Illinois Democrats See Rewards from Redistricting
Democrats in Illinois literally mapped out their victories in the state's hotly contested congressional races. The party won most of the big prizes in districts that had been redrawn to squeeze Republicans out of their districts or throw them into Democrat-friendly territory.
Democrats controlled the once-a-decade map-drawing process because they have control of the state Legislature and the governor's office. Democrats picked up four House seats, including three held by GOP freshmen, on a night President Barack Obama scored an easy home-state victory en route to re-election The congressional wins included Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth's over tea party Congressman Joe Walsh. Freshman GOP Congressman Bob Dold's also lost to Brad Schneider.
In the state legislature Democrats have retained control of both houses. In Southern Illinois’ 59th state senate district, Democrat Gary Forby won out over Republican Mark Minor. Democratic State Representative Brandon Phelps took house district 118 running unopposed. The election gave enough seats for House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton, both Chicago Democrats, to continue setting the legislative agenda. With Democratic Governor Pat Quinn, the party also retains responsibility for getting control of state budget and pension-fund deficits that haven't improved despite last year's income tax increase.