Elections to the US Senate will be held November 3, 2020, with 33 of the 100 seats in the Senate being contested in regular elections and two seats being contested in special elections. The winners will serve six-year terms from January 3, 2021, to January 3, 2027. Counting the special elections, Republicans have 21 seats up for re-election, whereas Democrats have 12 seats up for re-election. There are also two spatial elections: Republicans can afford to have a net loss of three or four seats to still remain in the majority, whereas the Democrats need to have a net gain of 4-5 seats to gain a majority in the Senate depending on which party wins the Presidency. Three of the Republican seats are open as a result of retirements in Wyoming, Tennessee, and Kansas, whereas one Democratic seat is open due to the retirement of Democratic Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico. The current polling shows many competitive races that can go either way. As such, current control of the Senate remains a tossup, with a slight edge to the Republicans.
Here is a complete list of the Senate seats up in 2020 and an analysis of the likely results of each race:
Incumbent Democrat Doug Jones was elected in a special election in 2017, narrowly defeating Republican nominee Roy Moore, who was weakened due to allegations of sexual misconduct against minors as well as numerous controversial statements on policy issues. Jones is running for his first full term as a Senator. Former Auburn University football head coach Tommy Tuberville defeated former senator and attorney general Jeff Sessions in a July 14 runoff to secure the Republican nomination. Sessions occupied the seat until early 2017 when he resigned to become attorney general in the Trump administration.
Despite the fact that Doug Jones is the first Alabama Democrat elected to a statewide office since 2006, most polling tends to paint a dim picture of his re-election bid. Alabama is one of the most conservative states in the entire country and Jones’s 2017 win was mostly attributed to the fact that Roy Moore was a weak candidate. As such, it has been long expected that the seat will flip back to the Republicans as Jones faces much stronger opposition from Tommy Tuberville. Despite some competitive polling, Tuberville has led Jones by an average of 12% in nearly all polls. As such, Alabama is a likely pickup for the Republicans.
Republican Dan Sullivan was elected in 2014, defeating incumbent Democrat Mark Begich. He is running for a second term. Potential Democratic candidates included Begich, who was the Democratic nominee for governor of Alaska in 2018, and Anchorage mayor Ethan Berkowitz, who was the Democratic nominee for governor of Alaska in 2010. One Democrat, Edgar Blatchford, filed to run by the June 1 filing deadline. On July 2, 2019, Al Gross an orthopedic surgeon and fisherman, declared his candidacy as an Independent. In a joint primary for the Alaska Democratic Party, Alaska Libertarian Party and Alaskan Independence Party, he won the nomination as an independent supported by the Democratic Party.
Overall, the Alaska Senate race is considered one of the more competitive Senate races this election cycle. Dan Sullivan thus far has only led by about 3-5% against Al Gross, though there still remains a high number of undecided votes. The election was impacted by the revelation of recordings related to the controversial Pebble Mine project, which could adversely impact the ecosystem of Bristol Bay. Though Dan Sullivan has publicly opposed the mining project, corporate executives of the Pebble Limited Partnership indicated that he would quietly support the project after the election, if he is re-elected, in secret recordings that were made public. Moreover, Al Gross’ status as a doctor may resonate with Alaskans who are impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic. As such, the Alaska Senate race is considered a lean Republican race, with the potential for Al Gross to win in an upset.
Republican senator John McCain (who is largely considered one of the greatest Senators in US history) was elected to a sixth term in 2016 but died in office in August 2018 from a brain tumor. Republican governor Doug Ducey appointed former senator Jon Kyl to fill the seat temporarily. After Kyl stepped down at the end of the year, Ducey appointed outgoing Congresswoman Martha McSally to replace him. McSally is running in the 2020 special election to fill the remaining two years of the term. Retired astronaut Mark Kelly won the Democratic nomination.
