Suburbs opt for Biden over Trump as transition from red to blue continues

  • Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden arrives early Wednesday to speak to supporters in Wilmington, Delaware, as Jill Biden looks on.

    Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden arrives early Wednesday to speak to supporters in Wilmington, Delaware, as Jill Biden looks on. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 11/5/2020 8:32 AM
Editor'snote: This article has been updated to correct that President Barack Obama received 44.7% of the McHenry County vote in 2012.

Voters in Chicago's suburbs tended to favor former Vice President Joe Biden over President Donald Trump, early election results indicated Tuesday, continuing the suburbs' blue trend but bucking its tradition of supporting incumbent commanders in chief.

Preliminary tallies showed Democrat Biden leading in suburban Cook, DuPage, Kane and Will counties while Republican Trump held leads in Lake and McHenry counties. However, with 521,045 mail-in ballots outstanding in Illinois alone, the final outcome may take days to determine.

 

In the once Republican bastion of DuPage County, Biden led by 54% to Trump's 44.5% with 60 out of 945 precincts counted.

"Suburban Republican falloff has to be largest among women," said former GOP gubernatorial candidate Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale.

Traditionally, he said, women "focus more on health care including abortion rights. Some view President Trump as making condescending comments toward women like 'I am putting your husbands back to work,' while millions of women are in the workforce, too."

The president's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has also soured voters, said Democratic U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi of Schaumburg.

"The case count is rising with almost 100,000 new cases a day," he said. In addition, "they reject his politics of division and hate," Krishnamoorthi said.

While the suburbs are growing more racially diverse, he said, "the vast majority of people in the suburbs are white Caucasians who have moved on from the politics Donald Trump is practicing."

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Meanwhile, "I'm surprised he (Trump) has gotten the votes that he has," said Palatine Township Republican Committeeman Aaron Del Mar, former Cook County GOP chairman.

Veteran political observer and former state Sen. Bill Morris of Grayslake said churn over results will continue for some days and noted that Lake County could swing for Biden once mail-in and early voting ballots are counted.

If that happens, it reflects "a 20-year shift because of the soccer moms. The reality is that the women's vote has changed the complexion of the collar counties."

In the 2012 election, the suburbs mostly backed Democratic President Barack Obama's reelection over former Utah Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican. But to contrast two counties with strong Republican organizations: DuPage cast 49.7% of its total votes for Obama and 48.6% for Romney, while McHenry delivered a 53.5% victory for the GOP challenger and 44.7% for Obama.

In 2004, when Republican President George W. Bush sought a second term amid the Iraq War, every county in the metro region -- except for Cook -- voted for the incumbent over Democratic Sen. John Kerry.

Preliminary results also indicate that Trump lost ground in the Chicago suburbs. In 2016, his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton won Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, and Will counties -- surpassing Trump by a 35% margin in Cook. In McHenry, however, Trump defeated Clinton by 7.6 percentage points.

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