Illinois was easily won by sitting Vice President Al Gore by a safe margin of victory, unlike other states in the Midwest, such as nearby Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin, which Gore won, albeit by very small margins. Bush didn't perform terribly at the county level, as he obtained less than 40% of the vote in only three counties. Gore's key to victory was Cook County, home of Chicago, by far the most populous county in the state and one of the most populated counties in the nation. Gore won that county with almost 70% of the vote, his best performance in any county in the state. Bush was the first Republican to win the White House without carrying Illinois, and was also the first time since 1976 that Illinois did not vote for the winning candidate in a presidential election.
Vice President Al Gore easily defeated Texas Governor George W. Bush in the Land of Lincoln. Illinois was once reckoned as a swing state or slightly Republican leaning, but since Bill Clinton's election in 1992 it swung heavily for the Democrats at the presidential level. The trend of blue in the state can be traced to Cook County, which encompasses the Chicago Metropolitan Area, and the gradual trend toward Democrats in the socially liberal suburban regions, known as the "collar counties". The Chicago metro area is not only heavily populated, but also extremely Democratic. Bush did do well in rural areas of Illinois. Bush also won in Springfield. Bush also won the Chicago collar counties, Will, Lake, and DuPage. The closest collar county was Lake County which gave a narrow edge for Bush. Ultimately though, Gore's huge numbers out of Cook County, home of Chicago, overwhelmed Bush. Gore also did well in the East St. Louis Area. Statewide, Gore ultimately received 2,589,026 votes to Bush's 2,019,421. Gore ended up with around a 12-point margin of victory. Illinois was among one of the first Midwest states to be called on election night. As of the 2016 presidential election[update], this is the last election in which Franklin County and Perry County voted for the Democratic candidate.
United States presidential election in Illinois, 2000
Technically the voters of Illinois cast their ballots for electors: representatives to the Electoral College. For this election, Illinois is allocated 22 electors because it has 20 congressional districts and two senators. All candidates who appear on the ballot or qualify to receive write-in votes must submit a list of 22 electors, who pledge to vote for their candidate and his or her running mate. Whoever wins the majority of votes in the state is awarded all 22 electoral votes. Their chosen electors then vote for president and vice president. Although electors are pledged to their candidate and running mate, they are not obligated to vote for them. An elector who votes for someone other than his or her candidate is known as a faithless elector.
The electors of each state and the District of Columbia met on December 18, 2000 to cast their votes for president and vice president. The Electoral College itself never meets as one body. Instead the electors from each state and the District of Columbia met in their respective capitols.
The following were the members of the Electoral College from the state. All were pledged to and voted for Gore and Lieberman: