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      Democratic US Senate candidates running to win

      AIKEN, S.C. (AP) - This year's elections give Democrats in South Carolina a rare opportunity to flip the state's leadership away from the Republican party. But they will have to overcome decades of Republicans gathering power to do it.

      Because of the resignation of U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint in 2012, South Carolina voters are choosing both their U.S. senators. And unlike recent elections, Democrats have respectable, party-backed candidates running in the races.

      Republican Lindsey Graham is challenged by state Sen. Brad Hutto, while the GOP's Tim Scott faces Richland County Councilwoman Joyce Dickerson to fill out the final two years of DeMint's term.

      But a Democrat hasn't beaten a GOP incumbent in South Carolina since 1998, and a sitting U.S. senator hasn't lost a race in the state in nearly 50 years.

      Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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