Once a solidly Republican state from the early 1950s until the 2000s, Arizona has trended heavily towards the Democrats in recent years. Incumbent Republican Martha McSally was appointed to the late John McCain’s seat two months after losing the 2018 Arizona U.S. Senate election to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema. Her Democratic opponent, astronaut Mark Kelly (who is married to former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords), has raised significantly more money and generally leads her by 5-15 points in the polling. McSally is also suffering from low approval ratings due to her strong allegiance to Trump, who is unpopular in Arizona despite winning the state by 3.5% in 2016. A s such, the Arizona Senate race is expected to be won by Mark Kelly by ~5%.
Neo-conservative-aligned Republican Tom Cotton was first elected in 2014 after serving two years in the House of Representatives, defeating incumbent Democratic senator Mark Pryor by a 17% margin. Cotton is seeking a second term. Joshua Mahony, a nonprofit executive and 2018 Democratic nominee for Congress in Arkansas’s 3rd congressional district, filed to run for the Democratic nomination, but dropped out just after the filing deadline. No other Democrats filed within the filing deadline. Progressive activist Dan Whitfield ran as an independent but suspended his campaign on October 1, 2020, after failing to qualify for the ballot. Christian missionary Ricky Dale Harrington Jr. is running as the Libertarian nominee and is thus Tom Cotton’s only opponent due to the lack of any other major candidates in the race.
Overall, the Arkansas Senate race is generally viewed as safe for Tom Cotton, who is likely to win by anywhere by a 11-55% margin. A stronger Democratic candidate such as former Arkansas governor Mike Beebe or former congressman Mike Ross might have made this race competitive, though Arkansas has trended heavily Republican over the past 10 years due to the Democratic party’s leftward drift on social issues, as well as the increasingly populist message of the Republican party. What is interesting about this election is that despite being the Libertarian candidate, Harrington will likely win the few remaining Democratic counties in Arkansas, which will make for an interesting election results map.
Republican Cory Gardner was elected in 2014 after serving four years in the House of Representatives, narrowly defeating one-term Democrat Mark Udall. Gardner is seeking a second term.
Former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper is the Democratic nominee and generally leads Gardner by 10-20 points in the polls, with many pundits already considering him a favorite to win. Gardner is Colorado’s only Republican statewide officeholder, and the once competitive state has trended increasingly Democratic since Gardner’s narrow win in 2014. Gardner also has low approval ratings due to his strong allegiance to President Donald Trump, who lost Colorado in 2016 to Hillary Clinton by 4.9%. Hickenlooper has raised significantly more money than Gardner, as well. As such, the Colorado Senate election is widely considered to be a comfortable pick up for the Democratic party.
Democrat Chris Coons was reelected in 2014; he first took office after winning a 2010 special election, which occurred after longtime Senator Joe Biden resigned to become Vice President. He faced a primary challenge from technology executive Jessica Scarane. Conservative activist and QAnon supporter Lauren Witzke is the Republican nominee, having defeated attorney Jim DeMartino in the Republican Senate primary on September 15, 2020. Witzke’s campaign has mostly focused on her support for labor unions and opposition to gun control.
Overall, the Delaware Senate race is considered to be a safe hold for the Democratic party. No Republican has won a statewide office in Delaware since 2008, and the state is largely considered to be safe for the Democratic party in terms of the Presidential race due to the presence of native son Joe Biden as the Democratic nominee. As such, Chris Coons is expected to win re-election with at least 35% of the vote.
Georgia (Regular Election)
Republican David Perdue was elected in 2014. He is seeking a second term. Former Columbus mayor Teresa Tomlinson and 2018 lieutenant governor nominee Sarah Riggs Amico lost the Democratic nomination to former congressional candidate Jon Ossoff, a documentary film producer and investigative journalist. (Other potential Democratic candidates who did not run included former state senator Jason Carter and state representative Scott Holcomb) Ossoff will face Perdue in November.
