DemDaily: Status of the Senate: Update!

March 6, 2018

Mississippi US Senator Thad Cochran became the fourth United States Senator, behind fellow Republicans Jeff Flake (AZ), Bob Corker (TN) and Orrin Hatch (UT), to announce his retirement yesterday.

Senator Thad Cochran's (R-MS) retirement means a second special election in November

Cochran, 80, who has been in failing health, announced he will be retiring mid-term on April 1, 2018, following the completion of the 2018 appropriations cycle.

Governor Phil Bryant (R) will call a special election for the remainder of Cochran's term, to be held November 6th, coinciding with the re-election of the Mississippi's junior Senator, Roger Wicker (R).

Bryant will appoint a still-to-be determined interim Senator to fill the seat until November, and the winner of that election will run for re-election for a full six-year term in 2020.

The Mississippi Senate seat, which Cochran has held since 1978, is considered solidly Republican.

With the special elections in Cochran's seat and in Minnesota, to replace Senator Al Franken (D) who resigned in December, there are now a total of 35 of the 100 US Senate seats up for election November 6, 2018.

The Republican Party holds a 51 to 49 seat majority over the Democrats (including two independents) in the US Senate. Democrats will need to pick up a net gain of two seats to take the majority in 2018.

Although most of the Democrats are favored to win re-election, and the mid-term advantage of the party outside the White House gives Dems hope of taking control of the US Senate.  Nevertheless, the challenge of defending 26 seats is daunting.

Democratic incumbents in Indiana, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia, where Trump won in 2016 by double digits, are most vulnerable.

The GOP's greatest challenge will be in defending the open seats in Arizona and Tennessee, and Heller's re-election in Nevada.

US Senate Elections in 2018
Ratings based on review of The Cook Political Report, Sabato's Crystal Ball and DemList' final call.
State
Senator and Party
Rating
Arizona
Jeff Flake (R) RETIRING
Toss Up
California
Diane Feinstein (D)
Safe D
Connecticut
Chris Murphy (D)
Safe D
Delaware
Tom Carper (D)
Safe D
Florida
Bill Nelson (D)
Lean D
Hawaii
Mazine Hirona (D)
Safe D
Indiana
Joe Donnelly (D)
Toss Up
Maine
Angus King (I)
Likely (I)
Maryland
Ben Cardin (D)
Safe D
Massachusetts
Elizabeth Warren (D)
Safe D
Michigan Debbie Stabenow (D)
Likely D
Minnesota
Amy Klobuchar (D)
Safe D
Minnesota
Tina Smith (D) Interim US Senator
/Special Election (to replace Al Franken)
Lean D
Mississippi
Roger Wicker (R)
Safe R
Mississippi
Thad Cochran (R) RETIRING
/Special Election
Safe R
Missouri
Claire McCaskill (D)
Toss Up
Montana
Jon Tester (D)
Lean D
Nebraska*
Deb Fischer (R)
Safe R
Nevada
Dean Heller (R)
Toss Up
New Jersey
Bob Menendez (D)
Likely D
New Mexico
Martin Heinrich (D)
Safe D
New York
Kirstin Gillibrand (D)
Safe D
North Dakota
Heidi Heitkamp (D)
Toss Up
Ohio Sherrod Brown (D)
Likely D
Pennsylvania
Bob Casey, Jr (D)
Likely D
Rhode Island
Sheldon Whitehouse (D)
Safe D
Tennessee
Bob Corker (R) RETIRING
Toss Up
Texas
Ted Cruz (R)
Likely R
Utah
Orrin Hatch (R) RETIRING
Safe R
Vermont
Bernie Sanders (I)
Safe D (I)
Virginia
Tim Kaine (D)
Likely D
Washington
Maria Cantwell (D)
Safe D
West Virginia
Joe Manchin (D)
Lean D
Wisconsin
Tammy Baldwin (D)
Likely D
Wyoming
John Barrasso (R)
Safe R

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