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The 7 Republican Senators 'Most Vulnerable to a Primary

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"...her candidacy represents the most dangerous primary challenge to a Republican incumbent this year."

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), arrives at the Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on October 16, 2013. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

On Tuesday, prominent D.C. newspaper Roll Call published an online list of seven U.S. senators they say are "most vulnerable to a primary."

According to the publication, "Hard-line conservatives are rising out of the ashes of a weekslong government shutdown, emboldened by the possibility of adding to their ranks in the Senate next year — whether by picking up Democrat-held seats or taking out Republican incumbents."

"Conservative third-party groups and candidates hope to give more backup to folks like Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah, who led an effort to defund the health care law," Roll Call added.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), arrives at the Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on October 16, 2013. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Here is Roll Call's complete list:

  1. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)
  2. Sen. Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.)
  3. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.)
  4. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)
  5. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.)
  6. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.)
  7. Sen. John Coryn (R-Texas)

The newspaper said Minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Sen. Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.) and Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) are most vulnerable to a competitive challenger in 2016.

According to Roll Call, "McConnell’s decision to strike a deal with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to reopen the federal government and avoid default invited immediate disparagement from his primary opponent and conservative groups."

The publication adds, "Liz Cheney, a former State Department official and daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, is not exactly a tea partyer. But she’s taking on Enzi from the right, and her candidacy represents the most dangerous primary challenge to a Republican incumbent this year."

Other Republicans vulnerable to a challenge include Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Sen. John Coryn (R-Texas).

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Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter

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