Big Week Ahead For 2010 Mid-Terms

Jillian Bandes
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Posted: May 17, 2010 9:01 AM
There are four major races going on this week, and our eyes will be glued to the returns on Tuesday night to bring you up-to-the-minute information on what's going on. Here's a preview.

In the Kentucky, Republican primary, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has backed Republican Trey Grayson, a seemingly promising candidate who had already won two statewide races. Now, underdog candidate Rand Paul is leading in the polls with a staunch libertarian / pro-life message, and has a good chance of stealing this one out from under Grayson. On the Democratic side, Lieutenant Governor Daniel Mongiardo and Attorney General Jack Conway are in a heated contest, and both seem to be more keen on taking on Paul rather than Grayson.

In Arkansas, Lt. Gov. Bill Halter is scurrying around the state, trying to make up a 7 to 9 point disadvantage over incumbant Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln in the Democratic Senate primary. Lincoln is a huge union favorite who has cast a number of highly controversial votes in her last term in office, and is polling behind four different Republican primary candidates. Of those primary candidates, Rep. John Boozman is expected to prevail.

In Pennsylvania, flippy-floppy Sen. Arlen Specter is in a Democratic primary race that is simply too close to call against challenger Rep. Joe Sestak, who has launched a scathing critique of the incumbent via controversial television ads and a generally hard-hitting campaign. It's likely that either Specter or Sestak would have a tough time winning against likely Republican challenger Pat Toomey.

A special election in Pennsylvania might lead to a Republican takeover in Democratic Rep. John Murtha’s seat, who gave a whole new meaning to the word "corrupt." Murtha staffer Mark Critz (D) is facing off against businessman Tim Burns (R) and while Burns has a slight lead in the polls, it's still too close to call. Republicans are going to look bad if they can't pick up the seat after Murtha made an embarassment of it, but Pennsylvania voters are so finicky that it's hard to know what will happen until after the returns come in.