Aug. 1, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Illinois - 2nd District

Incumbent -- Jesse L. Jackson Jr. (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 2nd begins on Chicago's South Side along Lake Michigan and extends south along the Indiana border, as well as southwest, to take in Chicago Heights and other Cook County suburbs before reaching into Will County. The Chicago part of the district starts in the Hyde Park area near the University of Chicago (in the 1st) and takes in the South Shore, South Chicago, Roseland, Pullman and heavily Hispanic East Side neighborhoods. A decade of migration of city residents to the suburbs has left the district with only 37 percent of residents in Chicago and one of the nation's smallest populations overall ahead of decennial remapping.

The district once was built on the steel business, but the industry's collapse in the late 1970s devastated the local economy. Ford Motor Co. is one of the few large manufacturing interests remaining here, with a stamping plant in Chicago Heights and an assembly plant north of Calumet City -- the company's oldest operating facility in the world. A planned commuter line from Crete (in the 11th) to Chicago could encourage growth and ease transportation difficulties.

A long-term plan to redevelop nearly 500 acres at the former U.S. Steel South Works industrial site along the lakefront will include parkland, commercial and residential development and a high school. Construction has not begun, but the Chicago government has approved initial funding. A proposed third Chicago-area airport in the neighboring 11th District near University Park could channel jobs to the 2nd District.

The district's working-class suburbs are a mix of heavily black areas such as Harvey, Dolton and Ford Heights, and largely white areas like Homewood, Flossmoor and Thornton. Overall, the 2nd has the nation's highest percentage of black residents (69 percent). A staunchly Democratic base helped the district give Barack Obama his highest 2008 presidential vote percentage (90 percent) in the state and the sixth-highest in the nation.

Major Industry

Automotive manufacturing, health care

Cities

Chicago (pt.), 224,161; Calumet City, 37,042; Chicago Heights, 30,276

notable

Pullman, now part of Chicago, was built by the Pullman Palace Car Co. in the 1880s and was the nation's first company-planned industrial town.

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