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The Republicans are currently suing in court over the Democrat-led congressional redistricting of Illinois. Their claims are that the map discriminates against Republicans (LOL) and packs Hispanics into one district. The chances are very high that this lawsuit will go nowhere, but supposing that the court agreed with the litigants' claims and decided to draw their own map, here's what I think it might look like.

Just as a note, "Old Vote" is for the map that was used from 2001-2011, "Current Vote" is the Democratic redistricting that is currently in court, and "New Vote" is the vote under my map.

Close-up on Cook + Collar Counties

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The whole state

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Incumbent: Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Chicago)
Old Vote: Obama 87 McCain 13
Current Vote: Obama 81 McCain 19
New Vote: Obama 81 McCain 18
Description: This is really Bobby Rush's district, but JJJ is the only incumbent who lives here. He would run in the 2nd, though. Anyway, this district starts in the UChicago-dominated neighborhoods of Hyde Park, Kenwood, and Woodlawn, then meanders its way over to the west. It doesn't go south because then IL-02 wouldn't have enough African-Americans to be majority-black by VAP, which kind of goes to show that even if you don't put Will County in the 1st, it will get redder anyway by virtue of having to suck in more white people (and there are white people aplenty in red suburbs like Orland Park). 51.3% black VAP


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Incumbent: OPEN
Old Vote: Obama 90 McCain 10
Current Vote: Obama 81 McCain 18
New Vote: Obama 82 McCain 17
Description: Ooh, pretty compact district! Unfortunately for the Republicans, the story here is the same as the 1st: this district needs to soak up Republicans either way because the alternative is to grab black people that the other two VRA districts need. So this district still grabs some of Will County, and Debbie Halvorson still lives here (although Jackson doesn't!) 51.1% black VAP


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Incumbent: Dan Lipinski (D-Western Springs)
Old Vote: Obama 64 McCain 35
Current Vote: Obama 58 McCain 40
New Vote: Obama 70 McCain 29
Description: Any map with two Hispanic districts is going to doom Dan Lipinski, as he is in serious danger of a primary challenge from a Hispanic politician (perhaps one of the aldermen from this area). Ironically, the earmuffs were originally created by a court in the first place, and this district might not even be Hispanic majority by CVAP (it's 55.5% total VAP), as it contains heavily Mexican areas like Archer Heights, Pilsen, and the rapidly-turning-Hispanic suburbs of Berwyn and Cicero. Lipinski retains his tentacle through Back of the Yards and Canaryville but loses Bridgeport (home of Richard Daley) to the 7th. (It also goes slightly into DuPage for population purposes.) Then again, Lipinski has the machine on his side, so who knows. It'd be good news for Dems if he lost the primary, and at 70% Obama, this seat is way safe.


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Incumbent: Luis Gutierrez (D-Chicago)
Old Vote: Obama 85 McCain 13
Current Vote: Obama 80 McCain 18
New Vote: Obama 77 McCain 22
Description: Well, Gutierrez won't like this. His Hispanic-majority district turned into a Hispanic influence district, at only 44.5% Hispanic VAP. (While many of those are Puerto Ricans, I believe Mexicans are not insignificant as a portion of the population, seeing as how this area seems to be a treasure trove of taquerias.) In this district's desperate search for every last Hispanic voter, it once again grabs the hipster stronghold of Bucktown/Wicker Park, which could spell primary trouble for Gutierrez. If there's any good news, it's that that same scramble for Hispanic voters sends the district out towards O'Hare and DuPage County, which unpacks it somewhat.


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Incumbent: Mike Quigley (D-Chicago)
Old Vote: Obama 73 McCain 26
Current Vote: Obama 70 McCain 29
New Vote: Obama 74 McCain 25
Description: This district retains its same basic shape, starting out in Lincoln Park (which it now has basically all of, whereas before it was split with IL-07) and jumping in an arc over IL-04. IL-04's voracious gobbling of every Hispanic suburb in sight forces IL-05 to look elsewhere for population, so it grabs liberal suburbs that are part of Schakowsky's base, such as Skokie and Morton Grove (which was famous in the 1980s for a handgun ban).


