Massachusetts Republicans are heavily outnumbered in both houses of the Legislature and face an uphill fight adding to their ranks in the coming election.  They are on the ballot in only 69 of the 160 House districts and 16 of the 40 Senate districts. That's fewer than in 2010, when the GOP doubled its presence in the House.   Still, Republican leaders see the possibility of gaining some seats, targeting several districts with large numbers of independent and conservative-leaning voters.

They also have pointed to the ongoing patronage scandal in the state probation department as an example of abuses under one-party domination.  Democrats have countered with allegations of ethical violations by Republican candidates. They also have said that some freshmen Republicans elected two years ago represent right-wing, tea party values.  (Associated Press)