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Democrats scrape to limit Senate losses

 Delaware Republican U.S. Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell walks out after voting with her sister Jennie O'Donnell, left, after voting Tuesday, No...

Delaware Senate

Delaware Republican U.S. Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell walks out after voting with her sister Jennie O'Donnell, left, after voting Tuesday, No...

Opposition Republicans expected to cut deeply Tuesday into Democrats' majority in the Senate, but could fall short of winning control.
If Republicans win 10 of the dozen Democratic seats in play without losing any of their own, they will be the Senate's new majority party. A nine-seat loss in the 100-seat upper chamber would produce a 50-50 tie that Vice President Joe Biden, the Senate's official president, would break in the Democrats' favor.
Arguably the four closest races are for Democratic-held seats in Nevada, Colorado, Illinois and Pennsylvania.
In Nevada, Sen. Harry Reid faces a tough challenge from Sharron Angle, a favorite of the ultraconservative tea party movement that has jolted American politics with its call for a drastically smaller government and lower taxes.
An Angle win over Reid would mark a spectacular achievement for tea partiers, the libertarian-leaning movement that emerged last year and maintains an uneasy relationship with the Republican Party.
The race to fill the open Illinois Senate seat once held by President Barack Obama pits Republican Mark Kirk, a five-term House member, against state treasurer Alexi Giannoulias
Republicans seem almost certain to pick up Senate seats in North Dakota and Indiana _ where Democrats are retiring _ and in Arkansas, where two-term Sen. Blanche Lincoln has trailed Republican Rep. John Boozman in polls.
Less likely, but still possible, is a Republican win in California, where veteran liberal Sen. Barbara Boxer faces former Hewlett-Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina.
In other closely watched races:
_A tempestuous three-way race in Alaska could allow Democrat Scott McAdams to win a once-hopeless race for Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski's seat. Murkowski is running a rare write-in campaign after losing the Republican primary to another tea partier, Joe Miller.
_Democrats are likely to hold onto Vice President Joe Biden's old Senate seat in Delaware, because Republicans nominated tea party-backed Christine O'Donnell instead of a more moderate candidate. O'Donnell's quirky comments in old TV interviews _ including an admission that she once dabbled in witchcraft _ made her the target of late-night comedians. Her attempts to defend herself haven't helped. In one TV ad, she declared, "I'm not a witch."
Democrats technically hold 57 Senate seats, but two independent senators caucus with the party.


Updated : 2021-04-18 13:58 GMT+08:00