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With House all but lost in 2014, Democrats in US pin hopes on Senate

Published on Feb 1, 2014 10:47 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - With Republicans expected to retain control of the US House in 2014, strategists warn Democrats must scramble to preserve their Senate majority - or risk a miserable finale to Mr Barack Obama's presidency.

An incumbent American president's party historically fairs poorly at the ballot box in the middle of his second term, and there is increasing recognition that Mr Obama's Democrats may suffer such a fate in November.

Mr Obama's approval ratings are lousy, his health care reform law is even less popular, and mid-term election demographics, largely dominated by elderly and white voters, favour Republicans.

"I think it's difficult to win back the House," respected Democratic pollster David Beattie told AFP, acknowledging that cutting into the Republicans' 17-seat advantage will be a steep climb.

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