- All eyes are on the 2018 midterms, as Democrats hope to translate growing anti-Republican sentiment into an electoral comeback.
- While pollsters are predicting a Democratic wave in 2018, it may not be enough to overcome GOP majorities in both chambers of Congress.
2018 is looking to be an exciting year in national politics, with Democrats aiming to sweep back into local, state, and national offices, while Republicans hope to hold on to their majorities in the House and Senate.
Political strategists say that if Democrat Doug Jones can beat Republican Roy Moore in Alabama’s special election in December, Democrats have a path to win the three seats they need to flip the Senate in 2018.
But Republicans are vying to flip 10 Democratic seats in states that President Donald Trump won last November in places like Missouri, Indiana, and West Virginia.
In the House, Republicans in blue states, including Virginia, California, and New York, are looking particularly vulnerable. Pollsters are predicting a Democratic wave, but they say it may not be enough to flip the House, where partisan gerrymandering heavily favors the GOP.
Here are six Senate and six House races to watch:
Missouri Senate race
Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat, is widely viewed as the most vulnerable senator up for reelection in 2018.
Missouri has grown increasingly conservative in recent years, was swept by Trump last November by nearly 20 points, and McCaskill, a moderate, is facing a formidable Republican opponent in Attorney General Josh Hawley, who’s backed by both the establishment and the Trump wing of the Republican Party.
Arizona Senate race
Following Republican Sen. Jeff Flake’s dramatic announcement that he won’t seek reelection in 2018, Democratic Rep. Kyrsten’s Sinema’s odds of flipping the long-red Arizona seat are looking better than ever.
A two-term incumbent with a moderate voting record and a compelling life story, Sinema will face the winner of what will likely be a competitive Republican primary between far-right former state senator Kelli Ward and, likely, Rep. Martha McSally, the GOP establishment favorite.
Nevada Senate race
Nevada Sen. Dean Heller is widely viewed as the most vulnerable GOP incumbent up for reelection in 2018 — and the only Republican on the ballot in a state that Hillary Clinton carried in last fall’s general election.
He’ll be challenged in the primary by Danny Tarkanian, an independently wealthy businessman backed by Trump’s camp who is polling well among primary voters, more than half of whom say they’ll vote for someone besides Heller.