Overall, the Georgia Regular Election is largely considered to be one of the more competitive Senate elections and a potential pick up opportunity for the Democratic party. Georgia is largely considered a pivotal swing state (that Joe Biden has a decent chance in carrying) and Jon Ossoff has thus far run a positive, issue-oriented campaign. The trends in favor of the Democratic party, couple with Ossoff’s strong campaign, have resulted in David Perdue losing by an average of 3% in recent polling, thus pointing to a victory by Ossoff. Assuming that neither candidate reaches 50%, Georgia law requires a run-off election. The Georgia run-off elections generally favor the Republican party (as was evident in 2008 and 2014), so if the election goes to a run-off, then Perdue is likely to be favored
Georgia (Special Election):
Three-term Senator Johnny Isakson announced that he would resign from the Senate at the end of 2019, citing health concerns. A “jungle primary” will be held November 3, 2020; a candidate earning a majority of votes cast will win, but if no candidate wins a majority, a runoff election between the top two finishers will be held January 5, 2021. The winner of the special election will serve until the expiration of Isakson’s term on January 3, 2023. Georgia governor Brian Kemp appointed Republican Kelly Loeffler to replace Isakson until an election could be held; Loeffler took office on January 6, 2020, and will compete in the November 2020 election. Other Republicans running for the seat include Wayne Johnson, former chief operating officer of the Office of Federal Student Aid, and four-term Congressman (and staunch Trump ally) Doug Collins
Unlike the regular election, the special election is being conducted as a jungle primary: all candidates are listed on the same ballot regardless of party affiliation, and if no candidate gets more than 50% of the vote, the top two will advance to a runoff on January 5, 2021. Doug Collins remains close to Kelly Loeffler in the polls due to allegations of insider trading against Loeffler. Democrats running for the seat include Raphael Warnock, Matt Lieberman, Ed Tarver, and Richard Dien Winfield. Prominent national Democrats and the Democratic National Senatorial Committee have endorsed Warnock.
Much like Jon Ossoff, Raphael Warnock has run a very strong campaign and has opened up a substantial polling lead over both Kelly Loeffler and Doug Collins. Despite his polling lead, Warnock has not yet hit the 50% mark required to avoid a run-off election. As such, while Warnock is likely to lead in the initial election, the Georgia Special election is likely to be headed to a run-off, in which either Kelly Loeffler or Doug Collins would be slightly favored to narrowly win.
Two-term Republican Jim Risch was easily reelected in 2014. On August 13, 2019, he announced that he would seek a third term. Former gubernatorial nominee and former Coeur d’Alene Tribal Councilwoman Paulette Jordan won the Democratic nomination in a primary against retired policeman Jim Vandermaas.
Overall, Idaho is a safe hold for the Republican party. Idaho is one of the most Republican states in the entire country and no Democrat has been in office as a Senator from Idaho since Frank Church (one of the greatest Senators in modern history) lost re-election in 1980. Additionally, Jim Risch is a relatively non-controversial incumbant, with his only notable positions being his strong support for Saudi Arabia and Israel. As such, Risch will likely win re-election by a least a 25% margin.
Republican Joni Ernst was elected in 2014 after serving four years in the Iowa Senate. She is seeking a second term. Theresa Greenfield won the Democratic nomination, defeating former vice-admiral Michael T. Franken, attorney Kimberly Graham, and businessman Eddie Mauro in the primary.
Joni Ernst’s popularity has dropped in the polls, allegedly due to support for President Donald Trump’s trade tariffs that have impacted Iowa farmers. But Democrats have had a hard time winning statewide in Iowa in recent years, narrowly losing the governor’s election in 2018. Trump won the state by 9 points in 2016 after Barack Obama carried it in both 2008 and 2012. Democrats do hold three of Iowa’s four congressional seats, picking up two of them in 2018. Ernst and Greenfield, a first-time candidate, are polling neck-and-neck in the general election, but Greenfield lacks name recognition, despite raising more money than Ernst. As such, Joni Ernst is likely to narrowly win re-election, although an upset victory by Theresa Greenfield is possible
Four-term Republican Pat Roberts is retiring and will not run for reelection. Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, state Turnpike Authority chairman (and former Kansas City Chief defensive end) Dave Lindstrom, Congressman Roger Marshall, plumber/businessman Bob Hamilton, Kansas Board of Education member Steve Roberts, state senate president Susan Wagle, and Republican socialist Brian Matlock all announced their candidacies. Wagle later withdrew. Congressman Marshall won the primary election on August 4, having defeated Kobach by a 14% margin.
