The death of Justice Antonin Scalia is throwing another curveball into the Republican battle to maintain control of the Senate.
Vulnerable senators were hoping to be able focus on their records as the party defends 24 Senate seats in November.
Instead, those senators have to make a choice: Pit themselves against the GOP presidential field by agreeing to take up President Obama’s nominee, or face a attack ads suggesting they’re part of Washington’s “dysfunction” by fighting to keep the seat vacant.
With Republicans only able to lose a handful of seats and keep their majority, the path ahead is fraught with danger.
Up to now, the vulnerable lawmakers have tried to localize their reelections bid and avoid being dragged into the GOP infighting among the presidential field.