In a rather stunning, but perhaps predictable (given the trend of national politics right now) development, CQ Politics has moved IL-10, which heavily favored President Obama in the prior election, to "Tossup" from "Leans Democratic." As we all know, this is an open seat because 5-term Congressman Mark Kirk is running for the U.S. Senate.
Eighteen races are rated as “Tossups,” meaning that they have no clear favorite. CQ Politics moved three Democratic-held districts into this group: Michigan’s 7th, held by freshman Rep. Mark Schauer ; Mississippi’s 1st, represented by Rep. Travis W. Childers ; and New Hampshire’s 2nd, which Rep. Paul W. Hodes is giving up to run for Senate.
The only Republican-held seat in this grouping is the Illinois district of Rep. Mark Steven Kirk , who is running for Senate. CQ Politics originally gave Democrats a slight edge to win the seat but now sees no clear favorite between businessman Bob Dold (R) and Dan Seals (D), who lost to Kirk in 2006 and 2008.
While Seals may have started out with more name recognition, his poor showing in the Dem primary (he beat out State Rep. Julie Hamos by under 1000 votes) and his lack of appeal as a candidate already appears to be loosing him ground among the prognosticators like CQ Politics who make a living following these sorts of things. Good news for Bob Dold, who knows he's got his work cut out for him, but this will certainly give him and his campaign a shot in the arm. Let's see some polling next!