When President Joe Biden won the state of Georgia in the presidential election last November, becoming the first Democratic candidate to do so in 28 years, it shocked many political pundits. Even after that surprising win many people did not give much of a chance to Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff to win their Senate runoffs, with both needing to win their seats in order for Democrats to obtain the slightest of margins in the Senate. Despite most political handicappers giving high percentages to Democrats easily takin back the Senate prior to the November election, the rollercoaster ride from election night until January 6th when it was announced Democrats had won the Senate was quite the emotional ride.
While Democrats control the Senate for at least the next 2 years, much can change after the 2022 election where 34 seats are up for reelection, including 14 Democrats and 20 Republicans. Obviously some of these races are in states that are excessively blue or red, but there are 10 incumbents who won their previous election by less than 8 points. Five of those are Democrats in the states of Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Nevada, and New Hampshire, while the five Republicans are from Florida, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
Obviously, the population and political makeup of states are fluid and things have changed since many of these last elections. One of the biggest advantages in an election is being the incumbent. We’re still over 21 months until the 2022 election but there have already been three Republican Senators who have said they will not seek reelection, which gives a huge advantage to their Democratic challengers. Richard Burr from North Carolina, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, and Rob Portman of Ohio have already stated they will be retiring after this term. Senator Ron Johnson from Wisconsin, who said during his 2016 campaign that he would not run again in 2022 if he won, has hinted lately that he’s not sure if he would seek election next year.
Based solely on the seats up for election in 2022 and how they states voted for president in 2020, Democrats would pick up an additional two Senate seats next year. However, states such as North Carolina and Ohio are possible with their incumbent Senators not seeking reelection. As always, it will come down to the quality of candidates running but mostly which side is most excited and actually comes out to vote.
I’m a ceramic engineer living in Central New York, avid sports fan but find myself more interested in politics lately.