Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

John J. Pitney Jr.

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Throughout the 20th century, Illinois supported winning candidates in twenty-three out of twenty-five presidential elections. However, in the 21st century, Illinois supported winning candidates in two out of five presidential elections. The state’s divergence from national trends followed three partisan shifts that occurred in the mid-to-late 20th and early-21st centuries. These shifts altered the state’s partisan preferences. While the causes of each shift varies, Illinois’s changing demographics, the concentration of its population in the Chicago Metropolitan area, and the rise of the post-industrial economy, caused the state to depart national trends as Illinois increasingly supported Democrats.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.