Peraica: GOP needs different approach to be viable
Chris Sneed of La Grange takes a form from Gail Bingenheimer as fellow election judge Richard Carnall watches Tuesday at Lyons Township Precinct 9 at the First Congregational Church of La Grange. | Jane Michaels~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 9, 2012 7:34PM
Lyons Township Republican Chairman Tony Peraica said Democrats are making inroads in the area.
“Even in La Grange and Western Springs, we have seen an increased level of Democratic support as opposed to previous cycles,” Peraica said. “There seems to be a trend toward liberal candidates even in traditionally conservative towns, like Hinsdale, Burr Ridge and Western Springs.”
Peraica said strong support for President Obama was expected in his home state, but said this year’s vote shows the erosion of the GOP base continues.
“The turnout mystifies me, why more people didn’t focus on their financial positions,” he said. “Housing values have eroded over one-third, unemployment is up substantially.”
Peraica said a shift in demographics and party preference means Republicans must find a way to broaden their appeal.
“The Republicans must invest in outreach efforts to Hispanics and African-Americans a lot more,” he said. “A different approach is mandated if the party is going to be viable statewide or in congressional districts.”
Democrat U.S. Rep. Daniel Lipinski of Western Springs said he plans to analyze the results locally, but Tuesday kep an eye on races in other districts to see who would be joining him in Washington.
“The Democrats picked up four seats for Illinois. That takes us back to where we were before the 2010 election,” he said. “My expectation is that in the next election, some of the seats again will be very hotly contested. There will continue to be some close and hard-fought races.”
Lipinski speculated the heavier local voter turnout than in 2008 signaled stronger support for Republican nominee Mitt Romney than for John McCain.
In La Grange four years ago, Obama carried all but three of 16 precincts with his widest margin of victory coming in precinct 7 on the village’s east side with 86 percent of the vote. Another 12 precincts supported Obama by margins of 53 to 69 percent. Overall, Obama captured 60 percent of La Grange’s 7,705 ballots cast, wining by 1,611 votes in 2008.
Former Proviso Township Democratic Chairman Rory Hoskins of Forest Park said he hadn’t yet seen preliminary precinct totals following the election, but he again felt great excitement among voters to re-elect Barack Obama.
“I sensed a very strong level of support for the president,” Hoskins said. “Illinois voters have an interest in keeping an Illinois resident in the White House and in a position to help communities here. Access does matter.”~.