While the likelihood of Democrats holding onto the House appears to be slim based on polling and historic trends, the party is hoping to maintain control of the Senate.
The current balance of power is split 50/50, but Vice President Kamala Harris acts as a tiebreaker in favor of the Democrats. In total, 35 seats are open in next week's midterm election.
Midterm elections have not been kind to the party of the sitting president in recent elections. That would be good news for Republicans. But it’s been six years since the current crop of senators was last elected in a year that was favorable for Republicans.
Through special elections, Democrats picked up Senate seats in Arizona and Georgia. The result could mean that the Democrats could hang onto the Senate simply by holding onto the seats they have now. They also could potentially pick up seats in states such as Pennsylvania or Wisconsin.
But Republicans are hoping to win back seats in Arizona and Georgia, among others.
Here is a look at the 10 seats that will decide the election. Currently, five of these seats are held by Democrats and five are held by Republicans. If Democrats win five of these seats, they will likely remain in control of the Senate.
Democrat: Mark Kelly* Incumbent
Republican: Blake Masters
New York Times/Sienna: Kelly leads 51-45
Kelly was elected in a special election in 2020, defeating Martha McSally by a 51-48 margin. He is a former astronaut and the husband of Rep. Gabby Giffords, who was shot at a town hall event in 2011. Masters, a venture capitalist and author, seeks his first political office.
Democrat: Michael Bennet* Incumbent
Republican: Joe O’Dea
Marist: Bennet leads 49-43
Bennet gained some name recognition after making a brief presidential run before the 2020 election. Bennet is running for his third full term after first being appointed to the seat in 2009. Unlike many other Republicans, O’Dea has largely shied away from former President Donald Trump, stating he would not back Trump in a potential run in 2024.
Democrat: Val Demings
Republican: Marco Rubio* Incumbent
University of North Florida: Rubio leads 54-43
This one is probably the longest shot for Democrats. Rubio has seen his lead grow in recent polls. It also helps that the Republican Party has become stronger in Florida in recent election cycles. Demings is a three-term member of the U.S. House who was widely rumored to be among Biden’s possible running mates in 2020.
Democrat: Raphael Warnock* Incumbent
Republican: Herschel Walker
New York Times/Sienna: Warnock leads 49-46
Warnock won narrowly in a special election in early 2021, becoming the first Black person to represent Georgia in the Senate. Although the incumbent and former pastor led in the New York Times poll, other polls have shown the race tied or with Walker leading slightly. Although reports have surfaced that Walker paid for a woman to have an abortion, it appears his polling has improved in the weeks since.
Democrat: Catherine Cortez Masto* Incumbent
Republican: Adam Laxalt
Cortez Masto had giant shoes to fill replacing Democrat Harry Reid, who led the Democratic caucus from 2007-17. She narrowly defeated Joe Heck in 2016 in one of the few battleground states Democrats held. While inflation has been a major issue in this year’s Senate campaign, it’s especially an issue in Nevada, where average gas prices remain more than $1 higher than the national average. Laxalt is the state’s former attorney general who narrowly lost a gubernatorial bid in 2018. He then went on to lead Trump’s reelection bid in the state.
Democrat: Maggie Hassan* Incumbent
Republican: Don Bolduc
WHDH/Emerson: Hassan leads 48-45
Hassan won by a very narrow margin in 2016, defeating incumbent Ayotte by just .1%. Hassan may need to pull out a similar victory for her to remain in the Senate. Bolduc is a former general in the U.S. Army. He recently garnered attention for repeating false claims that schools have litter boxes for children to use.
Democrat: Cheri Beasley
Republican: Ted Budd
*Incumbent Sen. Richard Burr not running for reelection
Marist: Budd leads 49-45
North Carolina was among six states that President Donald Trump won in 2016 and lost in 2020, helping Democrats expand their footprint. Republicans hope to reclaim a state that has voted Republican in every Senate election since 2008. As a member of the U.S. House, Budd was among the 147 who objected to the Electoral College certification of Joe Biden. Beasley has experience in narrow elections, barely winning her spot as chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court by 401 votes out of nearly 5.4 million cast.
Democrat: Tim Ryan
Republican: J.D. Vance
*Incumbent Sen. Rob Portman not running for reelection
Vance was trailing in the polls ahead of the May Republican primary before Trump endorsed the author. Meanwhile, Ryan has attempted to distance himself from Democratic leaders by running as a moderate candidate. While the state generally leans Republican, polling shows a tight race, which could result in Democrats holding both Senate seats in a generally red state.
Democrat: John Fetterman
Republican: Mehmet Oz
Incumbent Sen. Pat Toomey not running for reelection
New York Times/Sienna: Fetterman leads 49-44
If Democrats hope to add to their number of seats in the Senate, Pennsylvania would be the first place to go. The race has attracted much attention as Fetterman had a stroke in the days leading up to the Democratic primary. Oz, a doctor who hosted a medical TV show, survived a hotly contested GOP primary. While Fetterman once held a modest lead in polling, many recent polls have shown a race within the margin of error.
Democrat: Mandela Barnes
Republican: Ron Johnson* Incumbent
CNN: Johnson leads 50-49
Johnson is attempting to claim his third term in the Senate, and after a summer that showed unfavorable polling, the incumbent senator has held a slight edge recently. Barnes saw a surge in support in the summer following the Supreme Court’s ruling to strike down Roe v. Wade. In the months since, Johnson has seen his numbers bounce back. In hopes of keeping his campaign from sinking, Barnes campaigned with former President Barack Obama.