Partisan Democrat

Monday, August 21, 2006

State House and Senate Races

I thought I'd write a little about the state house and senate races that should be the most competitive, at least based on past performance and generic district info, but don't be surprised if the strengths/weaknesses of the candidates prevent them from actually being competitive.

First of all, I used as my source for most of the information here the 2006 Almanac of Illinois Politics that is published by the Center for State Policy and Leadership at the University of Illinois at Springfield. If you don't already own this book you should and you can find it here.

To rate the districts relative to one another I took the vote percentage in each district for Kerry 04, Obama 04, Blagojevich 02 and Durbin 02. While the scores will appear somewhere on the 0-100 range and they were taken from democratic vote totals it would be incorrect to assume that a district with a score of 60.2 is 60.2% democratic. That is not the case. Remember that Obama took about 70% of the vote and Durbin took 60% so their two percentages will skew all scores upward.

The only assumption that you can reasonably make is that a district with a score of 60.0 is probably more democratic that a district with a score of 50.0. These scores, while certainly not perfect, will allow us to measure each district relative to one another. But I implore you, please do not think that this score in any way correlates to the actual percentage democratic (or republican for that matter) the district is.

That being said, I'll try to highlight the democratic House pickups today, the republican House pickups tomorrow, the democratic Senate pickups Wednesday and the republican Senate pickups on Thursday. We'll see how it goes.


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