I thought the presidential election in Illinois was such a foregone conclusion that no one was bothering to poll the state. I was wrong. Just last week, YouGov, a British market research firm, surveyed 1,188 Illinoisans and found that President Obama is leading Mitt Romney 59 percent to 35 percent. That’s pretty close to the result in 2008, when Obama beat John McCain here 61.9 percent to 36.8 percent.
Here are some deeper results of the poll, which found Obama leading among demographic and in every region except Southern Illinois, where his statewide results were reversed.
Partisan loyalty is strong among both groups but stronger among Democrats (95 percent of Democrats favor Obama), than Republicans (90 percent favor Romney).
Independents however are fairly evenly split at 46 percent Obama, 43 percent Romney. Women and men in Illinois favor Obama, but his lead is much stronger among women (64 percent-30 percent) than men (53 percent-41 percent).
Unsurprisingly Obama’s strongest region lead is in Chicago, where he enjoys a 66-point lead over Romney (81 percent-15 percent). He also leads in the Cook County Suburbs (56 percent-38 percent) and the Collar Counties (58 percent-34 percent). Romney has a strong lead in the South of Illinois (58 percent-38 percent) and a small one-point lead in the North (46 percent-45 percent).
The oldest age group, 65+, only marginally favors Romney, at 49 percent-48 percent, while Obama carries strong favor among the youngest (under 30s): 77 percent to 16 percent.
YouGov shows Obama with the biggest lead of any recent survey. A Sun-Times/We Ask America poll taken Sept. 15 showed Obama leading 54 to 37. A poll by the Paul Simon Institute for Public Policy at Southern Illinois University had him ahead only 47-34.
This month, Ward Room blogger Edward McClelland’s Young Mr. Obama: Chicago and the Making of a Black President will be available on Kindle for $9.99. Tracing Obama’s career in Chicago from his arrival as a community organizer to his election to the U.S. Senate, Young Mr. Obama tells the story of how a callow, presumptuous young man became a master politician, and of why only Chicago could have produced our first black president.