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Illinois - 4th District

Incumbent -- Luis V. Gutierrez (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

Surrounding the black-majority 7th District in the center of Chicago, the small, horseshoe-shaped 4th was drawn to unite the city's Hispanic neighborhoods into one voting bloc. Eighty-five percent of district residents live in Chicago.

A narrow strip of land about 10 miles in length -- running along railroad tracks, highways and cemeteries -- attaches the Puerto Rican neighborhood of Logan Square in the northern part of the 4th to Mexican-American populations in Little Village and Pilsen in the southern portion. There are large Hispanic majorities in these parts of the South Lawndale and Lower West Side communities around Cermak Road in the southern arm of the district. Close-in Chicago suburbs such as Cicero and Stone Park, formerly home to Slavic and Italian populations, respectively, also have seen significant Hispanic growth.

The 4th's primarily blue-collar workforce, which is made up of a significant population of immigrants, tend to live in the district's Hispanic, Ukrainian and Polish neighborhoods. Most jobs in the district are in the transportation and manufacturing sectors, and the warehousing industry is strong.

The district contains the state's largest Hispanic population, and the nation's eighth-largest, at 74 percent. The 4th is largely young, poor and with low levels of formal education. The district suffered the second-most population loss between 2000 and 2010 of all Illinois districts, shedding 8 percent of its residents.

The district is plagued by low voter turnout, but is solidly Democratic and takes in left-leaning areas of Cicero as well as the gentrifying Wicker Park and Bucktown neighborhoods in Chicago. Barack Obama took 85 percent of the district's vote in the 2008 presidential election.

Major Industry

Light manufacturing, transportation

Cities

Chicago (pt.), 510,423; Cicero (pt.), 70,624; Melrose Park (pt.), 6,414

notable

Cermak Road is named for former Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak, who was killed in 1933 by a bullet meant for President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt; the Back of the Yards neighborhood in Chicago was the subject of Upton Sinclair's 1906 novel "The Jungle."

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