Among Democrats, former Republican turned Democratic state senator Barbara Bollier ran and faced Robert Tillman, nominee for Kansas’s 4th congressional district in 2012 and candidate in 2016 and 2017. Former US attorney Barry Grissom, mayor of Manhattan Usha Reddi, and former congresswoman Nancy Boyda announced runs but withdrew before the primary. Former governor Kathleen Sebelius declined to run.
While there has been some favorable polling in her favor, Barbara Bollier remains the slight underdog in the Kansas Senate election. Additionally, Roger Marshall has run a relatively strong campaign and has attempted to frame himself as a more moderate Republican. As such, Marshall will likely win the Kansas Senate race by 3-5%, though an upset by Barbara Bollier remains possible
Incumbent Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, who has been Senate Majority Leader since 2015 and senator from Kentucky since 1984, is running for reelection to a seventh term. He faces the Democratic nominee, US Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath, and Libertarian Brad Barron.
Overall, Mitch McConnell is heavily favored to win re-election by perhaps his largest margin of victory of his Senate career. Amy McGrath has thus far run a very weak Senate campaign that has pulled resources away from other more competitive Senate races. Additionally, Donald Trump’s strong popularity in Kentucky is expected to help Mitch McConnell immensely in his re-election bid. As such, the Kentucky Senate election represents a lost opportunity for the Democratic party. Assuming that a stronger candidate such as former Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, former Kentucky House of Representatives minority leader Rocky Adkins, or Kentucky House of Representatives member Charles Booker received the Senate nomination, this seat would have been a potential pick-up opportunity for the Democrats.
Republican Bill Cassidy was elected in 2014 after serving six years in the United States House of Representatives, defeating three-term Democrat Mary Landrieu. He is running for reelection. Multiple Democratic candidates are running, but the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has endorsed Shreveport mayor Adrian Perkins. Similarly to the Georgia Special election, a Louisiana primary (a form of jungle primary) will be held November 3; if no candidate wins a majority of the vote in the primary, a runoff election will be held.
Thus far, Bill Cassidy seems to be heavily favored to win re-election. Over the past 10 years, Louisiana has trended heavily towards the Republican party and is expected to be won by Donald Trump by ~25%. These factors tend to point to a strong victory by Bill Cassidy in the run-off election.
Four-term Republican Susan Collins was reelected by a wide margin in 2014. She is seeking a fifth term in office Democrats running included state House speaker Sara Gideon, attorney Bre Kidman, and activist and 2018 gubernatorial candidate Betsy Sweet. Gideon won the nomination.
Susan Collins is a formidable incumbent who defeated her last serious challenger, in the democratic wave year of 2008, by a resounding 20 point margin. However, Collins has taken some tough votes recently, and there is some indication that things are genuinely competitive this time. However, Collins is an entrenched incumbent and should be able to win, albeit by a very narrow margin.
Democrat Ed Markey was reelected in 2014, after first winning a 2013 special election to replace longtime incumbent John Kerry, who resigned to become Secretary of State. He is running for a second term. Joe Kennedy III, four-term Congressman for Massachusetts’s Fourth District and grandson of former senator and US attorney general Robert Kennedy, unsuccessfully challenged Markey for the Democratic nomination. Noted conspiracy theorist Shiva Ayyadurai, an independent candidate for Senate in 2018, unsuccessfully ran against attorney Kevin O’Connor for the Republican nomination. On August 24, 2020, perennial candidate Vermin Supreme launched a write-in campaign for the Libertarian nomination but received too few votes to qualify for the general election ballot.
Ed Markey is expected to win re-election by a landslide margin this year. Since the late 1920s, Massachusetts has been a heavily Democratic state and has not elected a Republican to a full Senate term since Edward Brooke in 1972. Additionally, Massachusetts is expected to be one of Joe Biden’s best states in the Presidential election. As such, Ed Markey is heavily favored to win a second full Senate term without too much difficulty.
Democrat Gary Peters was elected in 2014 after serving six years in the House of Representatives. He is seeking a second term. 2018 Senate nominee John James won the Republican nomination. He faced token opposition for the Republican nomination from perennial candidate Bob Carr.
