Illinois Mid-Terms Results Poised for Political Switcheroo

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Democrat Alexi Giannoulias debated against Republican Mark Kirk, last night. This was the second of the three televised debates for the pair who are deadlocked in the Illinois race for U.S. Senate. Both men hope to win the seat vacated by President Barack Obama in 2008.  

But this race, like so many others across the country, could point to a larger demographic shift away from the incumbent party. For more on what could potentially be a grand switcheroo taking place in Illinois politics, and across the country, James Warren, Chicago based columnist for the Chicago News Co-Op, The New York Times and Business Week magazine.

For a personal perspective on the switcheroo, Paul Vander Veen joins the program. He is the son of former Democratic Congressman Richard Vander Veen. Paul Vander Veen explains how his father took Gerald Ford's seat in the middle of Watergate during a special election that became a bellwether of the political tide turning against Nixon. Ford's seat had been held by a Republican for almost a century before Richard Vander Veen was elected.

Nixon resigned, Ford became president, and then, the Earth shifted yet again. With Jimmy Carter's election to the White House in 1976, Richard Vander Veen was pushed out of office replaced by a Republican who has held the seat since.

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