Republicans Only Need to Keep These Seats During the Midterms to Stay in Power in the Senate

Will Republicans keep control of the Senate in upcoming midterm elections?

Only 35 of the 100 seats are up for election.

As 51 seats are needed for a majority, Republicans only have to defend nine seats, while Democrats — including two independents who tend to vote with them — have 26 seats up for election.

The seats up for re-election:

Chances for each party controlling the Senate:

Republicans are forecast to continue controlling the Senate as of October 23, according to FiveThirtyEight. The GOP has an 81.3 percent chance of keeping control, while Democrats currently have an 18.7 percent chance of winning control.

The seats the GOP needs to keep


Justin Sullivan/Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Republican running for Jeff Flake’s seat: Martha McSally

Democratic challenger: Kyrsten Sinema

Who has the lead: McSally has a RealClearPolitics average lead of 0.7 points


Ethan Miller/Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Republican incumbent: Dean Heller

Democratic challenger: Jacky Rosen

Who has the lead: Heller has a RealClearPolitics average lead of 1.7 points

Heller told IJR that the predictions of a “blue wave” taking over control in the Senate are “just talk.”

“Nevada – and this country – is firing on all cylinders when it comes to this economy and the number of jobs created. Americans are paying attention. When I talk to Nevadans, they tell me their number one concern is to make sure there are good-paying jobs available. And that’s exactly what I’ve been doing in Senate.”

Heller gave IJR three reasons for voters to show up for him:

  1. Delivering — has authorized or proposed more than 100 pieces of legislation that have been signed into law, including more than 40 for the veterans
  2. Listening and taking action — giving hardworking families a “much-needed lift” by previously helping write and pass tax reform, fix the claims process for veterans’ health coverage, and block Yucca Mountain
  3. Working across party lines —showing commitment to work with other parties on issues that help put Nevadans ahead


George Frey/Getty Images; Jenny Wilson for Senate/Facebook

Republican running for Orrin Hatch’s seat: Mitt Romney

Democratic challenger: Jenny Wilson

Who has the lead: Romney has a RealClearPolitics average lead of 36 points


John Barrasso/Gary Trauner for U.S. Senate/Facebook

Republican incumbent: John Barrasso

Democratic challenger: Gary Trauner

Who has the lead: Barrasso has a 40.6-point lead, according to FiveThirtyEight


Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images; Jane Raybould/Facebook

Republican incumbent: Deb Fischer

Democratic challenger: Jane Raybould

Who has the lead: Fischer has a 13.9-point lead, according to FiveThirtyEight


Bob Levey/Tom Reel/Getty Images

Republican incumbent: Ted Cruz

Democratic challenger: Beto O’Rourke

Who has the lead: Cruz has a RealClearPolitics average lead of 7 points

Mississippi special election

Cindy Hyde-Smith/Mike Espy/Facebook

Republican incumbent: Cindy Hyde-Smith

Democratic challenger: Mike Espy

Republican challenger: Chris McDaniel

Democratic challenger: Tobey Bartee

Who has the lead: Hyde-Smith leads with 38 percent, Epsy is at 29 percent, McDaniel is at 15 percent, and Bartee is at 2 percent, according to an NBC News/Marist poll

For the special election in Mississippi, Hyde-Smith, Espy, McDaniel, and Bartee will face off in a “jungle primary” in which multiple candidates are competing.

If no candidate gets over 50 percent of the vote, then there is a runoff between the top two vote-getters three weeks later.

Mississippi regular election

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images and David Baria for Mississippi/Facebook

Republican incumbent: Roger Wicker

Democratic challenger: David Barria

Who has the lead: Wicker has a 28-point lead, according to an NBC News/Marist poll


Alex Wong/Getty Images and Phil Bredesen/Facebook

Republican incumbent: Marsha Blackburn

Democratic challenger: Phil Bredesen

Who has the lead: Blackburn has a RealClearPolitics average lead of 6.5 points

Correction [10/23/18, 2:12 p.m. ET]: Previously, this article omitted the fact that the Mississippi special election is a “jungle primary.” We have corrected the error.


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