On Wednesday, Sean Trende, senior elections analyst at Real Clear Politics and Dave Wasserman, U.S. House editor for Cook Political Report got into an online discussion in Twitter about Illinois’ congressional reapportionment states must do every 10 years with the latest census data.
Wasserman, under the assumption of Illinois losing a congressional seat, did a draft map Wednesday night using projected population data.
Below is what he tweeted last night, and will likely have no bearing on Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, who has been drawing maps for decades and will, barring something extraordinary, doing so again next year for likely his last time.
COMMENTARY: Focusing solely on McHenry County with this draft map, which is divided into three congressional districts:
- IL-06 (Sean Casten) is pushed south into central Kane County
- IL-08 (Raja Krishnamoorthi) extends from Cook County through northern Kane County including the city of Elgin, into Grafton Township and most of Algonquin Township, with the villages of Algonquin, Cary, Huntley, Lake in the Hills and most of Crystal Lake
- IL-09 (Jan Schakowsky) would take all of McHenry and Nunda townships along with Barrington Hills and Fox River Grove, excluding far north Crystal Lake
- IL-14 (Underwood/Oberweis winner) all of McHenry County excluding Algonquin, Grafton, McHenry and Nunda townships
Given IL-08 and IL-09 extend east into Cook County, those two districts will be solid Democrat for the entire decade, with Democratic succession planning in place.
The new IL-14 will be more Democratic by including all of DeKalb County, with the Northern Illinois University main campus in the city of DeKalb, along with the entire city of Aurora in Kane and DuPage counties.
All of Naperville Township in DuPage County would be in the IL-14. Lake County would be dropped, but all of Boone County and northern Winnebago County, north of Rockford would be in the new IL-14.
With Boone and Winnebago counties, a 2nd television media market would be added to IL-14 in addition to Chicagoland.
The Democratic advantages of this new IL-14 map would be to make the district more diverse with the addition of the city of Aurora and younger with NIU and DeKalb County. The district would no longer be 86% white, non-Hispanic.
Additionally, removing three of McHenry County’s most populous townships from IL-14, apart from the city of Woodstock, the predominate part of McHenry County is exurban, which will blunt the Republican voting which contributed to Underwood’s underperformance in McHenry County in 2020, mitigating a potential threat to Democratic electoral chances.
Additionally, this map will allow the Democrats to begin actively grooming potential successors to Lauren Underwood. As Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn wrote back in August, Underwood is seen by many as U.S. Senate material, most likely to succeed Dick Durbin at the end of his 5th term in 2026 when she’ll be 40.
Several Democrat state legislators, particularly women of color including State Representative Barbara Hernandez (D, Aurora) or newly elected State Senator Karina Villa (D, West Chicago) could be seen as potential successors. Hernandez is in her late 20s and just won election to her first elected term (she was appointed after Governor J.B. Pritzker named her predecessor Linda Chapa LaVia to lead Illinois Veterans Affairs).
As stated above, this map will have no bearing on what House Speaker Mike Madigan draws. It gives an illustration what kinds of changes will be made, and some of the components the Democrats will want to address with McHenry County.