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Illinois - 15th District

Incumbent -- Timothy V. Johnson (R) ; Will retire at end of current term (announced April 5, 2012)

Safe Republican
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

Agriculture is the dominant industry in the 15th, which takes in all or part of 22 counties, including the county and city of Champaign. The 15th runs nearly 250 miles north to south, with a long, narrow appendage that hugs the Indiana border on the western bank of the Wabash River down to Gallatin County. The district's roughly 10,000 square miles encompass several population centers separated by expansive farmland.

Corn and soybean fields cover much of the territory, and the land both around Bloomington-Normal and in counties south of Champaign produces high crop yields. Both the district's family and commercial farms produce feed and raw material for food products manufactured just over the district border at Decatur-based worldwide distributor Archer Daniels Midland (in the 17th). The area food-processing industry served by the district has remained steady despite several years of a nationwide economic downturn and rising transportation costs.

Scattered amid the farms are several midsize towns, including Danville, that center around agribusiness and manufacturing. Higher education is big business in the 15th, with more than 40,000 students at the University of Illinois' flagship campus in Urbana-Champaign. Bloomington-Normal's Illinois State and Illinois Wesleyan universities are just outside the district (in the 11th). Bloomington, home to State Farm Insurance, leads downstate Illinois in insurance and finance.

The district has a GOP lean, and Republicans typically run strongest in counties north of Champaign, including Iroquois and Ford. Both gave Republican John McCain almost 65 percent of their vote in the 2008 presidential election. Champaign County's academic community keeps Democrats competitive in the county, and it gave Barack Obama 58 percent of the vote in 2008, his highest percentage in the district. Overall, McCain won the 15th with 50 percent of the vote.

Major Industry

Agriculture, higher education, food processing, insurance


Champaign, 81,055; Bloomington (pt.), 43,271; Urbana, 41,250; Danville, 33,027; Charleston, 21,838; Normal (pt.), 20,441; Mattoon, 18,555


The Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site in Coles County preserves the last home of President Abraham Lincoln's father and stepmother.




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