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John McCain

Despite gaffes, it's Kirk or bust for Republicans

Despite gaffes, it's Kirk or bust for Republicans

A series of verbal gaffes by U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk have left top Illinois Republicans privately fretting over his re-election bid, but they also concede there's little chance he'll be pressured into leaving next year's ticket. "Not going to happen," said one prominent Republican close to Gov. Bruce Rauner, a major Kirk ally. Several factors contribute to the Kirk-or-bust GOP outlook: He's got the support of Rauner and the Washington GOP establishment. The first-term senator has no intention of leaving. And it's too late to recruit and fund a major candidate to keep a seat that's viewed as essential for Republicans to retain their Senate majority in...

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