Feb. 12, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Illinois - 1st District

Incumbent -- Bobby L. Rush (D) ; Running for re-election

Safe Democratic
Race Ratings Key

CQ Politics rates this race as "Safe," meaning the incumbent party is virtually certain to win the seat.


District Information

District Profile from Politics in America

The nation's first majority-black district, the 1st covers much of Chicago's South Side. Starting at 26th Street in the historic black hub, the district spreads out to the south and west through residential areas. It narrows through the southwestern neighborhoods of Washington Heights, Beverly and Morgan Park, then expands outside the city to scoop up close-in suburbs as it extends south to Cook County's border with Will County. Sixty-five percent of the 1st's residents live in Chicago.

The 1st is home to several of the city's subsidized housing projects, and a significant portion of the population lives in poverty -- the median household income in the district is one of the lowest in Illinois. Many people work in the service industry, and residents endure long commutes. Despite the presence of the University of Chicago in the Hyde Park neighborhood, only about one-fifth of residents have a college degree.

The district has several solidly middle-class black neighborhoods, including Chatham and Avalon Park. Bronzeville, in the district's north end, has worked to attract black-owned businesses and young black professionals, encouraging residents to rehabilitate old houses. Local leaders are trying to use its rich history to attract tourism by renovating buildings, investing in heritage sites and promoting its jazz and blues tradition.

The 1st, represented by black congressmen since 1929, is 62 percent African-American. A decade of migration from the city of Chicago to its suburbs cost the district 10 percent of its population since 2000. Despite the overall loss of residents, the Hispanic population here has swelled in the same time period. In the 2008 presidential election, the strongly Democratic parts of the district within Chicago gave hometown candidate Barack Obama 98 percent of the vote, but he won relatively less support in parts of the 1st outside of the city. Obama took 87 percent of the district's vote in 2008.

Major Industry

Hospitals, higher education, manufacturing


Chicago (pt.), 384,879; Oak Forest (pt.), 27,832; Orland Park (pt.), 26,722; Tinley Park (pt.), 25,362; Blue Island (pt.), 23,652


The first self-sustaining nuclear reaction took place at the University of Chicago under the stands at Stagg Field in 1942.




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