Senate races where split-ticket voting may matter

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(CBS News) With all the recent talk about House and Senate candidates "distancing themselves" from President Obama or Mitt Romney (whether on policy, on skipping conventions or on campaigning together) and with control of the Senate up for grabs in November, we wanted to take a look at some Senate races where split-ticket voting could really matter.

It turns out this year, especially, America's ticket-splitters could really hold the key. For Republicans to take over the Senate they might need to win a seat or two in a deep-blue Obama state, notably holding onto Massachusetts with Scott Brown or picking up Hawaii, where they're mounting a serious challenge. Democrats' fate, meanwhile, may rest on whether they can hold seats in red states that Romney will carry, like Montana, Missouri, or North Dakota.

These stand out, too, because these "split" states make up half of our top ten Senate states to watch. (The others races are in Presidential battlegrounds that could go either way and one, Maine, is a real wild card we'll get to later.)

This chart shows the possible split-ticket Senate races and who's favored in the presidential contest:

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    Anthony Salvanto is CBS News elections director