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2016 vs. 2020, what’s different in Illinois and the Stateline?

ROCKFORD (WREX) -- To understand what will come on Election Day 2020, it may be helpful to look back at what 2016 looked like in the Stateline and across the state.

In the race for President in 2020, incumbent President Donald Trump squares off against Joe Biden. Looking back at 2016, Hillary Clinton carried the state's 20 winner-take-all Electoral College votes, lately a Democrat usually does. A Republican hasn't won Illinois since 1988 when George H.W. Bush defeated Michael Dukakis. Bush was the Vice President of President Ronald Raegan, who of course has ties to Illinois and the Stateline.

Going back to 2016, Hillary Clinton only won twelve of Illinois' 102 counties. But, she did win the most populous ones, including Cook County. Cook County voters had 2.1 million of Illinois' 5.24 million votes in 2016.

She also narrowly won Winnebago County by just 89 votes. President Donald Trump carried all other counties in the 13 WREX viewing area.

President Donald Trump carried Ogle, Lee, Boone and Stephenson Counties along with a massive swath of the central and southern part of Illinois.

Theoretically, more Americans and more Illinoisans will turn out to the polls in 2020, but will the outcome be the same? 13 WREX will be using this new election technology to dig deeper into the numbers as they come in on election night.

Similar to Hillary Clinton in 2016, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin defeated challenger Jim Oberweis in his last election in 2014 by winning just 14 of Illinois' 102 counties. He faces a challenger this time in Republican Mark Curran.

The Stateline also has two congressional seats up for grabs in the 16th and 17th Illinois Congressional Districts.

In IL-16, Congressman Adam Kinzinger squares off against Democratic challenger Dani Brzozowski. In 2018, Kinzinger had a challenger in Democrat Sara Dady. Kinzinger won every county in the 16th district except a sliver of DeKalb county.

In IL-17, Democrat incumbent Cheri Bustos faces off against Republican Challenger Esther Joy King. Looking back at 2018, Bustos easily beat Bill Fawell.

What is interesting to note is the city of Rockford is gerrymandered between the 17th and 16th Illinois Congressional Districts. The line loops through the city on Riverside Boulevard, crosses the Rock River at Auburn Street and zig zags its way through the eastern part of the city. To put this into perspective, you could vote in a different congressional district than your neighbor across the street. For instance, those who live on the west side of North Prospect Street near East State vote in the 17th, but those on the east side vote in the 16th.

The congressional drawing of Rockford. The south and west side of the city along with downtown fall under IL-17. The north and east side fall under Il-16.

James Stratton

James Stratton is the Evening Anchor at 13 WREX and reports for 13 Investigates He joined the team in August, 2018 after working at KWQC TV-6 in Davenport Iowa. His work in Illinois and Iowa has been awarded in both states, along with Edward R. Murrow and Emmy Awards at 13 WREX.

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