DuPage County is directly to the west of Cook County (and yes this is being written for those who may not be from the area who aren't familiar with Chicago area geography). If you take I-290 - a highway I also know only as the Eisenhower Expressway - this road will take you into DuPage which turns into I-88 that will take you towards Aurora, Illinois.
It was noted by Rich Miller in his Sun-Times column for today that in both elections for President Obama he carried DuPage. Why is this significant? Well it's significant because DuPage has historically been a reliable Republican county and Miller notes that things are changing there and it's not as solidly Republican as it used to be. He checks out a poll that shows where DuPage residents are on the burning issue of gay marriage:
The We Ask America poll I wanted to talk to [former IL state Senate President James "Pate" Phillip] about found that a plurality of DuPage County’s likely voters support gay marriage.The comments at the link are interesting. Makes the case of ceasing the need for determing a "true" Republican vs. "RINOs". At least as far as this state's concerned as the state GOP is struggling at the moment.
According to the poll, 49 percent of DuPagers say lawmakers should pass legislation to allow gay marriage while 45 percent oppose it. The poll of 1,052 likely voters taken April 22nd had a margin of error of plus/minus 3 percent.
The poll found that 62 percent of people aged 18-24 support gay marriage. In fact, every age group backed gay marriage except for senior citizens, who opposed it 55-40.
If you had told me a year ago that a poll could turn up these sorts of results in DuPage, I would’ve thought you were dipping into your medical marijuana stash.
Here's some history Republicans took control of the state legislature in the election of 1994 - the same election that saw Republicans take control of both houses of the US Congress. Republicans already had control of the state Senate and for two years following the 94 elections Republicans snatched control of the state House of Representatives from the "dreaded" Michael J. Madigan. After the 96 elections the IL General Assembly was a divided legislature where Democrat Michael Madigan regained control of the House and until 2003 the Senate was still held by Republicans.
Everything changed in 2003 when the Republicans lost the state Senate, it's 25 year dominance of the Governor's mansion to none other than Rod Blagojevich. Also until the 2006 elections there was only one Republican who held statewide office. Well you could say two as Peter Fitzgerald was a Republican member of the US Senate although he eventual didn't seek re-election in 2004 and was replaced by none other than our current President.
All the same, Republicans in this state has been struggling ever since 2003. There were two good state elections in 2006 and 2010, but neither Republican nominee was able to edge the incumbent Governors (Blagojevich & Pat Quinn). The question we have to ask is will 2014 - that's next year - be any different?