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Rep. Kevin Yoder is defending his seat this cycle. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Republican infighting in the race to replace retiring Sen. Jeff Flake in Arizona and heightened Democratic enthusiasm in Kansas both have the GOP worried ahead of November's midterm elections, per AP.

Why it matters: Republicans hold a razor-thin majority in the Senate, making the Arizona seat crucial to thwarting Democrats' efforts to retake the chamber. And with Democrats targeting 101 GOP-held districts, Republicans can't afford to lose what should be easy seats in Kansas, a state President Trump won by 21 points.

The state of play: Democrats are fighting for Kansas' 2nd and 3rd districts, where increased spending and a lack of name recognition for Republican candidates could mean success. And there's a three-way GOP primary unfolding in Arizona, a state that Politico notes Trump won by just four points in 2016 and recent polls have put Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema ahead of her Republican challengers by double digits.

Battle lines: Kelli Ward has been trying to get her competitor Martha McSally to engage in a primary fight ahead of the Arizona GOP primary in August.

  • “She claims to be this strong fighter pilot military woman,” Ward told Politico. “But if you're that strong, why are you afraid to stand up on a stage with your opponent and discuss the issues?” McSally responded to Politico: “Fear is not in my lexicon."
  • Kansas Rep. Kevin Yoder is defending his seat in the state's 3rd district, where the AP notes he beat his unknown Democratic challenger in 2016 by half the margin of 2014. And Trump lost this district in the presidential election.
  • In Kansas' 2nd district, Republicans are struggling to elevate a candidate with no name recognition. The incumbent Rep. Lynn Jenkins isn't running for re-election, prompting the DCCC to add its candidate Paul Davis to its "Red to Blue" list in the first round of endorsements.

What's next: The Arizona primary isn't until August 28, giving nominees just 10 weeks to campaign for the general election. Expect both sides to pour in tons of money during that time, especially Republicans who view this as a must-win seat.

Go deeper

Updated 21 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Top Pentagon officials contradict Biden on Afghanistan advice

Photo: Carolone Brehman/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Top military leaders confirmed in a Senate hearing Tuesday they recommended earlier this year that the U.S. keep 2,500 troops in Afghanistan, and that they believed withdrawing those forces would lead to the collapse of the Afghan military.

Why it matters: Biden denied last month that his top military advisers wanted troops to remain in Afghanistan, telling ABC's George Stephanopoulos: "No one said that to me that I can recall."

Poll: Latinas more likely to open their own businesses, despite pandemic setbacks

Janie Isidoro, owner of My Corazon, a Chicano business in downtown Hanford, Calif. Photo: Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Latinas in the U.S. are more likely to own, or plan to open, their own businesses than non-Hispanic women, despite the pandemic’s disproportionate burden, a recent poll found.

Why it matters: The survey, conducted by Telemundo, the Latino Victory Foundation and Hispanics Organized for Political Equality, suggests Latinas can be a driver of growth for the U.S. even though they have faced greater COVID-19-related setbacks.

Warren opposes Fed chair Powell's renomination, calls him a "dangerous man"

Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks during a hearing before Senate Armed Services Committee on Sept. 28. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) questioned Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's record on financial regulation during a hearing Tuesday, calling him a "dangerous man" and saying that she would not support his renomination for a second term.

Driving the news: While the Fed chair’s term expires in early 2022, President Biden is expected to make a decision this fall on whether to reappoint Powell or nominate another candidate.

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