Eric Zorn from the Chicago Tribune joins Mike to discuss two contentious races happening in Illinois this year that could swing the balance of power in Congress. Incumbent Republican Sen. Mark Kirk is trailing badly to his Democratic opponent, Tammy Duckworth. And in the 10th congressional district, Rep. Bob Dold is facing a tight battle against his predecessor, Brad Schneider. Both races showcase an increasingly rare breed in Congress: the moderate Republican. In The Spiel, what Halloween can tell us about partisan politics. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at

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