This was a source of great frustration to Kerry's director Avis LaVelle, who later noted the campaign raised millions of dollars, but put none of it back into the state (her budget was all of $7,000).  Meanwhile, there were thousands of people who were enthusiastic about the campaign, who had signed up through the web site, or who wanted to show their support but could not get signs, buttons and bumper stickers, and in a sense were "left standing on the curb."  LaVelle even did some fundraising of her own and helped bring in Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.  Kerry communications director Porter McNeil, based in the Quad Cities, also worked hard "creating media events to amplify and localize the national campaign's message of the week, fielding reporter's calls, recruiting surrogates to deliver the Kerry-Edwards message at events throughout downstate, assisting the Iowa campaign, particularly at the end, and keeping the Illinois Democrats from screaming too loudly about not having enough Kerry-Edwards yard signs."

Kerry carried only 15 counties compared to the 24 that Gore had won in 2000.1  Kerry communications director Porter McNeil explains:

Aside from a couple fundraisers in Bloomington which John Edwards attended2 and a John Kerry visit to Quincy just before the March Illinois primary, downstate Illinois was shut out.  Kerry and Edwards dropped in on Chicago a handful of times.  The result was that the Bush-Cheney ticket won more downstate counties than the previous presidential campaigns of Gore (2000), Clinton (1996) and Clinton (1992).  In 1992 for example, the Clinton-Gore bus tour cut a swath through small towns throughout Southern Illinois.  Democrats ignore rural, swing areas at their own peril as we look ahead.
In the absence of official resources, Illinois for Kerry, an independent grassroots organization, was particularly active. (flyer, letter). [DOC]  However, their efforts had primarily an external focus.  Volunteers traveled to Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio, and Missouri, and did phonebanking to battleground states.  Wisconsin was a particular focus for bus trips.  For example in an October 23 posting on the Chicagoland for Kerry blog Daniel Denison described how "over 315 volunteers excitedly boarded 6 buses headed for WI and IA."  He wrote that, "In the last six weeks of bus trips, we have put over 7200 manhours on the ground in Wisconsin and Iowa."  In a November 3 posting Sharon Sikes wrote how in the final weeks, "We had three people working on their computers all night for days on end, just to respond to emails and to schedule busload after busload of volunteers."  It is quite possible that all this work made a difference in Wisconsin; the external focus of Democratic activists may also explain why the plurality and margin of victory for the Democratic presidential ticket declined in Illinois.

1. In 2004 Kerry carried: Alexander, Calhoun, Champaign, Cook, Fulton, Henderson, Jackson, Knox, Madison, Mercer, Peoria, Putnam, Rock Island, St. Clair and Whiteside counties.
    In 2000 Gore carried: these 15 counties and Franklin, Gallatin, Henry, LaSalle, Macon, Macoupin, Montgomery, Perry and Pulaski.

2. In addition to Edwards' Sept. 7 fundraiser, he also held another fundraiser at the Dorrises in the latter part of 2003 during the primary campaign.
Bush-Cheney '04 Kerry-Edwards 2004
Organization details...  details...
BC'04 State Chair: Former Gov. Jim Edgar 

Illinois Victory 2004 Committee
Director: Eric Robinson

Illinois Republican Party
State Chair: Illinois State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka
Exec. Director: John Hoffman

KE Director: Avis LaVelle

Coordinated Campaign was run out of the Obama campaign

Democratic Party of Illinois
State Chair: Speaker of the House Michael Madigan
Exec. Director: Timothy Mapes

September 24, 2004
-LB attends a Victory 2004 luncheon at the estate of Patrick Ryan, CEO of Aon Corp. in Winnetka, IL.  (Raises $675,000). 

September 18, 2004
-DC and LC at Speaker Hastert's annual mega-event "An America Rally" at Northern Illinois University's Convocation Center in Dekalb, IL. ($)

July 22, 2004
-GWB tours and makes remarks on homeland security at the Northeastern Illinois Public Training Academy in Glenview, IL. 
-GWB attends RNC Victory 2004 event at the home of Aon Corp. CEO Pat Ryan in Winnetka (Chicago), IL.  (Raises $2.5 million). 

June 4, 2004
-DC delivers remarks at a reception for Illinois Senate candidate Jack Ryan at the Chicago Hilton in Chicago, IL. ($) 

September 7, 2004
-JE attends a DNC fundraiser at the home of Dave and Leigh Anne Dorris in LeRoy (Bloomington), IL.  ($)

August 9, 2004
-JE attends an AFL-CIO executive council meeting at the Drake Hotel in Chicago, IL. 
-JE stops at Manny's Coffee Shop & Deli with Sen. Dick Durbin and state Sen. Barack Obama in Chicago, IL. 

July 14, 2004
-JE attends Kerry/Edwards fundraiser reception at the Hilton Hotel in Chicago, IL. ($) 

June 29, 2004
-JK speaks at the annual Rainbow/PUSH Coalition and Citizen Education Fund Conference at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers in Chicago, IL. 

April 9, 2004
-JK small fundraising event in Chicago, IL. ($) 
-JK joins Democratic Senate nominee Barack Obama to tour and talk jobs and the economy at Greater West Town Training Partnership in Chicago, IL. 
-from news accounts... Meets with Rev. Jesse Jackson in Chicago, IL.

