Race of the day: Illinois' 'nasty' Senate battle

There's no shortage of mud slinging in this contest between Democrat Alexi Giannoulias and GOP Rep. Mark Kirk for Obama's old Senate seat

Name & Party:

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DEMOCRAT

Alexi Giannoulias

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REPUBLICAN

Mark Kirk

Basic Info:State treasurer

Age: 34U.S. Congressman

Age: 50

Issues:

  • Wants to "fix" health-care reform law
  • Says the stimulus averted disaster
  • Says U.S. can't afford to extend Bush tax cuts for the rich
  • Pro-choice
  • Wants to repeal health-care reform
  • "The stimulus has failed"
  • Supports extending Bush tax cuts for the wealthy
  • Pro-choice

Polling At:41%41%Campaign Chest:$1 million$3.9 million

Key Quote:"He voted for every one of the Bush budgets, which doubled our national debt."

"While we did run deficits in the past, we now number our debt in trillions rather than in billions."

Petty Controversy:Kirk says Giannoulias' family bank, Broadway Bank, gave loans to an arms dealer linked to Saddam HusseinKirk admitted to embellishing his military service and credentials as a teacherWild card:In a tight race, some observers think Green Party candidate LeAlan Jones could tip the balanceDueling Ads:"Whopper": In this ad, Giannoulias suggests "fiscal hawk" Kirk wants to give $700 billion in tax cuts for the rich, but doesn't want to pay for it"Kidding": This Kirk ad suggests that Giannoulias has a history of financial recklessness and, if elected, would boost taxes and spending

Alexi Giannoulias' "Whopper":

Mark Kirk's "Kidding":

* "Nasty": "The race for the U.S. Senate between Democrat Alexi Giannoulias and Republican Mark Kirk is one of the most nasty in recent memory — and that’s saying a lot in this age of negative campaigning." - Bloomington Pantagraph, 10/17/10

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