What does the Senate do and how many seats are up for grabs in the Midterm Elections?
The terms for Senators is six years, and every two years a third of Senate seats are up for election. Who is up for election this year?
The Senate is the upper chamber of the US Congress, with each of the fifty states having two representatives. The House of Representatives is the lower chamber, and the 435 members are distributed among states based on their population. Together, the founding fathers believed that these two houses would balance power between states with large differences in population.
A term for a US Senator last six years, compared to only two in the House, and each election cycle (midterms and general), a third of Senator’s seats are up for election.
Currently, there is a fifty-fifty split in the Senate, with Vice President Kamala Harris able to cast the tie-breaking vote.
Senators Pat Toomey (PA - R), Rob Portman (OH - R), Jim Inhofe (OK - R), Richard Burr (NC - R), Richard Shelby (AL - R), Roy Blunt (MO - R) and Patrick Leahey (VT - I) are all retiring. The fact that an incumbent is not in the race makes the state more competitive. We can look to Ohio and Pennsylvania as clear examples of this phenomenon.
Of the thirty-five races up for grabs, twenty-two were held by Republicans, which in theory, should give Democrats an advantage as they need to hold onto far fewer seats. Whether or not that turns out to be true... will be seen over the next few days.
Which states have the same Senate races?
What is the state of the race?
We all know the polls can be wrong, this midterm season is no different, and with many races within two to three points, they are well within the margin of error. Currently, FiveThirtyEight, which tracks all major polls, gives Republicans a better chance of taking control of the Senate.
There are fourteen states where Republicans are expected to easily win, compared to nine states where Democrats are in the same position.
Races in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, Ohio, and Pennsylvania are those that should be watched carefully. These states, plus those in the ‘Lean’ category, will determine the makeup of the senate.
|Strong Republican||Lean Republican||Toss Up||Lean Democrat||Strong Democrat|