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Republicans Fight to Keep Control of the US Senate in the Homestretch


After a GOP wave swept Capitol Hill in 2014, Democrats hope a similar outcome next week will allow them to claim the Senate majority. Democrats currently control 47 seats and would need to flip four while holding their own to hit that goal.

Democrats believe they have a real shot at taking control of the Senate with only 12 seats to defend compared to 23 for the GOP. 

The balance of power will likely come down to several key races. 

"Donald Trump is an unconventional candidate. "It's been a tap dance since Donald Trump got in office and it may come back to haunt many of these senators in 2020," said David Brody, CBN's Chief Political Analyst. 

According to the Cook Political Report, Republican seats in Arizona and Colorado are now the most likely to flip. Even an ethics scandal involving the Democratic challenger John Hickenlooper did not help incumbent Cory Gardner pull ahead.

In Arizona, vocal Trump supporter Martha McSally has fallen in the polls and hopes for an Election Day coattail ride from the president. 

Seven races are said to be tossups.   

"Democrats have found good challengers. they are well funded and tie these candidates to Donald Trump to the extent they have been able to. But each of these races has their own unique flavors," said Tom Bevan, president of RealClearPoltics.

Democrats are reminding Maine voters that Republican Susan Collins helped confirm now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Facing a tough re-election, Collins spoke out early against naming a Supreme Court nominee.  

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The race between North Carolina Republican Thom Tillis and Democrat Cal Cunningham is not only tight but also the most expensive Senate contest, hitting $200 million spent on ads. 

Early on, Joni Ernst was the one to beat in Iowa. But some believe defending the Trump Administration's pandemic policies may have cost her votes.  

"They can absolutely not divorce themselves from President Trump. These voters are going to turn out in droves to vote for President Trump," said Bevan.  

Lindsey Graham, who started off as one of the safest Republican incumbents in a state President Trump won big, is now in a dead heat to keep his seat. Pundits say Jamie Harrison's unique campaign style and tremendous fundraising advantage have made the difference.  

In Alabama, polls show Republican Tommy Tuberville poised to unseat Democrat incumbent Doug Jones.  Tuberville, a former Auburn football coach, benefits from running in a major pro-Trump state and received the President's endorsement in the primary.

Michigan's Democrat incumbent Gary Peters crushed his Republican challenger in 2014. But polling numbers show this race against Republican John James, an Iraq war veteran is a dead heat.   

While the election map may appear to bode more blue Brody says, "They don't have as good of a ground game as the Trump Campaign and Republicans. If the ground game translates for Trump in 2020 conventional thinking is it will help Republicans as well get more voters.  

If Democrats can take the Senate, the party would have complete control of the legislative branch for the first time since President Obama's first term. 

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