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Incumbent: Peter Roskam (R-Wheaton), Judy Biggert (R-Hinsdale)
Old Vote: (IL-06) Obama 56 McCain 43 (IL-13) Obama 54 McCain 45
Current Vote: Obama 51 McCain 47
New Vote: Obama 54 McCain 45
Description: While this district combines the old 6th and 13th and therefore deathmatches two Republicans (or maybe Biggert retires), it's actually a Republican victory. Why? Under the Democratic gerrymander, the 6th is vote-sinked so that the 8th and 11th can be Democratic-leaning. Under this map, this is a compact district in DuPage (plus Lemont in Cook County, which is pretty DuPage-y and also leans Republican). This is basically on par with Roskam's current R-leaning swing district, so he should be able to hold it. However, given the close race in 2006 and the D trend of the Chicago suburbs, one could look for this to be a very interesting district in the next D wave year.


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Incumbent: Bobby Rush (D-Chicago), Danny Davis (D-Chicago)
Old Vote: Obama 88 McCain 12
Current Vote: Obama 89 McCain 10
New Vote: Obama 89 McCain 10
Description: Bobby Rush will run in the 1st, leaving Danny Davis to represent the weirdest-looking of the black VRA districts. Not much else to say. 50.6% black VAP


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Incumbent: Joe Walsh (R-McHenry)
Old Vote: Obama 56 McCain 43
Current Vote: Obama 62 McCain 37
New Vote: Obama 56 McCain 42
Description: Much like the old 8th, this is a NW exurban R-leaning swing district. Crazy Republican McHenry County is a hard-right county; don't let the 2008 results fool you. Until we get some more demographic change going here or another corporate Democrat a la Melissa Bean, this will lean Republican for the next few years. However, Joe Walsh is such an asshole that if he somehow won the primary, the Democrats in Elgin and Schaumburg would probably vote in enough numbers to overwhelm McHenry. I have a hard time seeing such a douchebag win, but Generic R is probably favored here in a neutral year.


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Incumbent: Jan Schakowsky (D-Evanston), Bob Dold! (R-Kenilworth)
Old Vote: Obama 72 McCain 26
Current Vote: Obama 69 McCain 30
New Vote: Obama 62 McCain 37
Description: This is a doozy. Schakowsky is probably the #3 loser of the two Hispanic districts (after Lipinski and Gutierrez) as her district gets pushed out to include more traditionally Republican suburbs. She should be able to dispatch Dold with presidential turnout, but until places like Rolling Meadows and Buffalo Grove turn into Morton Grove and Skokie, she can't rest on her laurels.


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Incumbent: OPEN
Old Vote: Obama 61 McCain 38
Current Vote: Obama 63 McCain 36
New Vote: Obama 60 McCain 39
Description: Don't let the numbers deceive you: despite appearing to get weaker, this district actually gets stronger for us. Those Cook County suburbs it drops voted D for president, but not for much else. Lake County is trending blue at a frightening pace, and even in 2010, it voted D for Congress overall (Dan Seals won the IL-10 portion of Lake County while Joe Walsh narrowly won the IL-08 portion). Also, Lake County is just barely short of a CD on its own, but this district's small bite into Cook County (Glencoe) will only help us, having voted 71% for Obama. John Tree, Ilya Sheyman, and Brad Schneider (blech) all live here; whoever wins the primary should be fine in the general as long as they run a good campaign.


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Incumbent: Adam Kinzinger (R-Manteno)
Old Vote: Obama 53 McCain 45
Current Vote: Obama 61 McCain 37
New Vote: Obama 55 McCain 43
Description: Ugh, this is bad. Joliet can definitely be counted on to vote blue; Lockport, Bolingbrook, and Romeoville probably as well; Kankakee, perhaps. But everywhere else? Blood red. Given how Kinzinger is the GOP Golden Boy, I hate to say it but he's probably got this unless we find a really good candidate. (And that candidate would have to appear out of nowhere, because if we don't defeat him in 2012, he's probably there as long as he wants.)


