Over the next few posts I will be previewing a select few competitive Senate elections. These posts will focus less on individual personalities and more on overarching state dynamics - what parts of the state vote Democratic, swing, and vote Republican.
These states will be mainly Democratic strongholds, rather than swing states, because this election cycle is the first in many in which they have been competitive. Another opportunity for analyzing these places will probably not occur for a while.
I am specifically talking about Illinois, New York, and California. Each state has different qualities: some are moving Democratic, parts of others are moving Republican. Versus Massachusetts, Democrats have several advantages. Big cities are a major factor in all three states, and high percentages of minorities live there. These compose the core of Mr. Obama's strength.
On the other hand, Republicans have one distinct advantage over Massachusetts. In Massachusetts there were only two types of voters: Democrats and Independents. Illinois, New York, and California all have another type of voter. These are commonly called "Republicans."
In comparison to my series analyzing swing states, I hope to keep these posts relatively short and simple. First off will be Illinois , where Congressman Mark Kirk looks set to run an extremely close race with Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias.