Campaign '04: Taking the Hill: BATTLE FOR THE HILL

A readers' guide to the most exciting congressional races

• ILLINOIS/SENATE

Man of the Moment

If other Democrats shared more of Barack Obama's good fortune, they would have a better chance of recapturing the Senate. First, his G.O.P. opponent, Jack Ryan, dropped out after revelations of his alleged visits to sex clubs. Then Ryan's replacement, conservative agitator Alan Keyes, alienated his party with extremist rhetoric on abortion and homosexuality. Obama, a charismatic state senator, wowed the Democratic Convention, presenting himself as an optimistic coalition builder. The Senate shoo-in isn't just lucky, he's self-effacing about his success as well.

• COLORADO/SENATE

An Embarrassment of Riches?

Name recognition and deep pockets can...