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IL1 - Chicago Downtown, is represented by our guy, Bobby Rush, whom CNN gives the occupation "Activist", which is probably nicer than "Black Panther". This guy "crashed the gates" before it was fashionable and won his last election handily with 85% of the vote.
IL1: Safe Blue.
IL2 - Chicago South Side, is represented by our guy Jesse Jackson Jr whose main claim to fame is his name, and following in his father's footsteps, spent his 21st birthday in a jail cell for protesting South African Apartheid. Slightly more popular than Bobby Rush, maybe because he's younger and good looking. Won his last election with 88%.
IL-2: Safe Blue.
IL3 - Chicago SouthWest Side is represented by our guy Dan Lipinski, who inherited his district from his father, Bill Lipinski. This is a liberal district, and both father and son are fairly conservative, which is probably why he only won with 73% of the vote.
IL-3: Safe Blue, but should have a Bluer representative.
IL4 - Chicago North Side is represented by our guy Luis Gutierrez. A good strong lefty, Luis' name always gets bandied around with words like "should run for Mayor if Daley...", of course the second part of that makes all the difference. Until that "if Daley" thing comes to fruitition, expect Guiterrez to hang around Congress. He won his seat last time with 84% of the vote.
IL-4: Safe Blue.
IL5 - Chicago North Side, my district, is represented by Rahm Emanuel who looks every bit as geeky in person as he does in photographs. Rahm heads up the DCCC and is safe in Congress until he retires. He won his last election with 76%.
IL-5: Safe Blue.
IL6 - Near Northwest Suburbs including Wheaton and parts of Skokie. I don't know who drew this district. At one point, Wheaton had the most churches per capita in the United States and Skokie was the most Jewish locality. Henry Hyde probably had a hand in it, as he was the congressman since the late 1640s, and was our area's answer to Jesse Helms. I mean, really, how many guys have a gag rule named after them? Anyway, thanks in no small part to the influence of Rahm Emanuel, Tammy Duckworth, an Army helicopter pilot who lost both of her legs in Iraq, is our standard bearer in this race. She is running against Pete Roskam, a personal injury lawyer and is way further to the right than the majority of this district. Still, Wheaton is Wheaton, and it's not alone out there, and Pete has his natural constituency, while Tammy lives a few miles outside the District. There's plenty of money flowing into this race, and it's going to be a tight one.
IL-6: A nail-biter, but Tammy's up in the polls right now, and we are here, so let's paint this one BLUE!
IL7 - Chicago Downtown is represented by Danny Davis who has been in politics for an awfully long time in Chicago, and won his last election with 86%.
IL-7: Safe Blue
IL8 - Northwest Suburbs including Schaumburg, Mundelein and Zion. Melissa Bean snagged this district last time around in a stunning victory over Phil Crane who had served the district for 33 years. The Reddies are mad and they want "their" district back, but Illinois has gotten awfully blue in the past 35 years, and Melissa is no screaming liberal. I think, in the end, they are going to throw a ton of money against her and they're going to loss it. Couldn't happen to nicer people.
IL-8: Ours. Nannynannybooboo!
IL9 - Chicago North Lakeshore to Evanston is represented by Jan Schakowsky who took it from Sid Yates who served the district for nearly 50 years. Of all the congressmen whose districts I have ever lived in, Sid was the best. Pat Schroeder (CO-1) once asked me to register to vote in her district because Sid was so safe he'd be in Congress eight years after he died. Well, he isn't. But Jan is, and I'm just as happy as can be with Jan. She's smart. She's progressive. She's funny. And someday, if America can stomach a short Jewish female president, she might make us all very happy. She won her last election with 76%.
IL-9: Safe Blue.
IL10 - North Suburbs - very affluent - Represented by the reddie Mark Kirk. When Rahm was getting Tammy to run against Christine Cegelis in IL-6, I suggested to him that he run her in IL-10 instead because it's a sin against nature that IL10 is represented by a Reddie. It's a Blue district, but worse, it's a Jewish Blue district, and, it is a personal affront to me that IL-10 and FL-22 are held by reddies. Kirk won this seat originally by pretending that he and Lauren Beth Gash, his Democratic opponent, were largely twins and that he was a huuuuuge moderate. He isn't. And our guy, Dan Seals, isn't letting him pretend he is. Seals has his work cut out for him, but if he doesn't do it, Rahm, if you're reading this, I still think Tammy would have beaten him.
