It's do-or-die time for Republicans trying to recruit strong Senate candidates who could help them win back the upper chamber next year.

The party has an outside chance of winning the five or six seats it needs to retake control, but needs to find top-tier recruits in several states and is running out of time to do so.

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Sen. Frank Lautenberg's (D-N.J.) death and the appointment of a Republican to his seat narrowed Democrats' majority to 54-46, but the GOP will be the underdog in New Jersey's special election in October.

Here are five states where the party needs to land strong candidates to broaden the battleground and have a hope of winning back the Senate.

Michigan

Sen. Carl LevinCarl Milton LevinConservatives see Kethledge as 'Gorsuch 2.0' How House Republicans scrambled the Russia probe Congress dangerously wields its oversight power in Russia probe MORE’s (D-Mich.) impending retirement has given the GOP a shot in the slightly Democratic-leaning state, but so far they haven’t landed their top recruit: Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.).

National Republicans have been salivating over Rogers for months, but many Michigan Republicans don’t think he’ll give up his House Intelligence Committee chairmanship and a safe House seat for a tough Senate race.

Former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land (R) has entered the race against Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Democrats’ de facto nominee, but party leaders in the state and in Washington would be more confident with Rogers.

Iowa

Rep. Tom Latham (R-Iowa) is one of several high-profile GOP candidates who have passed on the race to succeed Sen. Tom HarkinThomas (Tom) Richard HarkinDem Senator open to bid from the left in 2020 Senate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation Trump should require federal contractors to follow the law MORE (D-Iowa).

Some in the GOP still hope to convince Latham to run, as they see him as their best hope to defeat Rep. Bruce BraleyBruce Lowell BraleyOPINION | Tax reform, not Trump-McConnell feuds, will make 2018 a win for GOP Ten years later, House Dems reunite and look forward Trump: Ernst wanted 'more seasoning' before entertaining VP offer MORE (D-Iowa).

It he stays out, it would leave the GOP with former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker and David Young, who until recently was Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleySunk judicial pick spills over into Supreme Court fight Andrew Wheeler must reverse damage to American heartland Senators push to clear backlog in testing rape kits MORE’s (R-Iowa) chief of staff.

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) wants state Sen. Joni Ernst (R), who is seriously considering a bid, to enter the race. Former Reliant Energy CEO Mark Jacobs (R), a potential self-funding candidate, is also mulling a bid.

National Republicans say they’re hopeful the primary will help battle-test the eventual nominee — but admit that their situation isn’t ideal.

Montana

State Republicans hope former GOP Gov. Marc Racicot will run to succeed Sen. Max BaucusMax Sieben BaucusJudge boots Green Party from Montana ballot in boost to Tester Clients’ Cohen ties become PR liability Green Party puts Dem seat at risk in Montana MORE’s (D-Mont.).

Racicot has been very quiet since Baucus’s surprise decision — partly because of a recent death in the family, according to sources — and hasn’t given any indication that he’ll run.

If he doesn’t, Rep. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) is another option.

Democrats think they could have a strong candidate if former Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D) enters the race.

If he does, it would put Democrats in a good position, though state Republicans think Racicot would be a top recruit in the GOP-leaning state.

Arkansas

Freshman Rep. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonBipartisan group introduces retirement savings legislation in Senate Overnight Defense: Fallout from tense NATO summit | Senators push to block ZTE deal in defense bill | Blackwater founder makes new pitch for mercenaries to run Afghan war Hillicon Valley: DOJ appeals AT&T-Time Warner ruling | FBI agent testifies in heated hearing | Uproar after FCC changes rules on consumer complaints | Broadcom makes bid for another US company | Facebook under fire over conspiracy sites MORE (Ark) is the GOP’s preferred candidate against Sen. Mark PryorMark Lunsford PryorMedicaid rollback looms for GOP senators in 2020 Cotton pitches anti-Democrat message to SC delegation Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm MORE (D-Ark.), perhaps the most vulnerable Democrat running in next year’s Senate elections. President Obama won just 37 percent of the vote last year in Arkansas.

Cotton, a freshman in the House, has been doing everything he needs to do to jump in the race. He’s posted strong fundraising figures, met with party leaders in Washington and is expected to run.

Rep. Steve WomackStephen (Steve) Allen WomackBudget chairs press appropriators on veterans spending Senate chairman urges move to two-year budgetary process On The Money: Senate passes first 2019 spending bill | Trump hits Harley-Davidson in tariffs fight | Mnuchin rips report of investment restrictions | Justices side with American Express in antitrust case MORE (R-Ark.) has said he’s open to a bid, but most Republicans prefer Cotton and will be relieved if and when he finally enters the race.

New Hampshire

Any GOP candidate will likely face an uphill battle against Sen. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenErnst: Intelligence agencies should question Trump’s interpreter, not Congress Overnight Defense: More Trump drama over Russia | Appeals court rules against Trump on transgender ban | Boeing wins Air Force One contract | Military parade to reportedly cost M Top Dem lawmaker pushing committee for closed-door debrief with Trump’s interpreter MORE (D-N.H.), but Republicans hope they’ll have a star candidate in former Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.).

If Brown crosses the border and enters the race, they say he’d start off within striking distance of the popular Shaheen.

Brown would have to survive attacks on carpet-bagging, but has the type of centrist profile that could win over some swing voters and make Shaheen nervous.

Former Reps. Frank Guinta (R-N.H.) and Jeb Bradley (R-N.H.) are both considering bids, but national Republicans acknowledge they’d be in a stronger position with Brown.