President Barack Obama could lose his home state of Illinois in November, a new poll shows.

A poll conducted by Illinois-based pollster and political strategist Michael McKeon found Obama leading Republican Mitt Romney by 49 percent to 37 percent in Cook County, the home of Chicago. That puts him ahead by a far thinner margin than expected in a county he should be winning handsomely.

Cook is the most Democratic leaning county in the state. It is also the most populous.

Those numbers do not bode well for the president.

“He has to come out of Cook County with a big lead or he’s gonna have problems downstate,” explained McKeon, who said that based on the numbers he had seen, Obama polled only in the forties in downstate Illinois.

“It’s not like his policies are very popular downstate,” McKeon said. “He’s viewed as more part of Chicago than he is part of Illinois.”

According to the poll, which surveyed 629 registered voters last week, Obama’s problems are not in Chicago proper, but in suburban Cook County
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