In A Sea Of Red, Illinois Stands Out As A Blue State

Nov 9, 2016
Originally published on November 9, 2016 12:43 pm
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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And let's turn now to the state of Illinois. I mean, if you look at the electoral map, you see this huge stretch of red across the Midwest. One lone blue state in that region is Illinois, which went to Hillary Clinton. It is her home state. It's also President Obama's adopted home state, and it's where we find NPR's Cheryl Corley. Cheryl, it sounds like you are somewhere at a diner. What's for breakfast?

CHERYL CORLEY, BYLINE: (Laughter) Well, I haven't ordered yet, but it looks really good. I'm at Lou Mitchell's restaurant. It's a big Chicago institution near Union Station. So a lot of commuters come in from the suburbs - so a mix of Democrats and Republicans here.

GREENE: And what are those Democrats and Republicans saying about the election last night?

CORLEY: Well, as you can imagine in a state that's Hillary Clinton's birthplace, as you mentioned, there's - there's just a lot of deep disappointment here. Hillary Clinton carried the state as expected. And I spoke to Audrey Cologne (ph). She's one of the servers here, and she voted for Clinton. So I just asked her what she thought about the results. Here's what she said.

AUDREY COLOGNE: Stunned - kind of stunned but not too surprised because I think it really tells you how much the people want to change. People wanted a change. I didn't vote that way. But people are speaking, and there's a lot of things that they feel that are wrong and need to be changed.

GREENE: Cheryl, listening to Audrey there, I mean, is - does she understand people who want a change, or is there such a division right now in the country that - that people who - like her, who didn't support Donald Trump, can't really comprehend why others did?

CORLEY: I think she can. And what was really interesting about her, David, is that she has two older kids - 25 and 28 - and she said they didn't vote. She said that they thought that this election was done, that they thought that Hillary Clinton was going to win. They both told her that they just didn't care, and they weren't interested in the election. So I thought that that was really interesting.

GREENE: Oh, that is interesting - so didn't care, but also thought that Hillary Clinton had it had in the bag, so...

CORLEY: Yeah.

GREENE: ...Didn't think it was worth it?

CORLEY: Yeah, didn't think it was worth it and also just had some issues with the candidates, didn't think that it would make much difference if they voted at all.

GREENE: Do you think people who supported Hillary Clinton are ready to move forward with Donald Trump as their president?

CORLEY: I think it's going to take some time. People here talked a lot about Donald Trump calling for unity. I can tell you they say they hope that that's what's going to happen. But they're - they're not really sure at this point. I talked to Paul Adams (ph) here at Lou Mitchell's. He's a trial attorney. He lives in the suburbs. He's a Republican. He did not vote for Donald Trump, and he didn't vote for Hillary Clinton. And he really seemed skeptical about how President Trump will be able to move forward. Here's what he said.

PAUL ADAMS: He's demonstrated, as a candidate, a high degree of disengagement from policy, meaning that he doesn't seem to know anything about anything and will have to, of necessity, turn over the operation of government to people who do.

CORLEY: So, you know, that's Adams. And, you know, that's what a lot of people think here, that Donald Trump was - was a reality star, they say. And electing a reality star was not a step in the right direction. And now that they're just hoping that, you know, the country moves forward as best as it can.

GREENE: OK, NPR's Cheryl Corley, who is based in Chicago, a city that's saw all the excitement when Barack Obama was elected president and now Donald Trump seen as, in some ways, a repudiation of much of what President Obama did. Cheryl, thanks so much.

CORLEY: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.