Is Todd Stroger the antichrist?


Photo courtesy of flickr/kate.gardiner

If the devil was on the Democratic Party ballot for Cook County Board President in February’s primary election, he probably would’ve gotten more votes than Todd Stroger.

Just how far has Todd Stroger fallen? In 2006, he was handpicked by Democratic Party leaders in Cook County to replace his ailing father, the late John H. Stroger Jr., on the ballot for Cook County board president. In 2010, many of those same party leaders dropped Todd Stroger like a bad habit.

Consider the video below, posted just a few days before the general election in 2006, where a horde of Democrats–including some state lawmakers and Chicago aldermen–speak highly of Todd Stroger and the job that he will do as county board president.

In 2010, there were no Democrats standing in line to make such a video on Todd Stroger’s behalf.

In 2006, Todd Stroger raised more than $2.5 million in campaign contributions in less than six months. But he’s received just $920,000 since Jan. 1, 2009.

In 2006, John H. Stroger Jr. got nearly 54 percent of the vote to beat county board commissioner Forrest Claypool in the Democratic primary. Todd Stroger captured nearly 54 percent of the vote to beat county board commissioner Tony Peraica in the general election that year. But in the 2010 Democratic Party primary, Todd Stroger got less than 14 percent of the vote and finished last in a field of four candidates. It might be the Chicago-area’s worst showing of an incumbent in a high-profile election.

Todd Stroger was the top vote-getter in just three Chicago wards, the 21st Ward, the 34th Ward and the 8th Ward, his political home base. But even there, he managed just 41 percent of the vote–his best showing in any ward or township.

He polled in the single digits in 27 of Chicago’s 50 wards and in 24 of suburban Cook County’s 30 townships.

Todd Stroger was particularly unpopular in majority white North Side wards in Chicago and north suburban and northwest suburban townships in suburban Cook County. The much-hated sales tax increase actually received more votes last year–just under 10 percent of the vote–in advisory referenda on ballots in several suburban townships than Todd Stroger received in February. He garnered less than 3 percent in the Elk Grove, Lemont, Maine, New Trier, Northfield, Palatine, Riverside and Wheeling townships. Collectively, Todd Stroger gained just 5 percent of the vote in Chicago’s majority white wards. He didn’t fare much better in the city’s Latino wards, where he captured just 7 percent of the vote. He did better in Chicago’s African-American wards, with 31 percent, but still finished second there to 4th Ward Alderman Toni Preckwinkle. She received 40 percent of the vote in black wards and 49 percent of the vote countywide.

Further evidence of Todd Stroger falling out of favor with Democratic Party leaders is clearly visible when comparing his 2010 primary showing with that of his father’s in 2006. The elder Stroger, in the 2006 primary, received more than 60 percent of the vote in the 11th, 13th and 14th wards, the political home bases of Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, state Democratic Party chairman Michael Madigan and longtime Chicago alderman Ed Burke, respectively. But Todd Stroger managed less than 8 percent of the vote in each of those wards in the 2010 primary.

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