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Long slog to 2014 election begins for Senate's 'red state' Democrats

Three Senate Democrats from states where Obama lost in 2012 – and who are up for reelection themselves in 2014 – voted this week against their own party's fix for the 'sequester.' Will such votes hamstring Obama's legislative agenda?

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Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., speaks during a hearing in Washington in 2011. Twenty months away from next year's election, a national conservative group recently launched the first 2014 campaign attack against Pryor with a television ad that derides the Arkansas lawmaker as President Barack Obama's "best ally" in the state.

Alex Brandon/AP

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The agony of the 2014 election cycle has already begun for incumbent Democrats from "red" states.

That became apparent Thursday, when three Democratic senators from conservative-leaning states – Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana – rejected their own party's fix for the budget-crimping “sequester.” It included $55 billion in tax hikes on the rich alongside cuts to farm subsidies and the Pentagon.

Earlier in the week, two powerful conservative groups had pegged Senator Pryor as a top 2014 election target. 

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