Illinois Democrats are heading into the final weekend before the Tuesday election optimistic about the chances for Senate contender Alexi Giannoulias and Gov. Quinn based on an analysis of early voting turnout in Illinois by the Democratic National Committee. The early voting turnout is coming from Chicago and Cook County, according to the DNC, Democratic strongholds. With the Illinois governor and Senate contest a toss-up in most polls, turnout is the key. President Obama headlines a rally in Hyde Park on Saturday for the Democratic Illinois ticket.
Reply from a Republican Strategist to Democratic memo:
"DNC memo on Illinois early vote reads as nothing more than a CYA. The fact that they cooked up numbers on a Friday night right before POTUS arrives tells you everything you need to know. Won't be enough to explain loss of Obama's seat on Tuesday. Nice try though." END UPDATE
Below, analysis from the Democratic National Committee.....
Early voting is underway in Illinois and Democrats have a clear lead.
· So far, 298,113 Illinois voters have cast ballots including 174,739 Democrats (58.6% of those who have voted so far) and 83,166 Republicans (27.9%). (Note: Illinois does not have party registration, so Democrats are defined as those who have voted in a Democratic primary and Republicans are defined as those who have voted in a Republican primary.)
· Cook County is the most Democratic county in the state, and Cook County is voting at one of the highest rates of any county in the state. While only 38.5% of all registrants are from Cook County, 43.5% of all ballots cast so far are from Cook County.
· In fact, there are more Democratic primary voters from Cook County who have already voted than there are Republican primary voters who have already voted in the entire state of Illinois. This is despite the fact that Cook County makes up only 38.5% of registered voters and 43.5% of those who have voted so far.
· According to the latest DNC modeling analysis incorporating today's early vote returns, Giannoulias leads by more than 6 points among those who have already voted, and this lead has been growing since early voting began in Illinois two weeks ago.