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Incumbent: Jerry Costello (D-Belleville), John Shimkus (R-Collinsville)
Old Vote: Obama 54 McCain 44
Current Vote: Obama 55 McCain 44
New Vote: Obama 55 McCain 43
Description: Um, interesting how this clean court-drawn map (slightly) shored up this district more than the actual Democratic gerrymander. Anyway, pretty sure Shimkus would jump ship to the 18th, leaving Brad Harriman and Jason Plummer to face off (yes, both still live here). Leans D, especially with presidential year black turnout (this district is 15.7% black VAP).


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Incumbent: Randy Hultgren (R-Winfield)
Old Vote (IL-14): Obama 55 McCain 44
Current Vote: (IL-14): Obama 51 McCain 48
New Vote: Obama 54 McCain 45
Description: The last of the Chicagoland districts, it can largely be compared to the 6th and the 8th in that it leans R but could be winnable in the future in a good year. However, while there is a growing Hispanic population here, it'll be a while before we have a good shot here. Democratic strength in this district is sparse outside of Aurora (and some small pockets in places like West Chicago and Oswego).


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Incumbent: Tim Johnson (R-Urbana)
Old Vote (IL-15): Obama 48 McCain 50
Current Vote (IL-13): Obama 55 McCain 44
New Vote: Obama 50 McCain 48
Description: Well, this is nice for Johnson. I hate to say it, but even with all those UIUC students (and the school that's in Bloomington/Normal, forgetting name) and minorities in Danville, Johnson is pretty secure here. We might be able to get our hopes up if there's an open seat in a D wave year. (Paging Mike Frerichs...)


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Incumbent: Donald Manzullo (R-Leaf River)
Old Vote (IL-16): Obama 53 McCain 45
Current Vote (IL-16): Obama 50 McCain 48
New Vote: Obama 54 McCain 44
Description: Well, the numbers may look promising, but this is basically the same district, with only a few scattered pockets of Dem strength outside Rockford. So Donald Duck Manzullo is probably safe here. :(


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Incumbent: Bobby Schilling (R-Colona)
Old Vote (IL-17): Obama 56 McCain 42
Current Vote (IL-17): Obama 60 McCain 38
New Vote: Obama 53 McCain 45
Description: Schilling's gotta deal with Moline, Galesburg, Quincy, the college town of Macomb, and most of Springfield. But undoing the Dem gerrymander is really brutal here, as it adds a lot of rural territory which shifts the district to the right. While Schilling was arguably a fluke of 2010, I would say this district probably still leans towards him.


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Incumbent: Aaron Schock (R-Peoria)
Old Vote (IL-18): Obama 48 McCain 50
Current Vote (IL-18): Obama 44 McCain 54
New Vote: Obama 49 McCain 49 (Obama by 1,316 votes)
Description: Well, Schock gains Decatur from IL-17 and retains a tiny bite of Springfield, but it's not enough to endanger him. He remains overwhelmingly hot safe.


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Incumbent: OPEN
Old Vote (IL-19): Obama 44 McCain 54
Current Vote (IL-15): Obama 43 McCain 55
New Vote: Obama 43 McCain 55
Description: John Shimkus would run here and win with little problem.

So, in contrast to the Dem gerrymander which is either +4 Dems/-5 Reps or +5 Dems/-6 Reps, this map would be +0 Dems/-1 Rep or, if Joe Walsh wins the IL-08 primary, +1 Dems/-2 Rep. This is why we should be glad the Republicans have no case!


Originally posted to sapelcovits on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 10:58 PM PST.

