Big '08 win boomerangs on Democrats
In Mr. Obama's home state of Illinois, where Republican Rep. Mark Steven Kirk is in a dead heat with Democrat Alexi Giannoulias, the Illinois state treasurer.
The Illinois race seemed unlikely two years ago after Mr. Obama resigned his seat to move to the White House. Filling it in such a heavily Democrats state with a Democratic governor seemed to be a mere formality.
Kent Redfield, a political science professor at the University of Illinois at Springfield, said that if Mr. Obama still held the Senate seat, "he would essentially just be cruising toward re-election" and that Mr. Kirk likely would not have run.
"The Senate seat would not be in play," Mr. Redfield said.
Redfield's comments were featured in a September 30, 2010, article in the Washington Times.
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