Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.
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Washington (CNN) - Eight weeks before the midterm elections, a new CNN/ORC International poll shows that voters in key geographic regions favor Republican candidates heading into November, highlighting significant challenges for Democrats trying to protect half a dozen vulnerable Senate seats and ultimately control of the chamber.
Equally concerning for Democrats is that the GOP has a 15-point advantage with independent voters on the generic ballot, and Republicans have an edge at this point in supporter enthusiasm.
While Republicans are all but assured of maintaining a healthy majority in the House, the GOP needs a net gain of six seats to control the Senate and its committees that oversee the Obama administration. Should the GOP control Capitol Hill next year, it would be positioned to direct the legislative agenda and influence President Barack Obama's final two years in office.