2018 Senate Midterm Elections

Many people believe that in between presidential election years nothing significant happens, but there is something arguably more important at stake. There are numerous midterm elections in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Senate elections are of considerable importance because that is often where most of the decisions are made regarding our country’s policies. This page is dedicated to the upcoming Senate midterm elections and has vital information regarding what is at stake and the states involved.

Democrats On Narrow Path To Take Over

The Republicans hold the controlling majority in the Senate. However, the Democrats have an avenue to take over. It is a path with little room for error, but the Democrats have everything to gain if the cards fall in their favor. As things stand now, the US Senate has 51 Republicans and 49 Democrats (including 2 Independents). There are a total of 35 seats up for reelection on November 6, 2018. 26 of these seats are held by Democrats. In order to gain control of the Senate, the Dems need to gain 2 more seats in addition to the ones they currently hold.

States Up For Grabs In 2018 Midterm Senate Elections

Below is a list of the states with seats up for grabs in this year’s midterm Senate election. We’ve gone ahead and included which states are in the solid Democratic/Republican, likely Democratic/Republican, leaning Democratic/Republican and toss-up categories. We’ve also included the current Senate members in each seat going for reelection. Pay attention to the toss-up states, as these will prove the most interesting battlegrounds and hold the most weight when it comes to a potential regime change.

Senate Seats

State Party Candidate
California Solid Democrat Dianne Feinstein
Minnesota Solid Democrat Amy Klobuchar
Connecticut Solid Democrat Chris Murphy
New Jersey Solid Democrat Bob Menendez
Delaware Solid Democrat Tom Carper
New Mexico Solid Democrat Martin Heinrich
Vermont Solid Democrat (Independent) Bernie Sanders
Hawaii Solid Democrat Mazie Hirono
New York Solid Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand
Washington Solid Democrat Maria Cantwell
Maryland Solid Democrat Ben Cardin
Rhode Island Solid Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse
Massachusetts Solid Democrat Elizabeth Warren
Michigan Likely Democrat Debbie Stabenow
Maine Likely Democrat Angus King
Minnesota Likely Democrat Tina Smith
Pennsylvania Likely Democrat Bob Casey Jr.
Virginia Likely Democrat Tim Kaine
Florida Lean Democrat Bill Nelson
Montana Lean Democrat Jon Tester
Ohio Lean Democrat Sherrod Brown
Wisconsin Lean Democrat Tammy Baldwin
Indiana Toss-Up Democrat Joe Donnelly
Missouri Toss-Up Democrat Claire McCaskill
North Dakota Toss-Up Democrat Heidi Heitkamp
West Virginia Toss-Up Democrat Joe Manchin
Arizona Toss-Up Republican – Open Jeff Flake (Retiring)
Nevada Toss-Up Republican Dean Heller
Tennessee Likely Republican – Open Bob Corker
Texas Likely Republican Ted Cruz
Mississippi Solid Republican Roger Wicker
Nebraska Solid Republican Deb Fischer
Utah Solid Republican – Open Orrin Hatch
Wyoming Solid Republican John Barrasso

The Case Of Arizona And Nevada

If the Dems want to take over, they need to retain the seats they currently hold and exploit the southwest region, specifically Arizona and Nevada. These two states are up for reelection and considered swing states. Arizona’s Jeff Flake is retiring, leaving the AZ seat wide open. The Dems have Representative Krysten Sinema to take over, though she faces a tough battle against either Rep. Martha McSally, former State Sen. Kelli Ward and former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. McSally and Arpaio are considered the true contenders, with the former representing the Republican base while the latter represents the Trump base.

Nevada is another key state in this debacle. Incumbent Republican Dean Heller is up against Danny Tarkanian. Heller is the only Republican incumbent thought to be in trouble when it comes to losing his seat. If Heller survives the primary, he will be up against Rep. Jacky Rosen in the general election.

5 Make Or Break States

There are 5 states that could drastically alter the course of party politics in the Senate. These are:

  • Nevada
  • Arizona
  • Indiana
  • Missouri
  • West Virginia

The reason for the power these states hold is that they are all controlled by Democratic senators (advantage Dems). However, Donald Trump won these states by double digits in the election (advantage Reps.) This means that these states could go either way. Basically, whichever party wins these states will be in control of the Senate.

Montana and North Dakota present another potential leak in the Democratic holding. While these states lean Dem., the Republicans have yet to find a suitable candidate to compete. Once they do, the Dems could possibly lose these states. Why? Because these states, along with the 5 mentioned above, were won by Trump by double digits. So if we’re looking at numbers, the Dems have 5 chances for this thing to blow up in their faces while the Republicans have only 2 shaky states in Arizona and Nevada. It will be interesting to see how the results of the 2018 Senate races impact the 2020 Presidential election, if at all.

Republican Advantage In 2018 Midterm Elections

These 2018 midterm Senate elections are the Republicans’ to lose. The Democrats will have a much tougher time gaining the seats they need versus the Republicans maintaining the ones they hold. If you look at the list of states according to how likely they are to vote Republican versus Democrat, you’ll see the Republicans have the advantage. The Republicans could also gain an x-factor advantage in some states. For example, Florida governor Rick Scott recently joined in the race against Bill Nelson. If Scott wins, the Republicans gain another seat.

How To Predict 2018 Senate Midterm Elections

There are several factors that go into predicting the midterm Senate elections in 2018. The most important data points to consider are candidate recruitment (parties work hard to mold their perfect candidate with the best odds of winning), fundraising (money talks in politics and some candidates have a better financial foundation to stand on), voting history in a particular district, voter registration data and recent trends. The ‘recent trends’ point is especially interesting. For example, Trump won states no one thought we would in the election. The Republican favor could be considered a recent trend. On the other hand, most people seem fed up with the Republican control, meaning the recent trend could be to drop all Republicans from power.

2018 Senate Midterm Elections FAQs

How Long Is A Senator’s Term For?

A Senator’s term is six years and approximately one-third of the total Senate membership is elected every two years.

How Many Terms Can You Serve In The Senate?

Members of the US Senate may serve an unlimited amount of six-year terms as long as they are reelected each cycle.

How Many Senators Are There Per State?

Each state has 2 Senators.

What Do US Senators Do?

Senators work as part of the legislative branch of the US government. This means their focus is on making laws. The Senator’s job is to represent the people of his or her state in the US Senate. Senators are supposed to work closely with their state constituents to figure out how to help them on the federal level.

How Much Do US Senators Make?

Senators make $174,000 per year. Senate Majority Leaders make $199,700 per year.

What Is The Difference Between The House Of Representatives And The Senate?

The House of Representatives is considered the lower chamber of Congress is more directly accountable to the general public. The House is considered the more democratic of the 2 chambers whereas the Senate is more aristocratic. The Senate’s objective is to do what is best for the country, even if that may not be in the best interest of the general public. They debate topics like treaties and foreign policy. The Senate also has the power to confirm Cabinet recommendations and override a President’s veto by 2/3 vote.

How Are Senators Elected?

Senators are elected by residents of the state they represent. The US Constitution has certain qualifications for Senators including they must be at least 30 years old, have been a citizen for at least 9 years and must be a resident of the state they wish to represent.

Who Was The First Female Senator?

Hattie Caraway was the first female senator and was elected to the Senate in 1932 to represent Arkansas.

How Do I Contact My US Senator?

There are 2 ways to contact a member of the US Senate. You can contact them via mail at their work address or you can reach them by telephone. Citizens are encouraged to contact their Senators with any questions or concerns regarding bills and policy changes. You can find more information here.