POS 336 Research Paper

POS 336 Research Paper - 1 Senate Election Research Paper:...

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Senate Election Research Paper: The Race for the 2010 Illinois Seat POS 336: Voters In America Dr. Karen Shafer April 16, 2010 By: Lauren Napolitano 1
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The Senate Race in 2010 has been the topic of interest particularly since Barack Obama was elected president in 2008. The democrats have had a filibuster-proof majority since the country had been disillusioned with the Bush Administration. With a new president and the new administration, people again are wondering if this democratic majority is performing how they desired it to. Of particular interest is the state of Illinois, with now-President Barack Obama as a former senator, and Roland Burris the senate appointee, both departing from the Illinois seat in the upcoming election. Illinois will be a fascinating state to track during and after the campaign trail for the upcoming senate election. According to the 2000 census data, Illinois has a population of 12,419,660 people. 1 This is a solid proportion of the national population reported in 2000 at 281,424,602. 75.4% of the Illinois residents are over the age of eighteen, which is slightly higher than the average of eighteen year-olds in the United States. The percentage of white people in Illinois is 79.1%, while the percentage of African Americans in Illinois is 14.9%. These figures are slightly lower and somewhat higher, respectively, than the national average. Illinois actually has approximately two percent more black people than average in the country. This is important to note, as black people tend to identify heavily with the Democratic Party, 2 and Illinois has a history of being a “blue state”. As far as education goes, 81.4% of Illinois residents who are twenty-five and older are high school graduates. This is higher than the national percentage of high school graduates who are twenty-five and older at 80.4%. 26.1% of people in Illinois 1 All figures are reported from the US Census Website 2 Flanigan and Zingale, 2010 2
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boast a bachelor’s degree, while only 24.4% of people in the country at-large obtained one. This is another figure of relative importance to any election, as it is known that level of education is an important factor determining voter turnout in elections. The higher the level of education a person has completed, the more likely they are to vote. 3 Another factor that influences voter turnout is income. The median household income for an Illinois resident is $56,230; while the median household income for a resident of the United States is $52,029. In the 2008 Presidential election, people with a household income higher than the national median tended to vote more than people with a household income below the median. 4 With a median household income above the national figure, it is not surprising to learn that Illinois has an unemployment rate of 3.9%, which is lower than the national unemployment rate as of the 2000 Census, 5.8%. Over the last couple of years however, Illinois reported an increased unemployment rate. In the second quarter of 2009, Illinois
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This note was uploaded on 05/04/2010 for the course POS 336 taught by Professor Shafer during the Spring '10 term at ASU.

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POS 336 Research Paper - 1 Senate Election Research Paper:...

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