Overall, Michigan represents a pick-up opportunity for the Republican party. Despite his strong support for Donald Trump, John James has run a very strong campaign and has promoted a positive, inclusive message. In contrast, Gary Peters has thus far run a lackluster campaign and is expected to run significantly behind Joe Biden. As such, John James is likely to narrowly win the Michigan Senate election.
Incumbent Democrat Tina Smith was appointed to the Senate to replace Al Franken in 2018 after serving as lieutenant governor and won a special election later in 2018 to serve the remainder of Franken’s term. On August 11, she won the Democratic nomination to serve a full term. Former Congressman Jason Lewis is the Republican nominee, having defeated minor candidates Cynthia Gail, John Berman, Bob Carney, and James Reibestein in the primary election.
Overall, the Minnesota Senate election can be described as a race leaning towards the Democrats. While Jason Lewis polled somewhat strongly early on in the race, Tina smith has narrowed the gap and is leading as of right now by a 7-13% margin. As such, the Minnesota Senate race is expected to remain in Democratic hands, although an upset by Jason Lewis cannot be entirely ruled out.
After seven-term Republican senator Thad Cochran resigned in April 2018, Republican Governor Phil Bryant appointed state agriculture commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith to succeed him until a special election could be held later in the year. Hyde-Smith won the November 2018 special election to fill the remainder of Cochran’s term, which ends in January 2021. Hyde-Smith is running for a full term. She was unopposed in the Republican primary. Former Clinton Agriculture Secretary and 2018 Senate candidate Mike Espy won the Democratic primary with 93.1% of the vote. Libertarian candidate Jimmy Edwards also made the general election ballot.
Despite her strong support for Donald Trump and white supremacist views, Cindy Hyde-Smith is expected to easily win re-election. Mississippi has been a solidly Republican state since the 1980s and has not elected a Democrat to any Senate seat since 1982. While Mike Espy is expected to do better than previous Democratic Senate nominees in Mississippi, Donald Trump’s coattails are expected to enable Cindy Hyde-Smith to win re-election by a 15-20% margin.
Republican Steve Daines was elected in 2014 after serving two years in the House of Representatives He is seeking a second term. Daines was opposed (prior to his nomination) in the Republican primary by hardware store manager Daniel Larson and former Democratic speaker of the Montana House of Representatives John Driscoll, who changed parties in 2020. Incumbent governor Steve Bullock won the Democratic nomination, defeating nuclear engineer and Navy veteran John Mues. Libertarian and Green party candidates were set to appear on the general election ballot, but the Libertarians refused to nominate a replacement after their nominee withdrew and the Greens’ nominee was disqualified.
Once seen as likely to remain in Republican hands, Daines’s seat is now competitive due to Bullock’s last-minute entry. Daines leads Bullock by single digits in the most recent polling, while Bullock raised more money than Daines. But Montana is expected to be safely Republican in the presidential election, meaning that Bullock is relying on Montana’s history of ticket-splitting, as he did in 2016 when he was re-elected to a second gubernatorial term by 4 points despite Trump winning the state by 20 points. Montana also reelected Jon Tester, a Democrat, to the Senate in 2018, by 4 points. As such, the Montana Senate race is largely viewed as a toss-up race with a slight edge to Steve Bullock.
Anti-Trump Republican Ben Sasse was elected to the Senate in 2014 after serving as the president of Midland University. He is seeking a second term. Sasse defeated businessman and former Lancaster County Republican Party chair Matt Innis in the Republican primary with 75.2% of the vote. Businessman and 2018 Senate candidate Chris Janicek won the Democratic primary with 30.7% of the vote, defeating six other candidates. Libertarian candidate Gene Siadek will also appear on the general election ballot.
