WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans are vigorously pursuing their last, best, chances for taking control of the Senate, with Pennsylvania topping their list. Democrats, meanwhile, remained cautiously optimistic that they'll retain a narrow majority after Tuesday's election.

That's a marked change from the beginning of the election cycle. Democrats then were considered a sure bet to lose control of the 100-seat Senate. Now, they are upbeat about flipping Republican seats in Maine and Massachusetts and holding most of the 23 seats they're defending this year.

Statements by GOP candidates on rape and abortion proved to be self-inflicted political wounds that could cost the party's seat in Indiana and undermine its chances of taking down a vulnerable Democrat in Missouri.

Democrats hold a 53-47 Senate edge but Republicans are defending only 10 seats.