AT's Political Correspondent Rich Baehr has the featured article on the Pajamas Media website today where he trains his practiced eye on the 2010 senate races and how they are shaping up for the GOP.
Several other Democratic-held seats are also in danger. These include open seats in Illinois and Delaware. These seats belonged to Barack Obama and Joe Biden prior to the 2008 presidential race and were filled by placeholders Roland Burris and Ted Kaufman. Now the Democrats must defend the seats with likely nominees Alexi Giannoulias in Illinois (the state treasurer) and Beau Biden, the son of the vice president, in Delaware.
Republicans recruited the strongest possible candidates in each state: Congressman Mark Kirk in Illinois and Congressman Mike Castle in Delaware (who has won Delaware's only House seat in statewide races for many terms). While both states have been very blue in recent years, the national climate and state-specific issues have made these seats tossup races.
In Illinois, corruption (this is the "Blago seat"), mountains of wasteful spending, enormous deficits, rising sales and property taxes, and unfunded pension liabilities make anyone associated with the state government part of the problem. Kirk is squeaky clean. Giannoulias, on the other hand, is part of the state's Democratic machine and may also have to deal with the prospect of the failure of his father's bank, which enriched him with millions in dividends and salary over the past few years while taxpayers may have to cover hundreds of millions in losses.
Several incumbent Democratic senators are also in trouble. This list includes Blanche Lincoln in Arkansas, a state where John McCain won by 20% in 2008; party switcher Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania; and Harry Reid in Nevada.
As usual, a great read from one of the best political analysts around.
For more analysis from Mr. Baehr, listen to the podcast from my show this week. I think you'll agree with me that there are few pundits in the country who have such a wealth of detail and facts at their fingertips.