GOP sees new hope to expand Senate majority

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Republicans are increasingly optimistic about their chances of expanding their narrow Senate majority after the polarizing confirmation battle over Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

In the weeks since a series of sexual misconduct allegations were raised against Kavanaugh, the GOP has seen candidates in the Republican strongholds of Texas and Tennessee strengthen their positions, putting possible upset bids by Democrats on hold.

Republicans are increasingly bullish on their chances of gaining a seat in North Dakota, where Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D) has seen Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer pull ahead in polls. They also believe they can defeat Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) in Missouri. Both Democrats voted against Kavanaugh's confirmation.

“If you look at the polling we’ve seen in the last four or five days, it’s become clear that states like North Dakota and Missouri are moving in the Republicans’ direction,” said Matt Mackowiak, a GOP strategist.

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