With the news that Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL) will reportedly run for Senate in 2010, let's take a quick look at the open House seat -- which on paper, looks like a plausible opportunity for the Democrats to pick up a seat.
Kirk won re-election 53%-47% last year, at the same time as President Obama carried his suburban Chicago district by a whopping 61%-38%. In addition, John Kerry won the seat by 52%-47% in 2004, making this a Dem-leaning seat under any normal circumstances.
Potential Democratic nominees include: State Sen. Michael Bond, who was already in the race; Dan Seals, who was Kirk's opponent in 2006 and 2008; and state Sen. Susan Garrett. Possible Republican candidates include state Rep. Elizabeth Coulson, state Rep. JoAnn Osmond, and businessman Dick Green.
Democrats think they'll have a pretty good shot at this seat, as it is one of only six districts that were won by both Obama in 2008 and Kerry in 2004, but are represented by Republicans. On the Republican side, a source told me: "This won't be an easy seat to hold, but with the right candidate and Kirk on the ticket, it is possible."