Which Senate Seats Will Switch to Democratic In 2016?

I'm trying to figure out how many Senate seats, and which ones, will switch from Republican to Democratic in November 2016.

At present, 54 Senator caucus with the Republicans, and 46 caucus with the Democrats (two of those are Independant).

We should be shooting for a good majority of 61, just to be safe. That means fifteen Republicans have to go, to result in a 39 to 61 mix. To get a simple majority, only five Republicans have to be replaced, to produce a 49 to 51 mix. So, we should be working for replacing fifteen but hoping to replace at least five.

A perusal of The Internet provides a list of Republicans and open seats that seem to have a chance of a Democratic takeover. (Importantly and worth noting, not many Democrats are at risk, but Michael Bennet of Colorado may be. Also worth noting is that Harry Reid's seat in Nevada seems more likely to go GOP, according to some sources).

Here's the list:

Arizona: John McCain. Challenged by Ann Kirkpatrick
Arkansas: John Boozman. Challenged by Conner Eldridge
California: Open Seat. Kamala Harris
Florida: Open Seat. Alan Grayson
Illinois: Mark Kirk. Challenged by Tammy Duckworth
Iowa: Charles Grassley. Challenged by Patty Judge
Kentucky: Rand Paul. Challenged by Adam Edleen
Maryland: Open seat? Donna Edwards
Missouri: Roy Blunt. Challenged by Jaoon Kander
Nevada: Open Seat. Catherine Cortez Masto
New Hampshire: Kelly Ayotte. Challenged by Maggie Hassan
North Carolina: Richard Burr. Challenged by Deborah Ross
Ohio: Rob Portman. Challenged by Ted Strickland
Pennsylvania: Patrick Toomey. No challenger yet
Wisconsin: Ron Johnson. Challenged by Russ Feingold

So, what's missing? What's wrong with this list? How would you rank it?

More like this

The election is going to be close. It is quite possible that the Republicans will take the Senate. There is no way the Democratic caucus will obtain a super majority. I am especially embarrassed by Wisconsin. Here are the details ... At present the US Senate has 59 members who are either…
At the moment, this is a nail biter. There is a theory that a strong showing by one party at the top of the ticket brings along those lower down. However, that theory does not apply this year for several reasons. I think it works better for Republicans than for Democrats, for many the top of the…
August 1 brought a thrilling result, the overthrow of the creationist majority on the Kansas Board of Education. Unfortunately, there remain two races where creationists won and where we need to take the seat in the general election. The picture above shows 4 of the 5 Democrats in the race. Two…
One of things I don't get is why so many Democrats are worried about the primary continuing to the Democratic convention. This is the best thing that could happen to the Democrats. First of all, don't underestimate how important it is to rank-and-file Democrats that they can actually cast a vote…

I congratulate you on paying attention to issues political that don't have to do with the presidency. Democrats can gain the presidency, it seems likely, but without a cooperative Senate and Congress the president will be essentially a lame duck on their first day. You can't write or change laws, not pass a budget, without congressional cooperation.

Over the last fifty years the GOP has worked hard to build their brand and get people into office. They did it at all levels. From local dog catcher on up.

One of their greatest successes has been packing the judiciary at all levels with conservatives.

The Democrats have focused far too much attention and resources on just the presidency. Power comes from teamwork.

Isn't Alan Grayson running in FL? He's super!

By Bruce Jensen (not verified) on 25 Mar 2016 #permalink

Perhaps you could figure out, and explain to the world, why the 113rd Congress had an approval rating of 6% to 9% but a re-relection rate of about 90%

By Desertphile (not verified) on 25 Mar 2016 #permalink

Bruce: Thanks, added.

Desertphile: Over the last few years, it has ranges from just over 30 to about 10%. That doesn't explain anything, though! I have no idea.

The MD, CA and NV open seats are not "seats that seem to have a chance of a Democratic takeover" ... they are already Dem seats.

By wehappyfew (not verified) on 25 Mar 2016 #permalink

You might want to look over the Senate battleground analysis on the BallotPedia site. It identifies only 5 Republican and 1 Democratic seat in the "battleground" category. Another 2 Republican and 1 Democratic seat are in competitive elections. The remaining 25 seats up for (re-)election are considered safe for one party or the other. So the realistic outside best case for the Democrats would be a 6-seat net gain.

By J. Chapman (not verified) on 25 Mar 2016 #permalink

I recommend taking the 30 year average of all the senate elections and use that to project the number of seats changing parties.

an approval rating of 6% to 9% but a re-relection rate of about 90%

Because of the "everyone else's rep in congress sucks but mine is fine" attitude.

Lisa Murkowski here. Her father appointed her when he became Governor in 2002. The Democrats saved her butt in 2010 when the AK Republican party thought it would be a good idea to hand the nomination to Joe Miller (up there with Cruz and Trump when it comes to crazy), and she won by a write in. This state is very odd. There is a core group of people who vote R every election against their own interests every single time (see the state's current fiscal mess), and then there are the ones who I call in the closet Democrats that are willing to vote for an Independent who supports Democrat policies. A perfect example of this is how the current Governor ran on a platform of Medicaid expansion and won (the only R crowd is still trying to drag it through court after losing multiple times while the state continues to hemorrhage money). Anyway, I think people are finally starting to regret the clown car they voted into Juneau and the lege knows it which is why we've seen some truly crazy pandering to the base ahead of November. That kind of sentiment I think will help Murkoski's challenger, you can read more about her here. http://www.adn.com/article/20160217/anchorage-attorney-margaret-stock-c…

By Chase Stoudt (not verified) on 25 Mar 2016 #permalink

Rand Paul is also being opposed by Lexington's 2 term (openly gay) mayor Jim Gray.

By Chris Heinz (not verified) on 28 Mar 2016 #permalink

Although I may be the dark horse in the race for the United States Senate in the Great State of Alaska, there are a great many people who want a change. I am running to increase awareness of global warming, to help the poor, and to end homelessness. If elected I will introduce legislation to raise the minimum wage nationally to $15 an hour, institute a 1% sales tax on the sale of stocks and bonds, replace Obama care with single payer Universal health care, a carbon tax, and outlaw the sale and manufacture of tailor made cigarettes......I have many other ideas and solutions, and will work to advance the cause of civil and human rights.
My name is Jed Whittaker

By Jed Whittaker (not verified) on 30 May 2016 #permalink