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Some Trump backers face tough re-election bids for Senate

By Laurie Bennett

August 1, 2016 at 9:15am

Will Donald Trump’s tumultuous campaign for the presidency hand control of the U.S. Senate to the Democrats?

The interactive Muckety map above shows Republican senators who have endorsed Trump and are up for re-election this year.

Their support has come with varying degrees of enthusiasm, and some of it has clearly waned in recent days with Trump’s combative response to the Muslim parents of an American soldier killed in Iraq.

Sen. John McCain issued a statement Monday sharply criticizing Trump.

“In recent days, Donald Trump disparaged a fallen soldier’s parents,” said McCain, a Republican who supported his party’s nominee even after he himself felt the sting of Trump’s rhetoric.

“He has suggested that the likes of their son should not be allowed in the United States — to say nothing of entering its service,” McCain said in a statement released by his office Monday. “I cannot emphasize enough how deeply I disagree with Mr. Trump’s statement. I hope Americans understand that the remarks do not represent the views of our Republican Party, its officers, or candidates.”

After five terms in the Senate, McCain faces an uphill reelection battle against likely Democratic nominee Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick.

The Senate now comprises 54 Republicans, 44 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the Democrats. A net loss of six seats would hand control back to the Democrats.

In June, before the national conventions and recent flareups, the analytics site FiveThirtyEight predicted a very close contest between the parties. And it noted: “The biggest factor working in the Democrats’ favor is fairly simple: Senate election results are increasingly tied to the presidential vote in each state.”

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