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GOP Less Optimistic About Chances To Take Control Of Senate

This is encouraging news. But considering how many conservative Democratic senators bear outsized influence to their small states, and are so willing to sell out to outside corporate interests as a result, I wouldn't expect to see them start acting like

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This is encouraging news. But considering how many conservative Democratic senators bear outsized influence relative to their small states, and are so willing to sell out to outside corporate interests as a result, I wouldn't expect to see them start acting like Democrats anytime soon -- unless this is a wave election, and it makes them too afraid to ignore the voters. We can hope!

Even Republicans are saying it: The GOP Senate takeover they all thought was almost a sure thing a year ago now looks like a coin flip at best.

POLITICO surveyed more than a dozen top Republican strategists last week to gauge the party’s outlook for the upper chamber coming out of the conventions and into the election home stretch. None called the task impossible, but most said the path to the Senate majority is much narrower than even a few months ago.

The diminished mood is a product of unforeseen events — like Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe’s surprise retirement — and underwhelming candidates.

North Dakota and Montana, once thought to be fairly easy pickups for Republicans, have remained stubbornly close, thanks to weaker-than-expected GOP contenders and strong Democratic campaigns. Missouri’s been moved out of the sure-win column after Todd Akin’s debacle. And the GOP’s once-high hopes in New Mexico and Hawaii are fading as the party confronts daunting blue-state demographics.

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