Illinois 13th District
Most residents of Chicagoland now live not in the city but in the suburbs, and increasingly not even in Cook County but in the collar counties all around Cook. DuPage County, straight west of Chicago, had 103,000 residents in 1940; in 2007, there were 929,000, with new subdivisions still springing up at the western edges. This is not a one-trick county of bedroom suburbs. Since 1970, DuPage has generated nearly half the new jobs in metropolitan Chicago. In Oak Brook are the headquarters of Ace Hardware, Federal Signal, and most famously, McDonald’s and its Hamburger University, an 80-acre campus where more than 80,000 trainees have received Bachelor of Hamburgerology degrees since it was founded in 1961. Nearby are graceful, old railroad-commuter towns like Hinsdale and Downers Grove, but also Naperville, once a country village, now an edge city, with a school district that is top-ranked globally in science and a top-rated public library. The Argonne National Laboratory, which conducts basic and applied research in disciplines that range from high-energy physics to biotechnology, has sparked numerous private research firms along the Sanitary and Ship Canal, the Des Plaines River, and the Illinois and Michigan Canal.
2008 Presidential Vote
|Cook Partisan Voting Index|
The 13th Congressional District of Illinois includes the southern part of DuPage County, including Oak Brook, Downers Grove, and Naperville; a small section of the southwest corner of Cook County; and a northern slice of Will County, including Bolingbrook, Romeoville, and Lockport. Money magazine rated Naperville No. 2 among the best places to live in the United States in 2006. Politically, this has been a heavily Republican area, suspicious of the motives and operations of Chicago Democrats, devoted to free enterprise and hostile to higher taxes. George W. Bush twice won the district with 55% of the vote. Barack Obama nearly reversed Bush’s numbers, winning 54% to 45%.