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Which Illinois Congressional seats are in play?

January 26, 2010

Congressional Quarterly’s CQPolitics is a website that closely tracks, updates and rates the competiveness of congressional races throughout the country.

Click here for a look at CQ’s take on the race to fill the seat of retiring U.S. Senator Roland Burris.   Illinois is considered a toss up in November.

For a map showing various shades of red and blue for each of Illinois’ 19 congressional districts, click here.

CQPolitics explains here its methodology for determining its ratings.

There are cases in which we might think a race might be fairly close if the election were held today, but have strong reasons to believe that the contest will end up as much more or much less competitive by November, and our rating will reflect that.   How we come to these conclusions involves a combination of factors. We look at the candidates’ political experiences, electoral track records (if they’ve run for office before), personal biographies and campaign skills.

While the candidate with the most cash does not always win, money matters in campaigns, so we mine information from the contenders’ finance reports.

We apply our knowledge of the states’ and districts’ partisan voting habits and the demographics of their political constituencies. And we listen closely to the party and state organizations about which contests they are most heavily targeting, which also is reflected in their own spending strategies.

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