As many have speculated, next year’s election could be a replay of the 2014 battle for Senate control with the tables turned on the Republican Party and a downhill road to victory for Democrats.
Fully 24 Senate Republicans will be defending their seats, compared to a paltry 10 incumbent Democrats. Democrats need only to pick-up a net five seats to flip control back to their side of the chamber.
Marco Rubio and Rand Paul’s decisions to run for president have made the task for their party more difficult. The GOP will now have to defend their seats which would otherwise have been safe wins.
What’s worse for Republicans, eight of the ten most competitive seats are currently held by Republicans, The Hill reports.
In addition, Sen. Dan Coate’s retirement puts his Indiana seat in play in a not-so-friendly state for Republicans. Similarly, Ron Johnson faces a tough battle in a potential rematch against former Senator Russ Feingold in Wisconsin, which leans heavily Democrat in presidential years.
Other difficult battles loom for the GOP in Illinois, Ohio, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina, all of which voted for Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election and lean in favor of Hillary.