2014 Elections Likely to Keep Capital’s Split

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from The New York Times,

Senate Democrats hope to unseat Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, whose popularity has waned. Gabriella Demczuk/The New York Times

With the 2014 political landscape becoming more defined, it is increasingly likely that the midterm elections in November will maintain divided government in the capital for the final two years of President Obama’s second term, with the chief unknown being exactly how divided it will be.

A review of competitive congressional contests suggests that, at the moment, Republicans will hold on to the House, though Democrats could defy midterm history and gain a few seats. Senate Democrats, at the same time, are defending unfavorable terrain and will almost certainly see their majority narrowed. They are at risk of losing it altogether, an outcome that would leave Capitol Hill entirely in Republican control for the conclusion of Mr. Obama’s presidency.

“Democrats are going to lose seats, there is no question about that,” said Jennifer Duffy, who follows Senate races for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.

Hoping to offset losses and make it more difficult for Republicans to net the six seats that would hand them the majority, Senate Democrats are taking aim at Republican-held seats in Georgia, an open contest, and Kentucky, where they hope to defeat Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader and 30-year Senate veteran who has seen his popularity dip back home.

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