It may be hard to believe, but the 2022 midterm election season is fast approaching and expected to be highly contentious. As races for seats in the House and Senate pick up speed, voters across the country are being met with newly-passed laws restricting access to the ballot and making the turnout in key races that much more critical.
Back in 2020, the General Election saw the defeat of Donald Trump and introduced a wave of new battleground states including Georgia, Arizona, North Carolina, Michigan and more. As voter turnout spiked, history was made in several races while Democrats took control of the House and essentially in the Senate, too.
Now, the midterm season is nearing and multiple Senate seats have the potential to flip to the other party. All 435 seats in the House are up for election, and this year, a third of seats in the Senate will be contested on the ballot. According to NPR’s analysis, these are the top 10 Senate races most at risk of a party flip.
Republican Sen. Pat Toomey announced he wouldn’t be running for re-election, opening up a battle in a known swing state that President Joe Biden won in 2020.
Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, a Democrat, is leading in the state party’s primary while a host of Republican candidates –– including TV personality Mehmet Oz –– battle it out. Trump came out over the weekend, throwing his support behind Oz over former hedge fund manager David McCormick.
According to NPR, both McCormick and Oz have spent tens of millions of dollars on this race so far, and its projected to be one of the priciest races in the nation this year.
Sen. Raphael Warnock is running for his first full-term after winning a historic 2020 race against Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, becoming Georgia’s first Black senator. Now, his seat is on the line and Republican Herschel Walker is narrowly leading in the polls.
Biden won Georgia in November 2020 by just under 12,000 votes out of five million. Georgia is also currently seeing a tight governor’s race with Brian Kemp and Stacey Abrams set to face off once again in the months ahead.
Trump, by the way, is under investigation in Georgia after calling the Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to demand he “find” the votes to flip the Peach State’s election results.
Nevada was among the 2020 battleground states Biden won by just 2% of votes. Democratic freshman incumbent Sen. Catherine Cortez-Mastro‘s seat is up for re-election and Republicans are reportedly confident about their chances of winning the seat.
Former state attorney general Adam Laxalt, a Republican, is running for the seat and has Trump’s endorsement. Cortez-Mastro has the funding advantage, NPR reported, but her win two years ago was helped in large part by the presidential voter turnout.
Republican incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson is considered a close ally to Trump and also one of the most vulnerable GOP members in the 2022 midterms.
Biden won Wisconsin in 2020 and Johnson’s approval ratings are low, NPR reported. The Democrats leading the race are Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes and Milwaukee Bucks exec Alex Larsy who also served in the Obama White House.
Democratic incumbent Mark Kelly is at risk of losing his seat amid Biden’s dwindling approval ratings in the state. But Republicans aren’t as organized in their race against Kelly, after Gov. Doug Ducey refused to run against him, leading to a messy primary election that won’t be settled until August.
Attorney General Mark Brnovich, Blake Masters, and Jim Lamon are also in the running for the seat.
Democratic incumbent Maggie Hassan won her Senate seat in 2016 by just 1,000 votes. Now, she’s up for re-election again and it’s expected to be tight.
Though Republican Gov. Chris Sununu isn’t running, bitcoin enthusiast Bruce Fenton, state Senate President Chuck Morse, retired Army Gen. Don Bolduc are all set to run.
Republican Sen. Richard Burr is retiring, leaving a seat up for grabs.
In the running for Democrats is Judge Cheri Beasley, the first Black woman to serve as chief justice on the state Supreme Court, who is expected to win the primary election on May 17. Among Republicans are Ted Budd, former Gov. Pat McCrory and former rep. Mark Walker, though the state party hasn’t fully backed either of the candidates.
Rep. Tim Ryan has the support of the Democratic party of Ohio while there’s plenty of Republicans seeking to fill the seat left open by fellow GOP member Sen. Rob Portman‘s retirement.
Former State Treasurer Josh Mandel, investment banker Mike Gibbons almost came to blows over the election at a debate last month. Poll data shows the two are neck and neck among voters. A primary election on May 3 will ultimately decide who’s running in November.
Although Barack Obama won Florida in 2008, Democrats have lost the state by growing margins ever since. Biden’s approval rating is also down in the Sunshine State, creating an uphill battle for Democrat Rep. Val Demings is putting up for Sen. Marco Rubio‘s seat.
Demings’ fundraising is on pace compared to Rubio, NPR reported, and though Rubio leads in polls, it’s not by more than 50%.
Democratic incumbent Sen. Michael Bennett is expected to clutch a win for reelection, but Democrats aren’t taking their eyes off the race.
Three Republicans –– Jim O’Dea, former Olympian Eli Bremer and Gino Campana –– are all running for the seat. The primary is scheduled for June to make a determination.
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