IL-10: I don't know... mmmmmmmmmmmaybe....
IL11 - South exurbs including Joliet. Somehow, I think it's appropriate that Joliet is red territory. When you think Joliet, you think prison and casinos. In other words, Jerry Weller, is safe. Still, our guy, John Pavich is doing better than you might think. There's a lot of labor out there, and Weller is a pro-CAFTA kind of a guy. Anyway, there's a call for dollars and boots on the ground, and you could do worse with both.
IL11: Might go Blue if Pavich can get his name out there.
IL12 - Southwest corner of the State, including Carbondale and East St. Louis - not associated with Chicago. Our guy, like it or not, is Jerry Costello, who is one of the most conservative Democrats in Congress, is running unopposed. Still, he's been there 20 years, and walked away with 69% last time, and the odds of getting someone more liberal in there, of either party, is not high, so I'd rather paint this district blue than red. And that's the way it gets to be painted.
IL-12: Safe "Blue".
IL13 - Southwest suburbs including Naperville. I thought the reddie, Judy Biggert, was going to run unopposed in this one, and it pissed me off. Evidently it pissed Joe Shannon off too, so he's running. But from the looks of things, he's not running hard, and Judy Biggert, who really should be vulnerable, is going to skate.
IL-13: Safer Red than it should be.
IL14 - Northern exurbs including DeKalb and Aurora. This is Dennis Hastert's district, and I wish John Laesch well of it. Out of respect to my fellow Kossack, I'm not calling this race.
IL-14: Take a moment and imagine nice relaxing music and a lovely vista. Ah, that's nice. And the birds chirp so sweetly.
IL15 - Good. Back to the action. East Central portion of the State, not associated with Chicago, includes Champaign and Bloomington. This district is represented by the reddie Tim Johnson who got 61% last time. Even so, Johnson's fundraising has been lackluster, and he's running about even in dollars against our guy, Dr. David Gill, who is putting in a lot of miles to meet the residents of the district and make sure that they know that their representative is a rubberstamp Republican. A little goes a long way in this race, and if you have a spare $20 kicking around, this might be a good place to put it.
IL-15: With netroots help, this could be a race.
IL16 - Norhtern exurbs including Rockford and McHenry County. The reddie, Don Manzullo won this district with 69% but theoretically, it's bluer than it appears as John Kerry walked away with 44%. Our guy is Dick Auman who served two terms as Mayor of Galena. If Auman wins, he's going to be swept in on a big blue tide.
IL-16: Safe Red.
IL17 - Western portion of state including parts of Springfield, Moline and Rock Island. Maybe the best chance the reddies have to swipe one of ours, this district was represented by Lane Evans until after his Parkinson's got bad and he asked the Democratic party to replace him on the ballot with Phil Hare. Phil is running against Andrea Zinga, a former television reporter who had her butt handed to her my Lane last time. Since Lane's sudden departure, this race has looked a lot more interesting to the reddies. Zinga is holding a slight dollar advantage, but CQ still puts it in the blue column, and who am I to argue?
IL-17: Leans Blue.
IL18 - Central portion of state including more of Springfield and Peoria. The red incumbent, Ray LaHood, won his district with 70% last time, but still there are those in the area say he's vulnerable. Unfortunately, those same people seem to think that our guy, Waterworth doesn't have much of a pulse. They say that if the Democrats fail to win the House by one, this will be the race they really should kick themselves over.
IL19 - Southern portion of state including the rest of Springfield and a lot of farm country. The red incumbent, John Shimkus, won this seat with 69% in the last election. Our guy, Danny Stover, has unofficial polling numbers that put him within 5, and, since he is being outraised 20:1, 5 points is really really good. A dollar goes a long way here, and his positions seem to be in step with his district's, so if he can get an influx late int he game, Stover may pull an upset.
IL-19: Red for now, let's see what the next 60 days look like.