After the primary election, the Nebraska Democratic party withdrew its support from Janicek when allegations that he sexually harassed a campaign staffer emerged. Janicek refused to leave the race despite the state party endorsing his former primary opponent, which led former Democratic Congressman Brad Ashford to announce a write-in campaign on August 23, 2020. After Janicek vowed to remain in the race anyway, Ashford then withdrew on August 27, citing a lack of the time and resources necessary to run a Senate campaign. The state Democratic Party subsequently threw its support behind long-time Nebraska activist Preston Love, Jr., who declared a write-in candidacy for the seat. Due to his relatively moderate positions, as well as the poor candidate quality of Chris Janicek, Ben Ssse is expected to easily win re-election by at least a 30% margin.
Two-term Democrat Jeanne Shaheen was narrowly reelected in 2014. She is seeking a third term. Former brigadier general Donald C. Bolduc, perennial candidate Andy Martin, and attorney Corky Messner ran for the Republican nomination. Messner won the nomination on September 8. Libertarian Justin O’Donnell will appear on the general election ballot.
While New Hampshire is a toss-up state in the Presidential election and has a reputation as one of the more conservative states in New England, Jeanne Shaheen is heavily favored against Corky Messner. The main reason why Shaheen is heavily favored is due to the weak campaign Messner has thus far run. Assuming that a stronger Republican candidate such as New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, New Hampshire State Representative Al Baldasaro, former Senator Kelly Ayotte, or former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown (who now resides in New Hampshire) opted to run, this Senate race would have been far more competitive. Based on these factors, Jeanne Shaheen is expected to win re-election by at least a 25% margin.
Democrat Cory Booker was reelected in 2014; he first took office by winning a 2013 special election after serving as Newark Mayor since 2006. Booker sought the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2020 and polled strongly at first. Although the state allows him to simultaneously run for both president and the Senate, Booker suspended his presidential campaign on January 13, 2020, and confirmed his intention to seek a second Senate term Republican candidates included engineer Hirsh Singh, 2018 Independent Senate candidate Tricia Flanagan, 2018 independent Senate candidate Natalie Lynn Rivera, and Eugene Anagnos. The party ultimately nominated pharmacist, Georgetown University law professor, and attorney Rik Mehta. Green Party candidate Madelyn Hoffman and two independent candidates will also appear on the general election ballot.
Overall, Cory Booker is heavily favored to win re-election. While New Jersey experienced close Senate races in 1988, 1994, 2000, 2006, and 2018, no Republican has served as a Senator from the state since appointed Senator Nicholas Brady left office in December of 1982. Additionally, Rik Mehta has thus far run a lackluster campaign. Assuming that the New Jersey Republican party instead nominated 2018 Senate candidate Bob Hugin, state assembly member Jack Ciattarelli, Congressman Chris Smith, or state senator Thomas Kean Jr., this race would have been slightly more competitive. Based on these factors, Cory Booker is expected to cruise to re-election
Two-term Democrat Tom Udall is the only incumbent Democratic Senator retiring in 2020. Congressman Ben Ray Luján was unopposed for the Democratic nomination. Among Republicans, former Interior Department official Gavin Clarkson and executive director for the New Mexico Alliance for Life Elisa Martinez ran. They lost in the primary to former KRQE chief meteorologist Mark Ronchetti. Libertarian Bob Walsh will appear on the general election ballot.
As of right now, Ben Ray Luján is heavily favored in the Senate election. New Mexico is a heavily Democratic state, having last voting in a Republican Senator in 2002. Additionally, New Mexico is expected to go to Joe Biden by at least 15% These factors, combined with Mark Ronchetti’s poor quality campaign, will result in Ben Ray Luján winning the election by at least 10%.
Republican Thom Tillis was elected in 2014 after serving eight years in the North Carolina House of Representatives, narrowly defeating one-term Democrat Kay Hagan. He faced a primary challenge from three different candidates. State senator Erica D. Smith, Mecklenburg County Commissioner Trevor Fuller, and former state senator Cal Cunningham ran for the Democratic nomination. On March 3, 2020, Tillis and Cunningham won their parties’ primaries. The Libertarian Party and the Constitution Party have candidates on the general election ballot.
