Democrat Barack Obama won all but three of 2,402 suburban Cook County precincts, the highest number ever recorded by a candidate running for office there, according to a post-election report issued by Cook County Clerk David Orr.
Obama, who won the U.S. Senate race in Illinois with 74 percent of the vote in suburban Cook, received 729,836 votes, also a record number. Obama’s opponent, Republican Alan Keyes, received 226,671 votes, or 23 percent of the vote, and won just three precincts – two in Barrington Township and one in Palatine Township.
Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry took in 594,928, or 59 percent of the vote, the highest number of votes and percentage rate for a Democratic presidential hopeful in suburban Cook County. Republican President Ronald Reagan still holds the record for a presidential candidate, winning a record 646,444 votes, or 65 percent, and 28 of 30 townships in 1984.
Republican incumbent George W. Bush received 38,255 more votes than he did in 2000, but he won only five townships, compared to 12 four years ago.
The majority of voters in 1,681 of the 2,402 precincts voted for both Kerry and Obama. But the majority of voters in nearly one-third of the precincts (712) crossed party lines, voting for Republican Bush and Democrat Obama. As a result, Obama received 134,908 more votes than Kerry.
According to the report, five townships (Barrington, Lemont, Orland, Palatine and Palos) voted for Bush and Obama. The remaining 25 voted for Kerry and Obama. Only in the three precincts won by Keyes did the majority of voters support both Republicans.
Voter registration reached a near-record high in 2004, second only to 1992 when Democrat Bill Clinton defeated Republican incumbent George H.W. Bush. All but four townships experienced higher numbers of voters than in 2000.
In addition, more than 74 percent of registered voters in suburban Cook County cast ballots. Voters in New Trier (84.2 percent), River Forest (84 percent), Oak Park (81.4 percent) and Barrington (80.2 percent) townships cast ballots at the highest rates.