Income and party were two key factors driving the outcome of the suburban March 20 primary election, according to a postelection report for suburban Cook County released Wednesday by Cook County Clerk David Orr.
"Despite the low turnout, Republican voters made their mark this time around," Orr said, adding the number of Republican ballots rose by 12 percent over the 2008 presidential primary.
March 20 was the first presidential primary without a major Democratic contest since 1996 and overall turnout among Democrats dropped to 24 percent of registered voters -- down 43 percent from 2008.
Despite the uptick in GOP voters and downturn in Democratic voters, Democrats still had 53 percent of all ballots cast.
On the Republican side, Mitt Romney won every township in Cook County, with Rick Santorum taking second. Romney's support was strongest in townships with higher incomes; Santorum did better as the income level of the township dropped.
Four of the five closest races on the ballot were electricity aggregation referendums. Fifty-five of the 66 electricity aggregation referendums on the ballot in suburban Cook County won approval.
Evanston Township had the highest voter turnout of all suburban Cook County townships, and was the only one to exceed 30 percent.