Illinois is a traditionally blue state, not to mention President Obama's home, but polls show moderate Republican Mark Kirk running neck and neck with the Democratic candidates to fill the President's former seat. Representative Kirk is something of an unusual candidate, having spent three weeks in Afghanistan last year the first House member to serve as a reservist in a combat zone since World War II. He leans slightly toward social and fiscal conservatism, but with a creative bent; he once recommended that the U.S. send contraceptives to Mexico to cut down on illegal immigration, possibly in response to the construction of the multibillion-dollar border fence. That, along with his "propersonal responsibility" ethos, may be just what voters are looking for in Illinois's current political climate, in which Democrats have been tainted by corruption following the impeachment of former Governor Rod Blagojevich and the scandal surrounding the filling of President Obama's Senate seat with current Senator Roland Burris. Recent polls found that about half of Republican voters who back the Tea Party movement support Kirk, while nearly a quarter of GOP voters find him not conservative enough. A Republican win in Obama's old seat would likely be as damaging to the Democratic psyche as, if not more so than, Scott Brown's Massachusetts win.