Republicans are running competitively for 10 Senate seats now held by Democrats, heightening chances for the party to capture a majority of the U.S. Senate in 2014, The Wall Street Journal
The Republican Party is generally less popular than either President Barack Obama or the Democratic Party, according to the Journal. Those sentiments are evidently offset by a combination of appealing Republican candidates and deep public disapproval of the president.
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Democrats now hold 55 seats in the Senate. Republicans need a net gain of six for a majority. Republican senatorial candidates are doing well in seven states that went for Mitt Romney in 2012, as well as several states that went for Obama.
"A lot of times, a party has to run an inside-straight to win the majority," Stuart Rothenberg of the Rothenberg Political Report told the Journal. "Instead of having five cards in their hand, the Republicans have about 10."
Republican chances of winning seats held by Democrats are good in Montana, South Dakota, and West Virginia. GOP candidates are also pressing effectively ahead in Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, and North Carolina. Even Colorado, Iowa, possibly Michigan can go either way, according to the Journal.
To salvage their campaigns, Democratic candidates are running on local issues and stressing what they have done for their constituents.
Red-state Democrats were aware that re-election would not come easy. "They've prepared for difficult campaigns, and they're all experienced politicians," Mark Mellman, a Democratic pollster who is working on Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu's campaign, told the Journal.
While the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee had raised more money than its Republican counterpart, this advantage is offset by outside conservative groups, including those backed by Charles and David Koch, the Journal said.
It is not all bad news for Democrats. Sen. Kay Hagan seems to be holding tight in North Carolina. Democrats could also pick up Republican seats in Georgia and Kentucky, the Journal reported.
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