The prospect of a “red wave” in November’s midterms is looming large for the DNC — more than 30 Democratic incumbents in the House have signaled their intent to abandon the sinking ship while others are down in the polls. Most pundits project Speaker Nancy Pelosi will lose control of the House; the disposition of the Senate is not so clear. Republicans need just one more seat to oust Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. A profile in The Hill notes the Senate seats most likely to flip red in November.
Pennsylvania: One of the better opportunities the Democrats have to flip a seat blue is in Pennsylvania. Biden’s narrow win in 2020 has strengthened a Democratic foothold in the state. Reublican Sen. Pat Toomey is retiring, and there are no strong GOP contenders in the field.
Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman is running for the seat, beating his opponent in the primary by a 32-point margin. Fetterman will meet former President Trump-endorsed candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz, who defeated his challenger in the primary by fewer than 1,000 votes.
A recent USA Today Network-Suffolk University poll shows Fetterman leading Oz by a nine-point margin.
Georgia: Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock managed a surprise victory in last year’s runoff election, but reportedly has internal opposition and will face a rising star in the GOP, former football pro Herschel Walker.
Walker eased to victory in the primary. Both parties are campaigning heavily to win the seat; early polling suggests a very close race.
Warnock, however, has a significant financial advantage in the race. The Hill reports that his latest federal filing shows him with nearly $23 million in the bank to Walker’s $7.1 million.
Nevada: Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto will face Trump-endorsed Republican Attorney General Adam Laxalt. Masto is the former chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and has close ties to the formidable late former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
However, economic challenges and irregularities in the 2020 election will make a Masto win more difficult. Nevada has some of the highest gas prices in the country, and many businesses in the state are still reeling from Biden administration’s pushed lockdowns and mandates.
Arizona: Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly narrowly beat Republican Senator Martha McSally in a 2020 special election, flipping a seat blue that had been red for more than 50 years. However, many high-profile Democratic government leaders and election officials have been embroiled in scandal since the election, and many believe the winds of change are sweeping through the state.
The primary has not yet determined who Kelly will face in November. Kelly has the advantage of incumbency but will face one of three strong challengers: State Attorney General Mark Brnovich who is making a name for himself in fighting election reform, businessman Jim Lamon and Trump-endorsed Blake Masters. Early polling shows Kelly narrowly topping the GOP potentials.
Wisconsin: Like Pennsylvania, the Senate race in Wisconsin represents one of the Democrats’ best chances of flipping a seat red.
Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, a controversial and sometimes polarizing figure, is running for a third term, despite previously pledging to only serve two. According to The Hill, Johnson is “a universally despised figure among Democrats, who are hoping that his penchant for controversy can help propel them to victory in November.”
Wisconsin’s August primary will be a battle between the following Democratic heavyweights for Senate nomination: Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry, and Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson.
New Hampshire: The Granite State has been good to Democrats in recent years. Biden won by a seven-point margin in 2020, and Democratic Maggie Hassan defeated Republican incumbent Kelly Ayotte in 2016 to take a Senate seat.
The surprise announcement that former Republican Gov. Chris Sununu would not run for a seat in the Senate has left Republicans with a weak field of competitors. Among the hopefuls are state Senate President Chuck Morse, former Londonderry Town Manager Kevin Smith and retired Army Brig. Gen. Don Bolduc.
North Carolina: Republicans have a hard-fought but fairly solid foothold in North Carolina. Trump won the state twice, and Democratic Cal Cunningham lost the Senate race in the last election amid scandal.
However, Rep. Senator Richard Burr is not seeking reelection. The fairly open field will pit Trump-endorsed Republican Ted Budd against former state Supreme Court Justice Cheri Beasley, whom many recognize as a very strong candidate.
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