2022 will be a year of change in Illinois politics. The every-ten-years redistricting process will result in a new congressional map and new legislative maps, the latter already having been signed into law by the governor.
There is also a later primary election date – June 28, to allow for the Census-delayed congressional map. Brian Gaines, a professor of political science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a member of the Institute of Government and Public Affairs, says since primaries already occur on many dates across the calendar, it’s unlikely anybody – Republican or Democrat, incumbent or challenger – would have an edge just because of a new date.
The maps, as drawn by supermajority Democrats, are a different story.
“I think they’re basically just going to try to shore up (U.S. Rep.) Lauren Underwood (D-Naperville),” Gaines says of the upcoming congressional map. “If it turns out to be a bad midterm for the Democrats, which is certainly the pattern lately — the president’s party gets pretty walloped in the midterm — they’ll try to make sure she’s insulated. And they’ll probably try to make life harder for (U.S. Rep.) Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville).”
The mapmakers can do that, Gaines says, by giving Davis territory he has not previously represented, potentially diluting the advantage of incumbency; and by mapping Davis with one or more other Republican incumbents, setting up a possible primary.
Davis could stick his toe into gubernatorial waters, depending on the new map, but Gaines says he would have a better chance winning another term in Congress regardless of how the map turns out.
By the way, Gaines does not buy Democrats’ argument that they were under a deadline to draw the legislative maps. He says it was only a deadline for the Democrats to avoid having to give up control of the process, and waiting until Census results are out would have more accurate data as the foundation for the maps.
Region: Springfield,News,Region: Central,City: Springfield
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July 12, 2021 at 11:04PM