Illinois Senate: The Most Vulnerable Senator in the Country

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Nathan L. Gonzales May 29, 2015 · 3:00 PM EDT

At least a handful of GOP senators are vulnerable this election cycle, but none more than Mark Kirk of Illinois. 

While Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Rob Portman of Ohio, and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire are headed for competitive re-election fights, Kirk looks to be facing the most difficult race of all.

Kirk has won difficult races in the past, but the Democratic presidential nominee is likely to win the Land of Lincoln by at least a dozen points (if not far more), and the senator will need to outperform the top of the ticket by a large margin. And Kirk is still recovering from a stroke he suffered in 2012, making campaigning and fundraising even more laborious and complicated than usual. 

Democrats are poised to nominate Rep. Tammy Duckworth, the combat veteran who lost both of her legs when her helicopter was shot down in Iraq and was subsequently elected to Congress. But Duckworth also lost the most competitive race she’s ever been in, back in 2006.

Duckworth can probably afford a couple of mistakes as a Democrat running in a Democratic state in a presidential year, while it’s possible for Kirk to run a flawless race and still lose.

The Lay of the Land
Republicans have won only two Senate races in the state since Charles Percy was last…

Arizona Landscape Shifts in Two Races

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Nathan L. Gonzales May 29, 2015 · 2:59 PM EDT

Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick’s challenge to Republican Sen. John McCain impacts our ratings of two races in Arizona.

Senate
Up to this point, McCain was considered a heavy favorite for re-election to a sixth term, in part because the senator has proven to be a tough campaigner. But Kirkpatrick…

Report Shorts (May 29, 2015) Indiana Governor, Indiana Senate, Kentucky Governor, Nevada Senate

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May 29, 2015 · 2:58 PM EDT

Indiana Governor. Gov. Mike Pence (R) is expected to officially announce his re-election bid on June 18. Democrats are energized by the public scrutiny the governor faced over the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Former state Speaker John Gregg (D) is running again after losing to Pence in 2012.…

How to Fix an Unfair Presidential Debate System

Stuart Rothenberg May 28, 2015 · 11:35 AM EDT

Fox News and CNN, which will broadcast the first two GOP presidential debates, have decided on a system for excluding candidates that could result in Donald Trump participating in those debates but current or former senators and governors being excluded.

Nice going, guys.

I certainly agree having…