Also republished by Land of Lincoln Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (9+ / 0-)

    21, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), hopeless Swingnut

    by sapelcovits on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 10:58:00 PM PST

  •  I wonder whose district my sister will be in (0+ / 0-)

    She's currently in Bobby Rush's but friends who live four blocks away are in Jesse Jackson Jr's. (They all live in Hyde Park).

    Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07.

    by anastasia p on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 11:22:04 PM PST

    •  Oh hey (0+ / 0-)

      I go to UChicago! Maybe I know your sister. :P

      Under this map, all of UChicago (and therefore Hyde Park) is united in the blue district (IL-01). I have no idea why the current map splits it between IL-01 and IL-02.

      21, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), hopeless Swingnut

      by sapelcovits on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 11:24:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nice job (3+ / 0-)

    That said, the Republicans have the same problem as your map, which is that the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in 1998 that only citizens can be factored into the equation. Neither of these Latino districts would have a majority Latino CVAP and so they would fall short of the Seventh Circuit standard.

  •  Evanston (0+ / 0-)

    A court would never send Evanston to the Northwest suburbs (like Palatine). The COI makes way more sense to run Evanston with the north shore and the north side of the city than to split the northwest suburbs and give them Evanston. That's a gerrymander. The split should be east west and not north south.

    Otherwise, good map.

    •  An addition (0+ / 0-)

      Places like Harwood Heights, Norridge, and the far NW part of the city are far better fits with Palatine, AH, and Prospect Heights than Evanston is. The north shore and Evanston should stay together in a court map, assuming that the court doesn't draw a lakeshore district from like Lake Forest down to Wilmette and west. That'd be the best COI of all, but the true COI of the north shore is only about 400,000 people, so you have to go west or north or south.

      Evanston and the north side of the city are somewhat indistinguishable, except around Northwestern.

      •  I thought Harwood Heights and Norridge (0+ / 0-)

        were more blue-collar? While admittedly the NW part of the city feels very suburban, I know Portage Park in Chicago is a very white ethnic/Polish area and Wikipedia suggests HH and Norridge are rather middle-class (median income of around 50kish). By contrast I always thought of Palatine, AH, and Prospect Heights as rich Asian and Jewish people. Wiki certainly lends support to the "rich" part anyway.

        Thanks for the feedback though. Once I have time I might try shifting Evanston to the 5th and see how that switches things around.

        21, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), hopeless Swingnut

        by sapelcovits on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 08:20:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I like that map much, much better (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    My town would be in IL-09, and it would be the entire town, instead of having it split into 3 random slivers.  As the map currently stands, my house will be in one district, and my voting place 4 blocks away will be in another district.

    Your map does a much better job of respecting existing county borders and having sane, compact districts.

    Why can't all redistricting just be done by rational people like this?

  •  Dold (0+ / 0-)

    Oh, and Bob Dold would almost certainly run in the Lake County based 10th on this map, even if he lives in KW.

    •  Why though? (0+ / 0-)

      Ironically I think he actually has a better chance in the 9th. The blue trend in Lake, combined with the fact that the county voted Democratic overall in 2010, and then the increased Hispanic turnout in Waukegan and the northern part of the county are all bad for him. I would actually think he'd want to run against a crusty incumbent who hasn't campaigned in forever in a district which probably has more ticket-splitters.

      21, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), hopeless Swingnut

      by sapelcovits on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 08:23:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Rapid D Trend" (0+ / 0-)

        I want to see more data other than 2004/2008. These are exburbs that I think the GOP can still play in. Places like NW Lake County and Waukegan are stuffed with union voters and hispanics, and SE Lake County has a lot of Jewish liberals, but there is a lot of good GOP territory.

        •  Lake Forest will probably always be good (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          for you guys.

          As for the county as a whole, Nate Silver says it pretty well

          The story of Illinois' political transformation is the story of the bluing of the Chicago suburbs, which now account for slightly more than 50 percent of the state's population. In 1988, Lake County, the wealthy area to Chicago's north that is featured in all those John Hughes movies, went for George Bush by 27.7 points, making it 20 points more Republican than the country as a whole. But every year since, that number has been pared down some. In 1992, Lake County was 13 points more Republican than the rest of the country; in 1996, 8 points more Republican; in 2000, 3 points more Republican, and then finally in 2004, John Kerry outperformed his national margins there, although still lost the country by a hair (Barack Obama won't have the same problem).