Thom Tillis has grown unpopular among both centrist and conservative Republicans due to his inconsistent support of Trump. He also suffers from low name recognition, and North Carolina is trending towards the Democratic party. The Tillis campaign experienced a slight resurgence in early October, when several sexual misconduct allegations were levied against Cal Cunningham. Despite these allegations, the Cunningham campaign actually gained a few percentage points in the polls. As such Thom Tillis is not currently favored to win re-election and is expected to underperform Donald Trump in North Carolina by 1%.
Four-term Republican Jim Inhofe was easily reelected in 2014. He is seeking a fifth term. J.J. Stitt, a farmer and gun shop owner, Neil Mavis, a former Libertarian Party candidate, and John Tompkins unsuccessfully challenged Inhofe for the Republican nomination. Democrats in the race included attorney Abby Broyles, perennial candidate Sheila Bilyeu, 2018 5th congressional district candidate Elysabeth Britt, and R.O. Joe Cassity Jr. Broyles won the nomination. Libertarian candidate Robert Murphy and two Independents will also appear on the general election ballot.
Oklahoma is one of the most solidly Republican states and is expected to give Donald Trump over 70% of the vote in favor of his re-election. Additionally, no Democrat has won a Senate race there since David Boren’s landslide re-election in 1990. Based on these factors, James Inhofe is expected to win re-election easily, perhaps by a 30% margin.
Two-term Democrat Jeff Merkley was reelected by a comfortable margin in 2014. Merkley, who was considered a possible 2020 presidential candidate, is instead seeking a third Senate term and was unopposed in the Democratic primary. 2014 US Senate and 2018 US House candidate Jo Rae Perkins is the Republican nominee, defeating three other candidates with 49.29% of the vote. She is a supporter of QAnon. Ibrahim Taher will also be on the general election ballot, representing the Pacific Green Party and the Oregon Progressive Party. Gary Dye will represent the Libertarian Party.
Overall Jeff Merkely is expected to easily win re-election. Oregon is a heavily Democrattic state and has not elected a Republican to the Senate since 2002. Additionally, Jo Rae Perkin’s strong support for QAnon is expected to be a major campaign issue. As such, Jeff Merkely is expected to win re-election by at least a 20% margin.
Four-term Democrat Jack Reed was easily reelected in 2014. He is seeking a fifth term and was unopposed in the Democratic primary. Investment consultant Allen Waters was unopposed for the Republican nomination. One independent candidate filed for the election.
While Rhode Island has trended Republican to a point in recent years due to increased Republican support by Irish American Catholics and Italian American Catholics (two ethnoreligious groups that trended heavily Republican due to the Democratic parties’ leftward drift on social issues), Jack Reed is expected to easily win re-election with at least 25% of the vote or more.
Three-term Republican Lindsey Graham was reelected in 2014 and is seeking a fourth term. He defeated three opponents in the June 9 Republican primary. After his primary opponents dropped out, former South Carolina Democratic Party chairman Jaime Harrison was unopposed for the Democratic nomination. Bill Bledsoe won the Constitution Party nomination. On October 1, 2020, Bledsoe dropped out of the race and endorsed Graham, but he will remain on the ballot as required by state law.
Despite the significant Republican lean of the state as a whole, polls indicate that the Senate election is competitive, with summer polling ranging from a tie to a modest advantage for Graham. Graham’s popularity has declined as a result of his close embrace of Trump, reversing his outspoken criticism of Trump in the 2016 campaign. As such, the South Carolina Senate race is one of the more competitive races this cycle and will likely be won by Graham by a margin of less than 5%.
Republican Mike Rounds was elected in 2014 after serving two terms as governor of South Dakota. He faced a primary challenge from state representative Scyller Borglum. Former South Dakota state representative Dan Ahlers was unopposed in the Democratic primary.
Mike Rounds is expected to win an easy re-election. South Dakota is a heavily Republican state, with the last Democratic Senate victory occurring in 2008. Additionally, Donald Trump handily won South Dakota in 2016 and is expected to win the state by a 20% margin this year. As such, Mike Rounds will win a strong re-election victory against Dan Ahlers.
