Washington Republicans are poised to renew their grip on the House on Tuesday, and Democrats' faint hopes of a Senate takeover hinge on close races in a string of southern and western states that favor President Bush.
In the marquee congressional campaign of the year, Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle is in a close, costly struggle for a new term in South Dakota.
Texas, where a Republican redistricting plan placed five Democratic congressmen in political jeopardy, will have an outsized influence in determining which party gains seats in the House.
In all, 34 Senate races mark the ballot, as well as all 435 House seats. Democrats must gain two seats to capture a 51-vote majority in the Senate that convenes in January. They need to pick up 12 in the House.