State-by-state lookahead: What's at stake in 2008

Illinois could be a central front in the battle for control of the U.S. House, with three representatives retiring and three others facing potentially tough re-elections. Republican Reps. Jerry Weller, Ray LaHood and Dennis Hastert, former speaker of the House, are leaving.

Republican Reps. Mark Kirk and Peter Roskam and Democratic Rep. Melissa Bean could all face stiff competition in their re-election bids. Democrats Dan Seals, who lost a close race to Kirk in 2006, and Jay Footlik, former aide to President Clinton, have said they will challenge Kirk.

Illinois, home to Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, has moved its primary up to Feb. 5.

2004 results: Sen. Kerry won the state's 21 electoral votes with 55% of the vote.


Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels, who snapped a 16-year Democratic run when he won in 2004, was not shy about bringing changes to the state. Democrats will challenge Daniels' re-election bid by questioning his sometimes controversial actions, including a switch of the state's time zone, privatization of prisons and the lease of a 157-mile toll road to a private, foreign company. Jim Schellinger, an architect and Democratic fundraiser, and former congresswoman Jill Long Thompson are seeking the Democratic nomination.

Democratic Rep. Baron Hill faces of a familiar foe in his re-election bid. Hill and Republican Mike Sodrel have competed for the seat in three elections starting in 2002, with Sodrel winning the 2004 race.

2004 results: President Bush won the state's 11 electoral votes with 60% of the vote.


No Republicans have yet announced a 2008 challenge to Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin, who chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee. The state's signature political event, its presidential caucuses, were moved up to Jan. 3, in the wake of Michigan, Florida and a host of other states moving their primaries up on the calendar.

2004 results: President Bush won the state's seven electoral votes with 50% of the vote.


Democratic Rep. Nancy Boyda won her seat in 2006 by upsetting Jim Ryun, then a five-term incumbent. Ryun has said he will run for the seat again, but state Treasurer Lynn Jenkins also wants the Republican nomination. Republicans also hope to unseat Democratic Rep. Dennis Moore, an incumbent since 1998 who has narrowly won past re-election bids in a Republican-leaning district. Moore will be challenged by GOP state Sen. Nick Jordan. Former congressman Jim Slattery, a Democrat, has said he is considering a challenge to Sen. Pat Roberts, no easy task in this Republican-leaning state.

2004 results: President Bush won the state's six electoral votes with 62% of the vote.


Sen. Mitch McConnell has no declared opponent yet, but national liberal and anti-war groups have already launched a campaign against the Republican minority leader, criticizing him as a rubber stamp for President Bush. Married to Elaine Chao, Bush's Labor secretary, McConnell has not shied from his ties to Bush, bringing the president to a 2007 fundraiser in Louisville.

Democratic Rep. John Yarmuth won his seat by narrowly beating Anne Northup in 2006. Northup, who lost the Republican gubernatorial primary this year to Gov. Ernie Fletcher, will not run for Congress. Erwin Roberts, Fletcher's former personnel secretary, is opposing Yarmuth.

2004 results: President Bush won the state's eight electoral votes with 60% of the vote.


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