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Baucus to China? The politics of Senate control

By Associated Press
Published On: Dec 19 2013 03:27:31 PM MST
Updated On: Dec 19 2013 03:39:44 PM MST
Max Baucus
WASHINGTON -

President Barack Obama's decision to name retiring Democratic Sen. Max Baucus as ambassador to China sets off a chain reaction that could give the White House and Democrats an edge in preventing Republicans from gaining a Senate majority.
    
The beneficiaries could be Montana's Lt. Gov. John Walsh, a Democrat seeking Baucus' seat, and, thanks to the dominoes of Senate seniority, Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, who is facing a difficult re-election.
    
The advantages would be on the margins, potentially giving the two Democrats a slight boost. But in a series of close elections with Republicans needing to gain a net of six seats to recapture control of the Senate, any lift for Democrats could help them retain control and protect Obama's agenda.