In the Illinois 3rd district Republican primary, Arthur Jones got about 20 thousand votes, which is approximately the same the 2012 primary winner got.

This number seems surprisingly high considering that he was denounced as a Nazi by the Illinois Republican party, which had also blocked his candidature in the past.

Illinois seems to have a partially open primary system, so these might not all be votes from registered Republicans, but could be from Democrats or Independents.

Are there exit polls showing whether or not the majority of those that voted for Jones were registered Republicans? Or does the partially open primary system in Illinois allow for analysis of this?

  • I have removed the information I think has thrown this question into the close queue. Feel free to revert, if this change is not ok.
    – Alexei
    Commented Jul 30, 2018 at 5:13
  • 1
    @Alexei I think the post you edited out is part of the nucleus of the question. That said, the OP could put a little bit more effort of writing into the question that the Republican Party has denounced him and had successfully stopped his candidature several times in the past, to provide a better understanding of the situation.
    – SJuan76
    Commented Jul 30, 2018 at 9:54
  • @SJuan76 good points, I edited the question. If you think that it can be improved further, please feel free to edit.
    – tim
    Commented Jul 30, 2018 at 9:59
  • 2
    I think a better question is, why didn't the GOP put up a useful candidate? Even supposing the democrat incumbent is unbeatable, a candidate chosen as a sacrificial lamb would probably have kept this joker out.
    – user21424
    Commented Jul 31, 2018 at 17:07
  • Reminds me of David Duke en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    – RonJohn
    Commented Aug 13, 2018 at 18:56

2 Answers 2



Or to be more accurate, everyone who voted, as your own link suggests, Mr Jones was the ONLY candidate in the Republican primary.

This Article from the New York Times may put it in more context

Mr. Jones, 70, unsuccessfully sought the nomination five times before, and his victory on Tuesday was a foregone conclusion after the Republican Party failed to draft another candidate to enter the race against him.

“Even if only myself and my wife voted for me, I’d win the primary because the Republican Party screwed up big time,” Mr. Jones said in an interview.

Therefore 100% of Republicans who voted, voted for Mr Jones. By same metric 100% of any Democrat who crossed party lines voted for him, 100% of African- Americans, Hispanics, Muslims, Jews etc. who voted would have voted for him.

What is probably more important, is that the Republican party itself opposes him, refuses to fund his campaign and is indeed actively going to campaign against him as the above article goes on to state.

“Arthur Jones is not a real Republican — he is a Nazi whose disgusting, bigoted views have no place in our nation’s discourse,” Tim Schneider, the Illinois Republican Party chairman, said in a statement. He said the party had urged voters “to skip over his name when they go to the polls” and moving forward planned on “vehemently opposing Jones with real campaign dollars.”

A spokesman for the Illinois Republican Party said those dollars would be used to support an independent candidate in the November general election.

and either way he is "unlikely" to win the actual election come November.

The Third Congressional District of Illinois has not been represented by a Republican since 1975, and few people, besides Mr. Jones, believe he has a chance of winning the general election

  • 1
    Thanks, but I know all this; the question is about who these people that voted for him were. Were the majority of them registered Republicans? I would think that it's a bit odd that apparently the majority of Republican primary voters would rather vote for a Nazi than for nobody (or that they were all uninformed voters). Other explanations would for example be that the majority of those 20 thousand weren't actually the usual registered Republican voters, but that eg Nazis were able to mobilize their base. Or that a large portion of them were Democrats or Independents for some reason.
    – tim
    Commented Jul 29, 2018 at 19:01
  • 16
    @tim I think you underestimate the amount of people who vote for a party compeletely ignorant of a person or worse, against a hostile party instead of not voting. Commented Jul 29, 2018 at 19:48
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    @ThorstenS. Well, you can't vote against a party in a primary, right? I also find it odd to go to a primary which is purely symbolic (because it's only one candidate) if I don't actively want to support that symbolic choice. But I think you are right, ignorance was probably the reason for a majority of voters. I still think that something like Nazi mobilization could be somewhat significant though, so if numbers exist I'd still like to see them.
    – tim
    Commented Jul 29, 2018 at 19:55

In descending order, the primary voters were:

  1. Some lifelong primary party voters just want their voices heard, but maybe based on past experience feel they don't really need to know all that much about the candidates themselves, so they vote for whoever's running in their party, using the assumption that their party is like a trusted brand name, or the Soup du Jour at some favorite restaurant.
  2. Actual racists. Jones runs every chance he gets, and seems to have a core constituency of 2000-6000 voters.
  3. Crossover strategic voters from another party who want the opposition to have the weakest and most embarrassing possible candidate. (This can backfire if the weak candidate becomes more popular than expected.)
  • Not sure what the reason for the down votes is. This seems like a solid answer with quantitative data, even though is is not precise (and no answer in a secret ballot system can be entirely precise).
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Jul 30, 2018 at 23:03
  • 3
    +1 for the figures in point 2 and nicely listing the possibilities. But except for point 2, this seems to be purely speculative. I was hoping for more concrete numbers, either by polls, or because the partially open system allows data analysis (I don't know how exactly this works, but voters seem to be required to switch their party registration before voting, which seems to be promising data; I don't know if it's public though).
    – tim
    Commented Jul 31, 2018 at 7:08
  • Also, #3 does not seem applicable in this situation; Arthur Jones was the only candidate so there was no need of "helping the worst opposing candidate".
    – SJuan76
    Commented Jul 31, 2018 at 11:37
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    @SJuan76, In the broader context of adherence to the values of mainstream state and national Republicans, (i.e. all congressional primaries in the USA), AJJ could well be the worst candidate in recent memory to win a primary. On sets and superlatives, (e.g. adjectives and adverbs like most, least, or that end in est, etc.): given a set of numbers {1}, the lowest is 1; the highest is also 1. In this sense, AJJ was the worst candidate, the best candidate, as well as the tallest, shortest, ugliest and prettiest.
    – agc
    Commented Aug 1, 2018 at 13:33
  • See my comment in the question. This kind of ignores the factor of the district being so "blue" that who the primary contest winner is for the GOP has no meaning, whatsoever (which is why he was the lone option, as per SleepingGod's answer), which seems fairly paramount in this district. Commented Nov 7, 2018 at 18:27

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