The 2016 election is now a mere 59 days away, and while the presidential contest continues to be the headline act, the 34 Senate races on the ballot in November are now sharing the stage. This was always going to be a difficult cycle for Republicans as they are defending 24 seats to just 10 for Democrats. It doesn’t help that President Obama carried seven of those 24 states in 2012. He also carried all 10 of the states with Democratic-held seats, leaving Republicans entirely on defense. Republicans’ already difficult road got more complicated when Donald Trump secured the presidential nomination, giving Democrats a rallying cry and handing them a cudgel with which to pound Republican candidates relentlessly. Dealing with the question of Trump has not been an easy one for Republicans. As much as many of them would like to denounce Trump, doing so threatens to alienate the same voters whose support they need in November. U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk in Illinois in the only GOP incumbent up for re-election who has said that he will not support Trump.

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