[Los Angeles Times]
NASHUA, N.H. — For better or worse, they are the class of Obama.
Eight Democratic senators swept into office partly on Barack Obama’s 2008 coattails are facing their first reelection bid without the benefit of having the president on the ballot and at a time when his approval rating is near an all-time low.
The future of the Senate, and President Obama’s ability to push through an agenda during his final two years in office, rests largely on their fate.
Democrats hold a five-seat Senate majority, when two independents aligned with the party are included. That means Republicans hoping to retake control of the upper chamber for the first time since 2007 need to pick up six seats this fall.
And the party is targeting this first-term Democratic group to help them get there.
On the front lines are North Carolina’s Kay Hagan and Alaska’s Mark Begich, running in traditionally conservative states that Mitt Romney carried in the last presidential election. Mark Udall in Colorado and Jeff Merkley in Oregon watched their already tough races tighten after the rocky rollout of Obama’s healthcare overhaul.