Voting trends undermine parties' Senate dreams

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Time for a reality check in this year's Senate races.

Recent primary results have Democrats talking boldly about their chances in Kentucky and Mississippi. Republicans gaze hungrily at Oregon and Colorado.

But both parties face big hurdles in achieving such against-the-grain triumphs.

Studies show it's increasingly difficult for Senate candidates to win in states their party lost in the previous presidential election.

That leaves Republicans hopeful about picking up the six seats they need to control the Senate.

Democrats are defending Senate seats in seven states that President Barack Obama lost. All those races are leaning Republican or considered highly competitive.

But things get tougher when Republicans start eyeing states that Obama carried.

Strategists say states such as Oregon, Michigan, Iowa and Colorado are uphill climbs for the GOP.

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