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The legislature passed an incumbent-protection map for Illinois members of Congress in 2000. In contrast, the proposed map released this morning could mix things up. I found the google maps version at Capitol Fax. Let's take a look at the central and southern districts.

Unsurprisingly, Jerry Costello maintains his strongly Democratic district in Southwestern Illinois. The addition of Mt. Vernon looks like the most significant change.

The new 15th district includes most of the rural, Republican areas currently represented by Republicans Tim Johnson and John Shimkus. If either of them want to run in a safely Republican district then they'll have to fight over this one.

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Most of Tim Johnson's home town of Urbana is drawn into the new 13th district with areas he hasn't represented before. It includes Decatur, most of Springfield (minus the Republican west end), Bloomington, Democratic Macoupin county, and John Shimkus' home in Collinsville. This area is currently represented by four Republican Congressmen but doesn't clearly belong to any of them. It also looks like a district Democrats can win.

Shimkus' hometown base of support in Madison county is split between three districts. He'll have to 1) Run in a rural Republican 15th district that includes little of his home base and much of Tim Johnson's territory, or 2) Run in what appears to be a Democratic-winnable 13th district that includes many voters who are new to him.

As was rumored, Peoria is drawn into a district with Rock Island/Moline that should be heavily Democratic. This virtually guarantees that tea party Republican Bobby Schilling becomes a one-term Congressman. The same 17th district includes parts of Rockford, the home town of Republican Don Manzullo, and most of Peoria, home of Aaron Schock.

Schock lives in the new 18th district that stretches across central and western Illinois from Bloomington/Normal to Quincy. It includes little of his old state representative district in the Peoria area but looks strongly Republican.

Illinois Democrats will have a good year in 2012 with Obama at the top of the ticket. There will almost certainly be a new Democrat from the Rock Island/Moline - Peoria - Rockford 17th district. There's a reasonable chance of a new Democrat from the Decatur - Springfield -Champaign/Urbana 13th district.

If Republicans Schock, Johnson, and Shimkus want to run in a heavily Republican district then they'll have to introduce themselves to new voters in a district that won't include most of their hometown base. It will be interesting to see how the Shimkus/Johnson face-off is resolved.

Cross-posted from Where there's a Will, there's a way.

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Originally posted to Willinois on Fri May 27, 2011 at 09:12 AM PDT.

Also republished by Land of Lincoln Kos.

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