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Just a third of incoming, returning House Democrats are white and male

Monday, Nov 19, 2012

* Ted McClelland counted noses in the Illinois General Assembly

In the House, only 24 of the 71 Democrats elected this year are white guys. There are 31 women, 18 African-Americans and six Latinos. (Some of these categories overlap, obviously.) Of the 47 Republicans, 36 are white guys, and 11 are white women.

In the Senate, white guys do a lot better. They make up half the 40 Democratic senators elected this year. The Democrats have 10 African-Americans, four Latinos and 11 women.

Of the 19 Republican senators, 15 are white men and four are white women.

So overall, white men make up 39.6 percent of the Democratic legislators in Springfield — almost exactly their proportion in the state as a whole — and 77.2 percent of the Republicans.


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - And I Approved This Message - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 9:10 am:

    The same is true in Congress. Laura Washington writes this morning that CNN reported last week that for the first time “women and minority Democrats will outnumber their white male counterparts..The House Republican membership is mostly white and male.”

  2. - bored now - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 9:12 am:

    and madigan will still be king of illinois (in large part due to his own involvement in their elections or appointments)…

  3. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 9:22 am:

    “YOUR Melting Pot Caucus Salad Compliments of the ‘Madi-Knife’, when a Majority is not enough!”

    They are all the same, right HGOP … every one of the new HDems … cookie-cutter, right?

  4. - Billy - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 9:34 am:

    Hope the women do a better job then the men did!

  5. - western illinois - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 9:45 am:

    bored now-You mean like MJMs great sucess in a certain state rep race a couple of weeks ago?

  6. - Conservative Veteran - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 9:46 am:

    We shouldn’t care about a legislator’s ethnic group of sex. We should only care about their views and political experience.

  7. - John A Logan - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 9:52 am:

    I agree with Conservative Veteran.

  8. - Ray del Camino - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 9:53 am:

    If groups have been shut out a long time, it is certainly worth noting when the door is opening to them.

  9. - Angry Chicagoan - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 10:11 am:

    The Democratic Party looks like today’s America. It seems to have someone and something for everyone. It doesn’t always work in terms of coherence but it seems to fit the “people like us” test. The Republican Party most decidedly does not look like today’s America, and it looks frankly like the clique from high school that went to the same fraternity at college and then came home to learn the ropes of the family insurance agency. Like it or not, that kind of image has an impact. Not only is the Republican Party ethnically and racially unrepresentative, but it is also socially unrepresentative — and unrepresentative in terms of experience. The big question more and more voters ask of the Republicans is “Do they even get me?”

  10. - shore - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 10:16 am:

    It’s an issue and you left off the fact that some of those democratic white men are jews or gay which the gop is also short on.

    It’s an issue for Republicans as it’s been for a long time. Party efforts though are usually clueless and more embarrassing than the stats.

  11. - TooManyJens - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 10:17 am:

    Indeed, Ray.

  12. - amalia - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 10:21 am:

    oooohhh……the others! perhaps the white boys regard the rest of us in that way, lumped together. but I often feel the disregard of men regardless of their color, so I identify only with women regardless of their color. wake me up when women are 50% of the legislature and then we can talk. I don’t see the men of N.H. quaking….where the governor, both U.S. Senators, and all U.S. House members are women!

  13. - NIref - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 10:23 am:

    When taken as a whole, it’s quite exciting to see the GA approach, and in some cases meet, substantive representation levels.

    The diversity in the House chamber is evident through legislative behavior. Minority-class members tend to introduce and co-sponsor less often. They typically hold only symbolic leadership roles.

    In my own research, the Illinois House breaks down those barriers. Compared to other states, the increase in minority-class members is associated with raising the number of leadership positions, committee chairmanships, and putting bill introduction and co-sponsorship on par with white males.

  14. - Plutocrat03 - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 10:36 am:

    And? The real question is wheter anything can be done.

    If they are beholden to Madigan and the power structure, will their gender or ethnic background mean anything? If they remain marionettes, then more shame on them. With luck, some of them will grow a spine and get something done.

  15. - Capitol View - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 10:37 am:

    but now look at our governors. All white men. I’ll grant you that two were Jewish and who knows how many were gay,but politics always runs twenty years or more behind the times…perhaps Lisa will do better than Dawn or Judy.

