Political Highlights: Democratic nominee for Ill. Senate, 1976; Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, 1978; U.S. House of Representatives, 1983-97; U.S. Senate, 1997-present Born: Nov. 21, 1944; East St. Louis, Ill. Residence: Springfield Religion: Roman Catholic Family: Wife, Loretta Durbin; three children (one deceased) Education: Georgetown U., B.S.F.S. 1966; Georgetown U., J.D. 1969 Military Service: None Start of Service: Elected: 1996 (4th term) Committee Assignments: Appropriations (Defense - Ranking Member; Energy-Water; Financial Services; Labor-HHS-Education; State-Foreign Operations; Transportation-HUD); Judiciary (Constitution - Ranking Member; Immigration and the National Interest; Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts); Rules & Administration
Roll Call and CQ Weekly use ratings assigned by the Rothenberg Political Report, which are defined as follows:
SAFE: As of today, the party indicated is all but certain to win the seat.
FAVORED: One candidate has a substantial advantage, but an upset is still possible.
LEAN: The party indicated has the edge, but the outcome is less certain than for races rated as favored.
TILT: The outcome is effectively regarded as a tossup for each of these highly competitive seats, although the party indicated has a slight edge.
TOSSUP: Neither party has an edge in these contests.