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New Illinois Congressional Map Could Lead to Contested Elections

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SPRINGFIELD, IL (IRN) - Illinois may yet be a battleground state in this year’s election, but not because of the presidential elections.

University of Illinois at Springfield professor Kent Redfield, who is a longtime Illinois political observer, says it’s obvious the state will vote for President Obama, but Illinois will be crucial in the makeup of the House of Representatives.

Several districts are considered to be up for grabs, including a couple of Downstate districts, after incumbents announced they weren’t running for re-election.

And although some publicized out-of-state special elections, like the unsuccessful attempt to recall Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin, have been considered national referendums, Redfield says that will mean little in Illinois.

“One goes one way or another and people read huge implications into it. And I think that’s a mistake,” Redfield says.

Redfield says because of the number of contested congressional elections, a lot of national campaign money will be poured into Illinois.

He says candidates will also spend more money than they normally would because this is the first election after the congressional maps were redrawn.

Although the enthusiasm isn’t the same as 2008, Redfield says the turnout may not be that different because of the number of contested local elections. Fewer than 60 percent of Illinoisans voted in the 2008 election.

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