U.S. Senate minority leader Charles Schumer (C) (D-NY) speaks to reporters during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

2018 midterm elections seem to favor Democratic candidates based on several special elections around the country in areas that heavily favored Republicans in 2016. However winning control of the Senate remains an uphill climb.

President Donald Trump's approval ratings are historically low. Multiple “generic ballot” polls also favor Democrats, so why isn't winning control of the Senate a slam dunk?

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[DIGEST: New Civil Rights Movement, CNN]

On Wednesday, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam (R) signed into law HB 1840, a measure that will allow therapists and counselors to legally refuse service to anyone in violation of their “sincerely held principles.”

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[DIGEST: Huffington Post, New Civil Rights Movement]

Monday evening, the Tennessee legislature passed HB 1840, a measure that will allow therapists and counselors to legally refuse service to the state's LGBT residents. But lawmakers did not pass the bill before agreeing to a change demanded when the measure was introduced last Wednesday; the bill's original language allowed mental health professionals and unlicensed therapists and counselors to cite a "sincerely held and religious belief" when denying service to anyone. The legislature changed that language to "sincerely held principles," thus broadening the scope of reasons someone could be legally refused.

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On Monday, the Tennessee state legislature approved a measure designating the Bible its official state book. The Senate approved the measure with a 19-8 vote after only 30 minutes of debate. Tennessee is only the second state to propose state-approved reading material; Massachusetts designated the beloved children’s book Make Way for Ducklings its official state book in 2003.

The House successfully passed the measure last year, but the Senate halted it, sending it back to committee. “We don't need to put the Bible beside salamanders, tulip poplars and 'Rocky Top' in the Tennessee Blue Book to appreciate its importance to our state,” Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey said at the time. Lawmakers in Mississippi and Louisiana considered naming the Bible their official state book in the past, but secular opposition thwarted their efforts. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Steve Southerland (R-Morristown), now heads to the desk of Gov. Bill Haslam to sign.

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Tennessee’s House just killed a bill that would have ended same-sex marriage in the state.  That would be good news, but another identical bill is still pending in the Senate.

On September 17, 2014, two Tennessee state lawmakers resolved to take on the Supreme Court. Republicans Rep. Mark Pody and Sen. Mae Beavers each introduced “The Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act” in their respective houses of the Tennessee General Assembly. The purpose of the law is to effectively invalidate the Supreme Court’s ruling within Tennessee’s borders.

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