Peoria County changes from blue to red in 2016 election

The phrase, “how does it play in Peoria?” put Peoria on the map.

And now a new map shows how Peoria is again at the center of national political changing mood.

Why Peoria?

Marketers test their products in Peoria for a reason.   First of all, the population of Peoria has been fairly representative of the country as a whole. In addition, Peoria is located in the heart of Illinois.  Finally, Illinois is at the heart of the nation.

“Perhaps most important,” notes Wikipedia, “at one time Peoria closely reflected the diversity of the United States population in terms of race, income, age, rural and business interests, educational background and other key criteria.”

Politics plays in Peoria

Consequently, Peoria is an ideal place to take the “pulse of the nation” on political campaigns.

Peoria County was able to pick the 2012 Presidential winner since they voted for Obama.

Another winning pick was made in 2016 when Peoria County voted for Trump.

The 13 counties that switched from blue to red in Illinois were:  Jo Daviess, Carroll, Whiteside, Henry, Mercer, Henderson, Warren, Knox, Peoria, Putnam, Winnebago and Alexander.

Most noteworthy,  the 13 Illinois counties were primarily along or near the Mississippi River.

The Upper Mississippi shifts politically

Many of the counties changing from blue to red in the U.S. are also along the upper Mississippi.

The map below shows a large block of the flipped counties were in the Upper Midwest.  Illinois joined Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota in this red sea change in the Upper Mississippi basin.

Hence, voters individually are like small raindrops that don’t seem important.  But when gathered together, they can create a powerful force like the Mississippi River.

As a result of this political shift, these counties helped move enough electorate votes from Democratic to Republican to change the outcome of the election.

Iowa, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin  normally lean Democratic.

They’re now in the Republican camp and may remain there for some time.

The Lesson for Illinois Republicans

Pay attention to how it plays in Peoria. In the map above red counties switched from Democrat to Republican.  Blue counties switched from Republican to Democrat.  The vast majority of counties in grey did not switch parties.

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