In Chicago, Suburbs Becoming More Liberal
Chicago's suburbs are becoming increasingly Democratic, writes Daniel Kay Hertz in a post to his blog. Using information from Illinois Election Data, Hertz has put together a measure of relative preference that compares regions of the state to the state overall.
To get a sense of the trends in different parts of the state, the data has been broken down into four parts, "The city of Chicago; suburban Cook County; the suburban collar counties (which, in this version, include everything in Chicago’s media market); and the rest of the state."
While each region has seen changes, "The Cook County suburbs were completely transformed, moving from about 7 points more Republican than the state as a whole, to being 7 points more Democratic." This is almost certainly tied to the movements of many African Americans out of the city into the nearby suburbs, but that only tells part of the story of a changing state that while voting solidly for every Democratic president since 1988 is currently represented by a Republican Governor and one Republican Senator.
Hertz also speculates that more similar political beliefs in the close-in suburbs may lead to "greater regional planning." We shall see.