Hotline’s Senate Rankings: The Senate Seats Most Likely to Flip in 2016

Aug. 13, 2015, 1:01 a.m.

Much has changed since our spring Sen­ate power rank­ings. Some pre­vi­ously un­ex­pec­ted can­did­ates like Alan Grayson and Joe Heck have jumped in, while some an­ti­cip­ated ones like Kay Hagan have passed on the 2016 elec­tions. One thing we do know, though, is that the race for con­trol of the Sen­ate re­mains pre­cari­ously bal­anced between the two parties.

Three clear tiers of Sen­ate races have emerged 15 months away from the next elec­tion, when Demo­crats would need to win four seats (five if they lose the White House) to re­cap­ture con­trol of the cham­ber.

Re­pub­lic­ans look more likely than not right now to lose two blue-state seats. But after that, it’s far too early to say wheth­er one party or the oth­er holds a defin­it­ive ad­vant­age in five toss-up seats—four held by Re­pub­lic­ans and one by re­tir­ing Sen­ate Demo­crat­ic lead­er Harry Re­id.

After that, an­oth­er hand­ful of five swing states could po­ten­tially come in­to play later—but only if something dra­mat­ic hap­pens. Ul­ti­mately, many if not all of these races are go­ing to track closely with the pres­id­en­tial cam­paign, but each party is still man­euv­er­ing and pre­par­ing to raise and spend mil­lions of dol­lars in the hope that a per­cent­age-point swing here or there could end up swinging the Sen­ate.

Without fur­ther ado, here’s our look at the 2016 Sen­ate land­scape, ranked in terms of which seats look most likely to change hands next year:


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