With Control of the Senate in Play, These Are the Races to Watch

With the Senate tied 50-50 for each party, Republican control is just one seat away. But this election season has been full of surprises.

For much of the campaign season, Democrats appeared poised to win a Republican seat in Pennsylvania, meaning Republicans would have to flip two Democratic seats to gain a majority. But recent mistakes by Republican candidates in New Hampshire, Georgia and Arizona have made finding those two winnable races more difficult.

Here are the seats where each party is vulnerable.

Cook Political Reporting Race Ratings
for current Senate seats

republicans
It currently has 50 seats, it needs 51 for the majority

Democrats
Currently holds the majority with 50 seats (Vice President casts a tie-breaking vote)

Republicans are not for re-election

R solid

R likely

lean r

Tossup

Democrats are not for re-election

Solid D

lean d

Tossup

Pennsylvania

Wisconsin

Florida

NORTH CAROLINA

ooh

Utah

Alaska

Alabama

Arkansas

AI

ID

IN

Kansas

Kentucky

THE

month

NORTH DAKOTA

okay

okay

SOUTH CAROLINA

South Dakota

Alaska

Alabama

Arkansas

Florida

AI

ID

IN

Kansas

Kentucky

THE

ME

month

MS

MS

MOUNTAIN

NORTH CAROLINA

NORTH DAKOTA

northeast

northeast

SOUTH CAROLINA

South Dakota

Tennessee

Tennessee

Texas

Texas

Utah

W.V

WY

WY

Georgia

Snowfall

Arizona

CO

N.H

California

Connecticut

HELLO

ILLINOIS

Maryland

New York

EITHER

Vermont

Washington

Arizona

California

CO

Connecticut

Delaware

Delaware

Georgia

HELLO

ILLINOIS

BREAST

BREAST

Maryland

ME

ME

ME

Minnesota

Minnesota

MOUNTAIN

N.H

New Jersey

New Jersey

New Mexico

New Mexico

Snowfall

New York

ooh

EITHER

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

Rhode Island

Virginia

Virginia

Vermont

Washington

Wisconsin

W.V

Republicans are not for re-election

Democrats are not for re-election

Earlier this year, Senator Raphael Warnock, a Democrat in Georgia, had been considered one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the Senate when he faced Herschel Walker, a scandal-prone Republican backed by former President Donald J. Trump. Then came the allegation that Mr. Walker, a staunch anti-abortion opponent, paid for an ex-girlfriend’s abortion, and the race was turned upside down.

Cook Political Report still calls the race a failure, but the new allegations have given Warnock an advantage and put Walker on the defensive.

A Democratic seat in Arizona it may have been vulnerable at some point. But the enduring popularity of incumbent Mark Kelly and the faltering campaign of his rival, Blake Masters, may put him out of reach for Republicans.

the race in Snowfall it could be the Republicans’ best chance to take a seat from the Democrats. Catherine Cortez Masto, the incumbent, is not well established in a state known for its transient population and fickle voters, especially in midterm elections.

But his Republican challenger, Adam Laxalt, a former state attorney general, lost his gubernatorial bid in 2018 and still doesn’t have a clear lead.

The Democrats’ best chance of winning a Republican seat is in Pennsylvania, where Senator Patrick J. Toomey retires. Famed physician Dr. Mehmet Oz won the GOP nomination, helped by Trump’s endorsement, but he did not have the love of the GOP base.

His opponent, Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, suffered a life-threatening stroke that gave Dr. Oz a break. The apparent effects of the stroke and the Republican’s attacks on Fetterman as a liberal who coddles criminals have curtailed his career.

Democrats had high hopes of unseating the Republican senator from WisconsinRon Johnson six years ago and were stunned by his relatively easy re-election. Since then, Johnson has become the leading peddler of conspiracy theories and misinformation about Covid-19 in the Senate, but he is holding his own against Wisconsin Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes, who hails from the liberal Democrat wing and has shown be vulnerable to attack, especially on crime

A dormant Senate race is also the sleepiest. Representative Ted Budd, a North Carolina A Trump-backed Republican, he has tried to keep a low profile and play along nationally to the seat of Richard M. Burr, a retiring Republican.

Cheri Beasley, former Chief Justice of North Carolina, is running for justice above the political fray. North Carolina is a state that has broken the hearts of Democrats and may well do so again. But Mr. Budd and Mrs. Beasley are always tied in the polls.

Despite the challenges ahead, Republicans still have plenty of ways to win control of the Senate. They could beat Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto in Nevada and push Sen. Raphael Warnock into a runoff in Georgia. They could overwhelm the Georgia race with cash to bail out Warnock’s opponent, Herschel Walker. They could also pull off a win from behind in Pennsylvania.

But Democrats also have options. If they can seal a win in Pennsylvania and defeat Sen. Ron Johnson in Wisconsin, it’s hard to see a way for the Republicans to pick up three Democratic seats to compensate.