Feb. 12, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Illinois - 19th District

Incumbent -- John Shimkus (R) ; Running for re-election

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

The 19th sprawls across southern Illinois, meandering over all or part of 30 counties to create the largest congressional district in the state. The district reaches from Springfield, in central Illinois, south to Metropolis, which borders Kentucky. In the east, it reaches from the Ohio River in Gallatin, Hardin, Pope and Massac counties across the state to the Mississippi River in Jersey and Madison counties.

The 19th's part of Madison County contains more than 20 percent of the district's population, and its piece of Sangamon County (Springfield) holds 11 percent. The rest of the population is spread widely across the remaining counties. Pope County, the state's second-least populous, is partly within the Shawnee National Forest.

The northern counties cover typical Midwestern country -- acres of corn and soybean fields dotted by small towns. The southern half, however, looks more like Appalachia than Midwestern prairie. The hilly, forested counties here hold rich deposits of coal and once were one of the nation's chief coal mining regions. Despite periodic upticks in mining, the economy is driven by manufacturing and agriculture.

Factory jobs account for most employment in Madison County's Edwardsville, Collinsville, Glen Carbon and Godfrey, but job losses have hurt the county. Edwardsville hosts a Southern Illinois University campus, while state government, the University of Illinois-Springfield and the Southern Illinois University Medical School (in the nearby 17th) sustain the state capital of Springfield in Sangamon County.

The 19th has a historically conservative past and has voted for the GOP candidate in the last three presidential elections. In 2008, Republican John McCain won a statewide-high 54 percent in the district, and only the 19th's portion of Gallatin County supported Barack Obama.

Major Industry

Agriculture, manufacturing, food products


Springfield (pt.), 28,853; Edwardsville (pt.), 24,280; Collinsville (pt.), 22,534


Metropolis was declared the official hometown of Superman in 1972.




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