          (Well, he was wrong about one thing: I'm pretty sure the Breakfast Club, at least, is based off of New Trier HS in Cook, not Lake.)

          Then in 2010, even when Dems were getting destroyed in the Chicago suburbs, Seals won Lake County by about 6,000 votes while Bean lost it by only about 3,000 votes, meaning the county went blue overall for Congress. Pretty impressive, especially considering that Hispanic turnout was presumably low.

          21, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), hopeless Swingnut

          by sapelcovits on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 08:51:00 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  About damn time. (0+ / 0-)

      considering their grounds for both the legislative and congressional maps were pretty much the same, I think it's pretty safe to say our map will stand.

      21, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), hopeless Swingnut

      by sapelcovits on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 08:52:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Lawsuit (0+ / 0-)

        Yeah, they've had over three weeks to decide that it's illegal and have rejected multiple Democratic motions to throw out the case. That's not a sure sign of it being thrown out ASAP.

        The State House and State Senate maps were thrown out instantly. They court isn't so sure about the Congressional map.

        •  so given that the grounds for challenging (0+ / 0-)

          the state legislative maps just got denied and are the exact same as the grounds for challenging the congressional maps, exactly what is supposed to change here?

          21, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), hopeless Swingnut

          by sapelcovits on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 04:07:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The grounds (0+ / 0-)

            Sure, the arguments are similar, but the maps aren't the same. The judges could have seen an issue with the Congressional maps they didn't see in the leg maps.

            If the courts had no problem with the Congressional map, I ask you why they have ignored Democrats' motions to dismiss the case and why it has taken them over three weeks.

            They're seemingly giving serious thought to splitting IL-04 in half. Lipinski would be doomed, which would be bittersweet for me because he's my favorite IL Dem based on his voting record (I'd rather have an R than him but I'd rather have him than any other IL Dem). At the very least, the court mandating two hispanic influence seats would win Rs one more seat. It would also have ripple effects on the north suburban seats and make any gerrymander less effective because Schakowsky would want a certain Obama %. If anyone could lose a D+9 or so, it's her (not saying it'd be a given or anything, but she has never had to campaign and is quite to the left of most suburban Chicagoans).

            The lawsuit may fail, but I'm actually way more optimistic than I was when it started (I had ZERO optimism back then).

            Remember, throwing out the map and picking the other side's map has precedent in Illinois. Could lightening strike twice?

            •  Another thing that has precedent in Illinois (0+ / 0-)

              is a court mandating the earmuffs - that's how they were originally created. Just because the court is taking the case seriously and not dismissing it out of hand doesn't mean they will come down in favor of the plaintiffs in the end. Given the ruling in Bartlett that says that a minority group must be a majority to be protected, I think there is also judicial precedent (albeit from the US Supreme Court) for ordering that a district be composed of a majority of a certain group by CVAP. That's also probably why the court in Nevada declined to draw a Hispanic majority district (which would only have been Hispanic majority by total population). The IL Supreme Court could be different, but we'll see.

              21, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), hopeless Swingnut

              by sapelcovits on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 09:34:35 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Courts (0+ / 0-)

                First off, it's a Federal Court using a 3 judge panel. the IL Supreme Court would have no jurisdiction over that map, I don't think.

                Also, I'm not saying Republicans will win this thing. I'm saying Republicans have a chance, as shown by their serious consideration of the claims Republicans are making.

                •  Sure (0+ / 0-)

                  and I'm only saying that after they are done seriously considering those claims, they will probably rule in favor of the defendants.

                  21, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), hopeless Swingnut

                  by sapelcovits on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 07:32:00 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

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