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Published on October 9, 2020 7:30 AM

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The sex scandal that could keep the Senate in McConnell's hands
Democrats have a clear shot at taking back the Senate majority next month. But if they fall short, Cal Cunningham may shoulder the blame.

President Donald Trump is sagging nearly everywhere that matters and is placing more and more Senate races in the firing line for a Democratic takeover. But suddenly, Cunningham has clouded over what should be a fairly obvious Democratic path to victory that runs straight through North Carolina.

The Democratic nominee's infidelity and reluctance to address it fully is now a cudgel for endangered Republican Sen. Thom Tillis. Tillis' fortunes were dimming just a week ago, as Cunningham reported eye-popping fundraising numbers on top of a monthslong lead in public and private polling.

Democrats can win the majority without North Carolina, but the path is more complicated. And Democrats insist Tillis has yet to make up ground in the polls.

But the fundamentals of the race have changed: Cunningham is on defense and seen as ducking questions about an affair with a veteran's estranged wife. Cunningham's story is leading North Carolina's newscasts and front pages. And Tillis is on the attack, going after Cunningham himself instead of ...