March 13, 2004
-JK rallies with Gov. Rod Blagojevich at Quincy Junior High School gymnasium in Quincy, lL.   ...challenges Bush to monthly debates.

March 9-10, 2004
March 9
-JK and Gov. Rod Blagojevich host a dialogue with seniors on drug re-importation at the Levy Center in Evanston, IL. 
-JK attends an election night party in the Great Hall at Chicago Union Station in Chicago, IL. 
Overnight in Chicago, IL. 
March 10 
-JK addresses the AFL-CIO Executive Council Meeting by satellite from Chicago, IL. 

Newspaper Endorsements source: Editor & Publisher
Chicago Tribune  (10/17/04)
Journal Star [Peoria]
Springfield State Journal-Register
The Pantagraph [Bloomington]  (10/17/04)
The News-Gazette [Champaign-Urbana]  (10/17/04)
The Northwest Herald [Crystal Lake]
Herald & Review [Decatur]
Southern Illinoisan [Carbondale]
The Journal-Standard [Freeport]
*Chicago Sun Times  (10/24/04) 
*Daily Herald [Arlington Heights]  (10/17/04)
*Rockford Register-Star  (10/24/04)
Daily Southtown  (10/24/04)
Chicago Defender 
*Edwardsville Intelligencer

Third Party and Independent
Nader Ballot Access [press releases]
Illinois' ballot access deadline of June 21 (134 days before the election) is the third earliest in the country, and for independent candidates 25,000 valid signatures are required; in addition candidates cannot start circulating petitions for signatures until 90 days before the deadline.  The campaign submitted more than 32,437 signatures to the State Board of Elections on June 21, 2004.  On June 28 John Tully Jr., described by Nader as a minion of the Illinois Democratic Party, challenged approximately 19,300 of the signatures, based on addresses.  The Board sustained 12,327 of the objections.  Meanwhile the campaign had continued to gather signatures and tried to submit 5,000 additional signatures on July 8, but the Board refused to accept them.  Additionally, on July 17 Nader and allies presented evidence that about ten state employees from Speaker of the House and Democratic Party Chairman Michael Madigan's office were working on reviewing and challenging signatures, allegedly at taxpayer expense.

On July 27 the campaign filed suit in federal court (United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division) over provisions of the Election Code which it said posed an "unreasonable burden" and were unconstitutional, and it sought a preliminary injunction requiring the the Board place Nader on the ballot.  Judge Matthew F. Kennelly ruled against Nader and declined to issue a preliminary injunction.  Nader appealed.  On September 29 the Unites States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Judges Posner, Wood and Evans, upheld the ruling of the district court.  In the decision Judge Posner wrote, "In a state the size of Illinois—the population exceeds 12 million, of whom more than 7 million are registered voters—requiring a third-party candidate to obtain 25,000 signed nominating petitions cannot be thought excessive.  Posner also wrote that by bringing the matter to court so late in the election cycle Nader had created "a situation in which any remedial order would throw the state’s preparations for the election into turmoil." [Nader v. Keith]

Meanwhile on August 19 the Board had ruled that Nader should not appear on the ballot.  On August 27 the campaign filed suit in state court (Circuit Court of Cook County) challenging the Board's decision because of the alleged improper interference of state employees.  On September 13 Circuit Judge Nathaniel R. Howse, Jr. upheld the Board.  Nader appealed.  The Illinois Appellate Court for the First District set out expedited process which would have nonetheless run through October 25.  On October 13 the Nader forces went to the Illinois Supreme Court seeking "Request for Supervisory Order" under which the appellate court would order the Board to place Nader on the ballot.  The Supreme Court denied that request on October 19.  And in a post-election footnote, the appellate court affirmed the circuit court ruling on November 18. [Nader v. State Board of Elections]

State Coordinators
Nader: Christina Tobin
Badnarik: Chris Bennett
Cobb: Phil Huckelberry

Candidate Visits
September 4, 2004
After an appearance in Milwaukee, Nader travelled by car to the 41st Annual Islamic Society of North America Convention “Islam: Dialogue, Devotion, Development” at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL where he met with ISNA board members and did a book signing.

June 11-12, 2004
June 11-Met with Jesse Jackson at the Peninsula Hotel in Chicago, IL.
June 12-Met with volunteers at Maza Restaurant in Chicago, IL.  Spoke with 5th grade class at Byrd Community Academy in Chicago, IL.

October 25, 2004
David Cobb dinner with local Greens in Urbana, then speaks at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

October 14-15, 2004
Oct. 14
Pat LaMarche meets with local Greens over dinner at the Mandarin Wok in Champaign, IL.
Oct. 15
Pat LaMarche meet and greet at the Country Harvest in St. Elmo, IL.
Pat LaMarche speaks at the University of Illinois, Carbondale.

October 2, 2004
Pat LaMarche meets with Greens and other activists at Artists Snack Shop, then continues her "Left Out Tour" staying overnight at the Excellent Way Shelter at 2510 E. 79th  in Chicago, IL.

No information.

Copyright ©  2004, 2005  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action.

The 2004 Campaign on the Web--Illinois 11/05/04
IL Republican Party
Democratic Party of IL
Libertarian Party of IL
IL Green Party
Constitution Party of IL
Alan Keyes (R)
Barack Obama (D)