Senate control hinges on fate of Southern Dems

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans are counting on some Southern comfort to lift them into the Senate majority next year.

Control of the Senate rests on a handful of races in the South. Whether moderate Democratic incumbents can survive in GOP-trending Arkansas, Louisiana and North Carolina will go a long way to determining party control.

So will the fate of Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, who faces both a primary challenge and a Democratic rival.

Democrats currently hold a 54-46 edge, though Newark Mayor Cory Booker is expected to win the New Jersey Democratic primary next Tuesday and capture the seat in an October special election. That would give Democrats a 10-seat margin. Republicans would need to gain six seats to run the Senate.

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