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Todd Akin

Senate control up for grabs next year

Ward Baker has a tough act to follow: his own. As the National Republican Senatorial Committee's political director for the 2014 elections, he helped orchestrate a stunning nine-seat Republican gain, seizing Senate control for the first time since 2006.tmpplchld Baker's reward was a promotion to executive director _ and a 2016 election map so unfavorable to his party that the Democratic path back to control of the Senate need not veer outside states that Barack Obama carried twice.tmpplchld Baker is well aware of the challenge of playing mostly defense, with more than twice as many Republican senators up for re-election next year as there were in 2014. Democrats faced a similar...