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
The whole state
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
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
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.
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.
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).
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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).
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).
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...)
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. :(
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.
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
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!