In Statehouses Today, The Winner Takes All

Feb 20, 2019

Credit Flickr/TimCummins/

Red or blue.  And not much in between.  That describes statehouses in Illinois and across the country. Only one state, Minnesota, has Republicans and Democrats splitting legislative control.  

The political divide has given way to more one party dominance.  Democrats have had full reign over the General Assembly in Illinois since 2003. 

But many experts believe this trend happening across the U.S. has resulted in lawmakers with the power feeling less of a need to compromise. 

Alan Greenblatt is a reporter for Governing Magazine and he wrote about the phenomenon in a recent article.

“Even though a lot of people say they are centrists themselves, or wish politicians would just get along, most parties, most districts are one way or the other so whoever wins the primary is likely to be very progressive or very conservative,” he said.

Republicans have shown dominance in rural areas while Democrats have taken over most urban locations.  In Illinois, where the Chicago area population dwarfs the rest of the Land of Lincoln, a politician only needs to win that area to be elected on a statewide ticket.