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Control of US Senate hinges on a handful of close races

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American voters will decide which party controls the U.S. Senate in Tuesday’s elections, and at least 10 competitive races are still considered too close to predict a winner.

Thirty-six of the 100 Senate seats are at stake in the midterm elections, which are held halfway through the four-year presidential term. Republicans must pick up six more seats from Democrats to reclaim a majority.

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All 435 seats are up for election in the House of Representatives, where Republicans are expected to expand their majority, and governors will be chosen in 36 states.

Here are the key Senate battlegrounds:

Alaska

First-term Democratic Senator Mark Begich is trying to hold off Republican Dan Sullivan, a former state attorney general. Begich has touted his deep roots in the state, where his father was a congressman, and painted Sullivan, born in Ohio, as an outsider.

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Arkansas

Republican Tom Cotton, a first-term congressman and Iraq war veteran, hopes to oust Democratic Senator Mark Pryor by casting him as an ally of unpopular Democratic President Barack Obama.

Colorado

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Republican Representative Cory Gardner, campaigning as a moderate conservative, is challenging Democratic Senator Mark Udall in the traditional swing state.

Georgia

Michelle Nunn, daughter of popular former Senator Sam Nunn, is battling to pick up a seat for Democrats against Republican David Perdue, a former chief executive of Dollar General, in the race to replace retiring Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss. Libertarian Amanda Swafford could pick up enough votes to force the race into a Jan. 6 runoff if no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote.

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Iowa

Republican Joni Ernst is seeking to become the first woman to represent Iowa in the Senate by defeating Democratic Representative Bruce Braley, a four-term congressman, in one of the country’s hardest-fought races. They are vying to replace retiring Democrat Tom Harkin.

Kansas

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Three-term Republican Senator Pat Roberts is struggling to survive an unexpectedly strong challenge from independent businessman Greg Orman. Democrat Chad Taylor dropped out of the race to clear the way for Orman. Republicans have held the two Senate seats in Kansas since 1939.

Kentucky

The top Republican in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, is seeking re-election to a sixth term against Kentucky’s Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. Democrat Grimes refused to say during the campaign whether she voted for Obama in 2012.

Louisiana

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Three-term Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu is fighting for her political life against Republican Representative Bill Cassidy. A third candidate, Tea Party-backed Republican Rob Maness, also is in the race, and a Dec. 6 runoff would be needed if no candidate gets more than 50 percent.

New Hampshire

Republican Scott Brown, a former senator from Massachusetts, moved to New Hampshire to take on Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen, who was elected in the 2008 Democratic wave that brought Obama to the White House.

North Carolina

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In the most expensive Senate race, Republican Thom Tillis, the speaker of the North Carolina House, is trying to unseat first-term Democratic Senator Kay Hagan by painting her as a rubber stamp for Obama.

(Reporting by Susan Cornwell; Editing by John Whitesides and Frances Kerry)


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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CNN lays out damning timeline of Trump and Giuliani’s calls to Ukraine seeking dirt on Biden

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Following Rudy Giuliani's extraordinary appearance on CNN on Thursday night, where he may have admitted the commission of a crime, the hosts of CNN's "New Day" compiled a timeline linking the approximate date of Trump's phone call that was flagged by a whistleblower to subsequent events involving Ukraine.

According to the timeline, presented by hosts John Berman and Alisyn Camerota, Trump spoke with the president of Ukraine on July 25, with Giuliani meeting with him later that month.

What followed was the August 12 whistleblower complaint and then Trump blocking aide to Ukraine by the end of the month.

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Is Trump a master of ‘3-D chess’? Expert says nope

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Politics is often conceived as a type of game. To win, a person or group must amass more power than the other players in order to advance their own goals. Victory can be achieved through cooperation with the other players, domination over them or some combination of the two.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Alternatively, a person or group can decide not to participate in this current version of politics, while they seek to invent their own game with different rules.

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Watch Rudy Giuliani’s stunning confession that he has been pressuring Ukraine officials for dirt on Biden

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Attorney for the president Rudy Giuliani gave a combative, belligerent and downright incoherent interview on CNN Thursday evening, raving about a ballooning scandal involving Donald Trump and Ukraine.

Giuliani and Trump have apparently been pressuring the country to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a probe that could help the president’s re-election campaign. That massive scandal had been unfurling on its own for months, but it blew up Thursday when multiple reports revealed that a mysteriously suppressed whistleblower complaint in the intelligence community reportedly concerns Trump’s conduct and the country of Ukraine.

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