Three-term Republican Lamar Alexander was reelected in 2014. He announced in December 2018 that he would not seek a fourth term. Assisted by an endorsement from Trump, former ambassador to Japan Bill Hagerty won the Republican nomination. Orthopedic surgeon Manny Sethi also ran for the nomination, as did 13 other Republicans. James Mackler, an Iraq War veteran, and Nashville attorney, ran for the Democratic nomination with support from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee but was upset in the primary by environmental activist Marquita Bradshaw of Memphis.
Overall, the Tennessee Senate election is expected to be an easy victory for Bill Haggerty. Tennessee as a whole has trended heavily Republican over the past 10 years and is expected to give Donald Trump one of his largest victories out of any state. Additionally, Republican dominance at all levels of government in the state has decimated the Democratic bench. As such, Bill Haggerty is expected to win with at least 30% of the vote.
Three-term Republican John Cornyn was reelected in 2014 by a wide margin and is seeking a fourth term. He defeated four other candidates in the Republican primary with 76.04% of the vote. Democrats MJ Hegar, an Air Force combat veteran who was the 2018 Democratic nominee for Texas’s 31st congressional district, and state senator Royce West were the top two vote-getters in a field of 13 candidates in the Democratic primary and advanced to a primary runoff election on July 14 to decide the nomination. Hegar prevailed.
While Joe Biden has a strong chance to become the first Democrat since Jimmy Carter in 1976 to win Texas at the Presidential level, John Cornyn is heavily favored to win re-election. MJ Hegar has been heavily outspent and only started to outraise John Cornyn in recent weeks. Additionally, there is reported to be a good deal of ticket-splitting in the Dallas, Houston, and Fort Worth suburbs that should help John Cornyn. Based on these factors, John Cornyn is likely to win re-election with at least 5% even if Joe Biden carries Texas at the Presidential level.
Two-term Democrat Mark Warner was reelected by a very narrow margin in 2014 after winning easily in 2008. He is seeking a third term and was unopposed in the Democratic primary. Republicans nominated professor and Army veteran Daniel Gade. The primary also included teacher Alissa Baldwin and Army veteran and intelligence officer Thomas Speciale.
The Virginia Senate race is expected to be easily won by Mark Warner. While Daniel Gade has run a relatively decent campaign, Virginia has trended heavily towards the Democratic party since 2006. Additionally, Donald Trump is deeply unpopular in the state and is expected to lose by at least 10%. As such, Mark Warner is expected to win re-election, though Daniel Gade may overperform Donald Trump slightly.
Republican Shelley Moore Capito was easily elected after serving 14 years in the House of Representatives. She was unsuccessfully challenged in the Republican primary by farmer Larry Butcher and Allen Whitt, president of the West Virginia Family Policy Council. Environmental activist Paula Jean Swearengin, a candidate for US Senate in 2018, won the Democratic primary, beating former mayor of South Charleston Richie Robb and former state senator Richard Ojeda, a nominee for the House of Representatives in West Virginia’s 3rd congressional district in and briefly a 2020 presidential candidate. Libertarian candidate David Moran will also appear on the general election ballot.
Overall, the West Virginia Senate race is expected to be a safe hold for Shelly Moore Capito. West Virginia is arguably one of the most Republican states in the entire country and voted for Donald Trump by a 42% margin in 2016. Additionally, the Democratic party has a weak bench at best in the state. Due to these factors, Shelly Moore Capito should expect an easy re-election.
Four-term Republican Mike Enzi was reelected in 2014, and announced in May 2019 that he will retire. Announced Republican candidates included former Congresswoman and eventual nominee Cynthia Lummis and eight others. Merav Ben-David, the Chair of the Department of Zoology and Physiology at the University of Wyoming went on to defeat community activist Yana Ludwig, think-tank executive Nathan Wendt, community activist James DeBrine and perennial candidates Rex Wilde and Kenneth R. Casner for the Democratic nomination.
Overall, the Wyoming Senate race is expected to be a safe victory for Cynthia Lummis. Like West Virginia, Wyoming voted for Donald Trump by over 40% in 2016 and no Democrat was elected in a Senate race in Wyoming since Gale McGee in 1970. As such, Wyoming is widely expected to be a safe Republican hold.