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Mitt Romney Needs to Surge for GOP to Nab Senate

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo
In Missouri, Rep. Todd Akin's remarks about "legitimate rape" potentially doomed the GOP's chances of defeating vulnerable Democratic incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill.

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A win in Connecticut would be a downright coup for Republicans, who haven't won a Senate seat in the state since 1982. Using money saved in New Mexico, the DSCC went on the air in the Nutmeg State on Wednesday, spending about $320,000 on behalf of Rep. Christopher Murphy (D). He's fending off a challenge for the seat of retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman (I) from former WWE CEO Linda McMahon (R), who faces a steep climb with Obama atop the ballot.

The Republican, who lost to now-Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D) in 2010, has had a presence on the air in the New York City market. She's downplayed her party identification and successfully petitioned to appear on both the Republican and
Independent lines on the ballot, a tactic that could earn her a chunk of voters unwilling to pick a Republican.

Along with Virginia, Wisconsin and even Nevada, a Romney victory - or at least a strong showing - would significantly increase Republicans' chances against Florida Sen. Bill Nelson (D) and Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown (D). Both incumbents remain favored at this point in the race.

"My sense is that it's definitely still possible for the Republicans to take the majority and maybe likely that they get to 50," Judy said. "The flip side of that is I think they're going to need Romney to win to even get to 50 or 51. I think they're going to need him to carry across the finish line a couple of candidates in the swing states."

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