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Kavanaugh battle dims Democrats’ dreams of flipping Senate

Democrats’ dreams of flipping the Senate have dimmed over the past month as their candidates faltered in some key races, leaving Republicans confident that they will retain their grasp — and the ability to advance at least part of President Trump’s agenda.

It would take a net gain of two seats to win control, and Democrats are left with an increasingly small battleground.

Only one Republican-held seat, in Arizona, is a 50-50 bet for the party at this point. Three other targets — in Texas, Nevada and Tennessee — have shifted toward the Republican Party in the wake of the battle over Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.

“The short interval in which there seemed to be some kind of possibility that Democrats could rally in the Senate was probably ill-fated to begin with, and we see less suggestion of that as we get closer to Election Day,” said James Henson, a pollster with Strategic Research Associates LLC. “Have the Democrats’ hope of a majority in the Senate, have they dimmed? Yes, full stop.”

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