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Rating the races: U.S. House and Senate

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Posted: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 3:55 pm | Updated: 4:26 pm, Tue Sep 18, 2012.

Without polling data available to tell us who is leading area Congressional races, it is interesting to check out websites like Roll Call and the Cook Political Report, which analyze House races.

The two sites are mostly in agreement on all five tri-state area U.S. House and Senate races.

Both sites predict the Wisconsin 2nd and 3rd District House races are fairly solid locks to go Democratic - to incumbent Ron Kind in the 3rd and Mark Pocan in the 2nd, where there is no incumbent as Tammy Baldwin runs for U.S. Senate.

Speaking of which, both sites rate the Wisconsin Senate race between Baldwin and former Gov. Tommy Thompson as a toss-up.

Both sites have Iowa's 1st District leaning toward Democratic incumbent Bruce Braley over Republican challenger Ben Lange, though not in the safest category.

And both sites agree the Illinois 17th District race is a tossup, with Cook giving it a very slight lean to Republican incumbent Bobby Schilling over Democratic challenger Cheri Bustos.

Both sites rate races in multiple tiers. Roll Call has "safe," "likely," "leans" and "tossup." Cook has "solid," "likely," "leans" and "tossup."

Here is how the two sites rated each of the four area races:

Iowa-1: Braley-D (i) vs. Lange-R

Roll Call: Likely Democratic

Cook: Likely Democratic

Wisconsin-2: Chad Lee-R vs. Mark Pocan-D (no incumbent)

Roll Call: Safe Democratic

Cook: Solid Democratic

Wisconsin-3: Ron Kind-D (i) vs. Ray Boland-R

Roll Call: Safe Democratic

Cook: Solid Democratic

Wisconsin Senate: Tammy Baldwin-D vs. Tommy Thompson-R (no incumbent)

Roll Call: Tossup

Cook: Tossup

Illinois-17: Bobby Schilling-R (i) vs. Cheri Bustos

Roll Call: Tossup

Cook: Republican tossup

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