Hillary Clinton wins Illinois
Hillary Clinton Wins Illinois in the 11th Hour
Clinton and Bernie Sanders were close in the late Illinois Democratic primary vote count. Fewer than 40,000 votes separated them.
By Dennis Robaugh and Tim Moran
Hillary Clinton, with 1,002,832 votes, won Illinois with 50.4 percent of the vote in the March 15 primary, with 99 percent of votes tallied according to unofficial returns. Her opponent, Bernie Sanders, who’d closed a large polling gap in recent days, took 968,227 votes for 48.7 percent.
Fewer than 40,000 votes separate the two. Almost 2 million votes were cast in the Democratic primary, almost double the number of votes cast in the Republican primary.
CNN finally projected her as the winner literally in the 11th hour, just after 11:30 p.m. Her own campaign believed she might lose Illinois, where Sanders’ message resonated with urban and progressive Democrats.
“Hillary is not a very good candidate, although she may make a good president,” Rob Shapiro, professor of political science at Saint Xavier University on the South Side of Chicago, told Patch Tuesday night. “She has had a lot of difficulty dealing with Sanders and sometimes does not know what to do about him.
“But she’s hit on some of the same themes he has and finally has figured out how to deal with it.”
With the Illinois victory, Clinton secures 68 delegates and Sanders pockets 64 delegates. Clinton won four contests Tuesday night, including Ohio, Florida and North Carolina.
Voter turnout in Chicago was over 50 percent, according to the Chicago Election Board, and 26,000 new voters registered to vote on Primary Day. The surge in voter participation could be attributed to the effort to oust the incumbent Democratic state’s attorney, Anita Alvarez, whose handling of police shooting cases has been criticized by activists and community groups who wanted her to resign.
This may have had implications for Clinton. Many of those who registered late also were young voters and possibly landed in the Sanders column when all the Chicago votes are counted.
Still, the city of Chicago provided Clinton with her margin of victory. Clinton secured 362,161 votes in Chicago to Sanders’ 307,121.
In some suburban counties, precincts ran out of Democratic ballots, too, and more needed to be printed.
Sanders’ message seems to have resonated with Illinois Democrats.