Simon Review Paper #62


This paper provides a summary of the 2020 presidential race, both nationally and in Illinois. It also analyzes the U.S. Senate race in Illinois and the referendum on the graduated income tax proposal, which was Governor JB Pritzker’s highest policy priority for that year. The results are placed in the larger context of the deep polarization of America and Illinois. The analysis uses the results of the 1996 presidential election (Clinton vs. Dole) and senatorial election (Durbin vs. Salvi) and the 1998 gubernatorial election (Ryan vs. Poshard) as a baseline to demonstrate the profound geographical realignment of the two parties since that time. The paper also provides a detailed analysis of county-level economic data to plumb the larger meaning of these political shifts for the question of where state revenues are raised and spent.