Larry J. Sabato’s Crystal Ball, a respected political forecasting website founded by the political science professor, gives us a forecast of how effective Illinois’s congressional remap will be in ending the careers of GOP congressmen.
The site’s listing of 2012’s most competitive House races predicts the Democrats will take four Republican seats in Illinois. Here’s a rundown.
8th District: This northwest suburban district, now represented by Joe Walsh, is rated Likely Democrat. Walsh, who would have been a tough sell anyway because of his Tea Party fulminating and child support issues, was drawn out of the district. Tammy Duckworth, the wounded Iraq helicopter pilot and protégé of Sen. Dick Durbin, was drawn in.
11th District: The Hill just named Adam Kinzinger one of the 50 most beautiful people in Washington, but he won’t be getting a lot of face time in the 11-th Congressional District. Kinzinger doesn’t live there anymore. His hometown of Manteno is now in Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.’s 2-nd District. The 11-th District was shifted to Democratic-leaning territory in the Southwest suburbs, where former Rep. Bill Foster ins running. Kinzinger, a 33-year-old Iraq War veteran, can either run against Rep. Don Manzullo in the 16-th District, or retire after one term.
10th District: Rep. Bob Dold’s Kenilworth home is no longer in his 10-th District, which was moved north and west to lose the North Shore and take in lower-income suburbs. The Democrats already have three potential candidates – state Rep. Carol Sente, Brad Schneider and Ilya Sheyman. As long as they don’t run Dan Seals a fourth time, they should win this Lean Democratic district.
17th District: This Quad Cities-based district was shaped like an octopus, extending tentacles into Quincy, Springfield and Decatur. Rep. Bobby Schilling of Coloma still managed to win in 2010. Next year, Schilling will meet new voters in Rockford and Peoria. The Crystal Ball rates the district Lean Democratic.
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