    Or perhaps our current First Lady will want to see what she can do with Illinois politics and government in five or six years.

  16. - muon - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 10:40 am:

    The lagging group continues to be Latinos. They make up 16.2% of the state population, but only 9.0% of the Dems in the GA, and of course 0% of the GOP in the GA.

  17. - S. Dolopoulos - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 10:41 am:


    That change does not occur overnight.

    That the #’s of today will not be the #’s of tomorrow.

    And lastly, how many minorities ran as Republicans in Illinois? Difficult to elect minority candidates if they’re not even on the ballot.

  18. - Math - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 10:58 am:

    response to muon -The lagging group continues to be Latinos. They make up 16.2% of the state population, but only 9.0% of the Dems in the GA, and of course 0% of the GOP in the GA.

    But, how many are actually citizens? political maps are drawn by census figures not citizenship numbers and that benefits Latinos and the democrat party. They may actually be over represented in terms of representation for actual citizens. Is that the reason that Hispanic wards in Chicago turn out so such low vote totals?

  19. - Dan Shields, Springfield - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 11:05 am:

    All of these stats mean nothing if these elected officials who are supposed to be public servants fail to do their job as past General Assemblies have.

  20. - walkinfool - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 11:33 am:

    ==We should only care about their views and political experience.==

    We should care about their views, their life experience, and their ability to apply those to solving public problems.

    The Dems seem to have a potentially better group representing the people of Ilinois. Still, it should come down to the actions of individuals, rather than caucuses.

  21. - Ol' White GOP - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 11:35 am:

    Once again another instance where race was not brought up by the GOP. Race doesn’t matter to most white GOP males I know. Race will only matters as long as it is made an issue by those who claim it shouldn’t matter.

  22. - come on man - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 12:28 pm:

    That’s what democracy looks like.

  23. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 12:59 pm:

    Does this mean Mapes will blow another $20 million adding more ladies’ rooms?

  24. - Dirty Red - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 1:36 pm:

    Still no one Asian.

  25. - Capitol View - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 2:10 pm:

    ol white GOP — Republicans never raise the race issue? I beg to differ — no Democrats raised the Kenyan background of President Obama, or otherwise questioned his legitimacy as POTUS. Some Republicans are still demanding to see Obama’s college records, as if he got in under affirmative action. Grow up and look in the mirror, if you want to see why the Republicans are doing so poorly in national elections.

  26. - TooManyJens - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 2:58 pm:

    ==Race doesn’t matter to most white GOP males I know.==

    They’re WHITE. They have that luxury.

  27. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 3:17 pm:

    Here’s another way the GOP is unrepresentative: When the 98th Gen. Assembly is sworn in, there won’t be any Republicans left who voted for civil unions. Only one in five IL voters opposes civil unions and same-sex marriage. So the all-white GOP represents just one in five voters on gay rights.

  28. - Boone Logan Square - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 4:12 pm:

    Well, this is a representative democracy.

  29. - D.P. Gumby - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 5:11 pm:

    How many under indictment? Only one?

  30. - Steve Bartin - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 5:51 pm:

    When is Mike Madigan going to step down in the name of diversity so a minority can run things? Also , why are there no African-American U.S. Senators? Why? Doesn’t the Democrat party want to advantage people in the big tent coalition???

  31. - park - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 6:17 pm:

    so the continued balkanization of america. Thanks Rich. Things will never change, right? You’re not an educated, thoughtful Illinoisan, you have to by hyphenated, or be one of those evil white males.

    what a bunch of fools.

  32. - Holdingontomywallet - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 6:29 pm:

    Who cares? Elect the best person for the job and quit dividing people into classes and ethinic groups.

  33. - Bemac - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 6:43 pm:

    How many of those minority legislators represent white-majority districts?

  34. - Liberty First - Monday, Nov 19, 12 @ 9:31 pm:

    It doesn’t really matter what particular shade votes the party line does it?

  35. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 20, 12 @ 7:28 am:

    –Of the 19 Republican senators, 15 are white men–

    And half of those are just Dillard.

    Love the sanctimony from the “Usual Suspects.” Race and gender don’t matter….

    Obviously not, to you.

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