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Sahil Kapur

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.

Articles by Sahil

As lawmakers return to Capitol Hill this week in a flurry of lame duck activity, one last Democrat has yet to lose her reelection campaign: Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana. She's not going down without a fight, but Louisiana Democrats remain skeptical she can pull it off.

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The GOP's blowout victory last week came with an important catch: it'll be difficult to replicate in 2016. The race for the White House is more likely to turn out the Democratic base and Hispanic voters are poised to play a key role in battleground states like Florida, Colorado and Nevada.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) recognizes this conundrum, complicated by his Republican members who nixed an immigration reform bill passed by the Democratic-led Senate. It's too risky to pass comprehensive immigration reform because the GOP base staunchly opposes it, and it's too risky to do nothing because that could imperil the party's hopes of winning the presidency.

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By the time Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) moves in to the majority leader's suite just off the Senate floor, he'll likely be leading a caucus of 54 Republican senators.

That means he'll need six Democrats to break filibusters and achieve the magic 60-vote threshold required to pass controversial legislation through the Senate, such as hacking away at Obamacare or approving the Keystone pipeline.

There are six Democrats who are most likely to, in the interest of bipartisanship, join Republicans on some key issues and make life miserable for Democratic leaders and President Barack Obama. Think of them as the Ben Nelsons of the next Congress.

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