Illinois 10th District
Since 1855, when the Chicago & Northwestern opened the railroad line from downtown Chicago north along the lakeshore, the North Shore suburbs along Lake Michigan have been home to Chicago’s elite. The North Shore starts in Evanston, goes north through Wilmette, Winnetka, and Glencoe, then leaves Cook County and crosses into the eastern Lake County towns of Highland Park and Lake Forest. Each burg has a slightly different personality, each is long established and mightily prosperous, and each exudes a patina of age. These are communities of affluent, well-educated people living in an environment whose natural beauty—the vistas over Lake Michigan, the gentle rolling terrain, and the old trees—is carefully disciplined. Corporate headquarters fit comfortably here, including Baxter Healthcare, Abbott Laboratories, and Allstate Insurance. The North Shore suburbs were the setting for the 1980s films Risky Business, Sixteen Candles, and Ferris Bueller's Day Off, which depicted teen angst and lust for adventure among the pampered offspring of the rich. The one exception to the atmosphere of gracious high living is the area around the Great Lakes Naval Training Center, where income is lower to say the least.
2008 Presidential Vote
|Cook Partisan Voting Index|
The 10th Congressional District of Illinois is the North Shore district, starting on the lakefront in Wilmette and running north all the way to the blue-collar city of Waukegan and almost to the Wisconsin border. The district goes inland to Northbrook and Deerfield through what for many years were cornfields. Farther inland are suburbs like Arlington Heights, developed in the 1950s and 1960s on the Northwestern railroad line, and Wheeling, developed in the 1970s. To the north is Libertyville, near where the Adlai Stevensons, the governor and two-time presidential candidate and his son the former senator, owned what is now one of the last farms only a few miles from Lake Michigan. After the family home on the property was donated to Lake County, it was restored as the Adlai Stevenson Center on Democracy in August 2008. With the big movement toward Democrats in the Chicago suburbs in the 1990s, this establishment Republican district voted narrowly for Al Gore in 2000 and by a slightly larger margin for John Kerry in 2004. Barack Obama ran strongly here in 2008, getting 61% of the vote to John McCain’s 38%.