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Illinois - 3rd District

Incumbent -- Daniel Lipinski (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 3rd covers the southwest corner of Chicago and adjacent suburbs, part of a working-class region known as the Bungalow Belt that has been stocked with voters of Eastern European, Italian and Irish descent. Even as the district's population grew only modestly since 2000, the Hispanic population here surged from one-fifth of residents to 34 percent.

Chicago residents make up about 40 percent of the district population. The 3rd includes the historically Irish neighborhood of Bridgeport, which is the political base of the powerful Daley family, and southwest Chicago neighborhoods such as Beverly, West Lawn, Clearing and Garfield Ridge, where Midway Airport is located. The largely Hispanic West Lawn and West Elsdon neighborhoods experienced rapid growth overall despite losing thousands of white residents in the last decade.

Crisscrossed by highways, railroads and the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, the 3rd has historically served as a manufacturing and distribution center. A significant amount of rail traffic has shifted from the 3rd's congested lines to other suburban areas in recent years. The district also has relied on food processing and distribution. Midway drives the district's retail and service base. Southwest Airlines continues to expand operations at the airport, filling the void left by departures of other major carriers. Bridgeview, just southwest of the airport, has shifted away from its industrial past, centering commercial growth around Toyota Park, home to soccer's Fire and a concert venue.

In national elections, the 3rd typically votes Democratic, but not by the same wide margins as other Chicago-based districts -- Barack Obama won 64 percent of the 2008 presidential vote here. Many working- and middle-class voters lean to the right on social issues, and there are GOP pockets in the district's more affluent western Cook County suburbs.

Major Industry

Transportation, warehouses, manufacturing

Cities

Chicago (pt.), 266,118; Oak Lawn, 56,690; Berwyn (pt.), 53,959

notable

Berwyn is home to the World's Largest Laundromat, with roughly 300 washers and dryers combined, which runs on solar power.

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