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Hot Senate Races

State of Play

  • 7 Southern U.S. Senate seats are up for election this year; 3 are held by Democrats and 4 by Republicans.
  • 4 of those races are competitive, including Florida, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia; Democrats are favored to retain a seat in Virginia and Republicans in Mississippi.
  • This year, both of Mississippi’s seats are up for election because of the retirement of Thad Cochran. The special election to fill Cochran’s seat could potentially become competitive if Democrat Mike Espy makes it into a runoff against one of the two Republicans representing opposing factions in an ongoing civil war within the state GOP. A nasty or disputed primary could open the door for Democrats, as happened last year in neighboring Alabama.

Democrats need a net gain of two seats nationally to take control of the Senate.


Nelson (D-Incumbent) vs. Scott (R)


Blackburn (R) vs. Bredesen (D) Open Seat


Cruz (R-Incumbent) vs. O’Rourke (D)

West Virginia 

Manchin (D-Incumbent) vs. Morrisey (R)

Mississippi Special Election 

Hyde-Smith (R-Incumbent) vs. McDaniel (R) and Espy (D)


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