Illinois population figures. This will be old hat and boring to some of you; feel free to skip it, but there's a quiz later.
Illinois population in the 2000 census:
11,430,602 (I presume this does not include known illegal aliens, but I don't pretend to know.)
Population of Macoupin County, my home sweet home:
47,679 ( Not everybody wants to move here. Y'all wanna be a hog farmer or a coal miner?)
Population of Cook County: (home of Chicago)
5,105,044 (Are you beginning to see the issue here? In terms of total population, almost 45% of Illinois lives in Cook County.)
If we take Cook County and add in Lake (516,418), McHenry (183,241), Kane (317,471), Dupage (781,689) and Will (357,313) counties (commonly called the Collar Counties because they border Cook and are considered the "Chicago Metropolitan area) we get a figure of 7,261,176.
Why does that matter? As I said in the last post, Chicago is the key to Illinois. Allow our enemies to propagandize 7.25 million out of 11.4 million Illinois citizens (that's 64%!) without at least trying to counter and refute their message, and we have no right to act surprised that they beat us up all the time. But we do worse than that, because we tend to antagonize those Chicago folks every chance we get. The only thing that saves us is that our opponents are deliriously arrogant and they tend to destroy their own best efforts. If Richard Daley and Rod Blagojevich had any idea how to work with downstate legislators (or each other, for that matter) we'd be in much worse trouble in Illinois than we are. As it is, we're beating back their attempts at additional gun control and poised on the brink of pushing for meaningful concealed carry in Illinois. To get to where we want to be, we need to find a way to enlist at least some of those Chicago voters.