Democrats hold a narrow Senate majority this year and they are fighting hard to keep it in a midterm election cycle that has voters looking for solutions amid rising inflation and surging gas prices.
Republicans need to gain just one new seat this year to reclaim control of the upper chamber. However, Democrats are more optimistic about their chances of holding their Senate majority than they are their House majority and are campaigning to flip several GOP-held seats.
Here are the seven Senate seats most likely to flip in the 2022 midterm elections:
Both Republican and Democrats are already spending heavily to win the Senate seat in Georgia, and early polling in the general election suggests an extremely tight race.
Last year, Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) pulled off a major victory, defeating former Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) in a hotly contested runoff election that helped Democrats reclaim the Senate majority.
Holding on to his seat this year, however, is likely to prove more challenging as Democrats are up against strong political headwinds nationally.
Warnock’s Republican rival, former football star Herschel Walker, has a major financial advantage in the race; his latest federal filing shows him with nearly $23 million in the bank to Walker’s $7.1 million. Republicans believe that the state stands a good chance of swinging back in their direction this November.
President Joe Biden carried New Hampshire in 2020 by a 7-point margin over Donald Trump and the state offers Democrats perhaps their best chance of holding a seat.
Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan (D) will face the winner of a crowded Republican primary, including Chuck Morse, Town Manager Kevin Smith and retired Army Brig. Gen. Don Bolduc.
The New Hampshire primaries won’t be held until mid-September, meaning it will be months before Republicans will know who their nominee is.
President Biden’s narrow victory in Pennsylvania in 2020 transformed Pennsylvania into perhaps the most competitive battleground of the midterm elections, and GOP Sen. Pat Toomey is retirement has offered Democrats one of few opportunities this year to flip a GOP-held Senate seat and keep their majority in the upper chamber.
Democratic candidate Lt. Gov. John Fetterman will face off against Trump-endorsed celebrity physician Mehmet Oz, who clinched the Republican nomination after a recount.
A USA Today Network-Suffolk University poll released this week showed the Democratic lieutenant governor leading by a 9-point margin.
Nevada is experiencing some of the highest gas prices in the country and the state’s economy took a hit as the COVID-19 pandemic prompted shutdowns of hotels, bars and restaurants, making it a tough political environment for Democrats to win.
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) is running against former Republican state Attorney General Adam Laxalt.
The Senate race is expected to test Democrats’ resilience among Latino voters, who make up a significant share of the state’s electorate. While those voters have long been a key Democratic constituency, there have been signs in recent years that that may be starting to change.
The Senate race in Wisconsin is one of Democrats’ best chances of flipping a Republican-held seat as
Controversial incumbent GOP Sen. Ron Johnson is running for a third term in the Senate despite previously pledging to only serve two terms. He is a polarizing figure nationally and universally despised among Democrats, who are hoping that his penchant for controversy can help propel them to victory in November.
Democrats have had tough races in the state in recent years. Trump carried it twice, and Democrats were dealt a frustrating defeat in 2020 when their Senate nominee, Cal Cunningham, lost to Sen. Thom Tillis (R) following embarrassing revelations of an extramarital affair.
This year, however, no candidate will have the incumbent advantage that Tillis had, and Sen. Richard Burr (R) is not seeking reelection.
Democratic candidate, former state Supreme Court Justice Cheri Beasley, will face GOP Rep. Ted Budd, whom Trump endorsed last year.
Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly, who narrowly ousted former Sen. Martha McSally (R) in a 2020 special election, is running for his first full term in the upper chamber. And while he has the fundraising chops and personal narrative of a top-tier candidate, he’s facing voters in a much different political environment than he did two years ago.
Recent polls show Kelly outperforming his top Republican challengers in hypothetical head-to-head match-ups. Still, a tough political climate for Democrats and a motivated GOP voter base this fall could turn the tables on him.