Editor's note: This is the sixth in a series of regional looks at the most competitive House and Senate in the Midwest Region, which includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Ohio Senate: The Buckeye State is no stranger to attention and 2016 is no different. Ohio will likely be a presidential battleground and will host a competitive Senate race with the majority at stake. GOP Sen. Rob Portman is seeking a second term after winning in 2010 in a great Republican year. Some Democratic strategists in Washington and Ohio want the party to rally behind former Gov. Ted Strickland, but young Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld doesn’t show any signs of getting out of the race anytime soon. The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report /Roll Call rating of the race is Leans Republican .
Illinois Senate: Republican Mark S. Kirk is the most vulnerable senator in the country this cycle. He was narrowly elected in 2010 in a great Republican year, but must run for a second term in a Democratic state in a presidential cycle, when turnout is likely to be more Democratic. Rep. Tammy Duckworth is the likely Democratic nominee, although she is facing a primary. Democrats believe she is just the right candidate to take on Kirk, who is still recovering from a stroke he suffered in 2012. But she is unproven statewide and is relatively untested as a candidate. Kirk probably needs to run a perfect campaign to have a shot at winning, a challenge he may not be able to pull off. The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report /Roll Call rating of the race is Tossup/Tilts Democratic .