According to Alexis Levin of The Daily Caller, Obama may have to start spending real money to guard his home base (1):
President Barack Obama could lose his home state of Illinois in November, a new poll shows.
A poll conducted by Illinois-based pollster and political strategist Michael McKeon found Obama leading Republican Mitt Romney by 49 percent to 37 percent in Cook County, the home of Chicago. That puts him ahead by a far thinner margin than expected in a county he should be winning handsomely.
Cook is the most Democratic leaning county in the state. It is also the most populous.
Those numbers do not bode well for the president.
No, they don’t. But… come on. This is Illinois, where everyone gets to vote. Twice. Even the dead. Surely the Combine will scare up/buy up enough voters to make sure their guy doesn’t suffer a humiliating loss in his home state. I’ll have a hot date with Kate Upton before that happens.
But then again…
As Levin points out, Democratic dominance of Illinois is largely dependent on the corrupt politics of Chicago itself and Cook County, and to a lesser extent in the ring of counties surrounding the two. “Downstate” Illinois is much friendlier to Republicans; in the last governor’s race, upstart Republican Bill Brady only narrowly lost to Democrat Pat Quinn by winning most of downstate. Obama’s number have to be worrisome to him and his team: Romney leads The One 45-38 in the area around Chicago, and among independents in Cook County Romney leads 43-31. Obama has to win big in these areas to overcome his unpopularity downstate, but his only lead is in core Chicago (which is huge, 60-29).
I still don’t expect Obama to lose Illinois, but the needle has moved from “not a snowball’s chance” to an intrigued “Hmmm…”. And anything that makes him spend money here means less he has for the traditional battleground states.
(1) No, not Nairobi, you silly people!
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)