While the midterm elections will not occur until November 6, 2018, it is not too early to start speculating on what needs to happen for either party to remain in control. During the 2014 midterm elections over $3.67 billion was spent, and voters can expect even more to be spent between now and 2018. There will be some very powerful seats up for grabs during this election.
Who is up for reelection in 2018?
There are going to be a lot of open seats on both sides of the political divide in 2018. With republican control of the White House, Senate, and House of Representatives, it’s no secret the DNC is going to fight hard to retake at least one branch of congress. They suffered heavy losses during the Obama administration including over 1,000 local state house race turnovers since 2009.
The democrats have 23 senate seats up for reelection. Republicans only have 8 seats to defend. If republicans keep all 8 seats and flip a few of the democrat held seats, they could reach a filibuster-proof majority. The democrats are currently behind 24 seats in the house. There are 435 seats up for reelection in the House of Representatives and 33 seats in the Senate.
2018 Senate Reelection Map
Vulnerable House and Senate Seats in 2018 Midterm Elections
- Bill Nelson (D) Florida
- Joe Donnelly (D) Indiana
- Claire McCaskill (D) Missouri
- Joe Tester (D) Montana
- Dean Heller (R) Nevada
- Heidi Heitkamp (D) North Dakota
- Sherrod Brown (D) Ohio
- Joe Manchin (D) West Virginia
- Bob Casey Jr. (D) Pennsylvania
- Tammy Baldwin (D) Wisconsin
Democrat Senator Bill Nelson from Florida
The people of Florida have twice elected Senator Bill Nelson to represent them in Washington D.C. He was first elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 1972, and to the United States House of Representatives in 1978 before becoming a senator in 2000. This Democratic senator votes mostly along party lines. He was a very early Trump supporter a fact that voters may remember for good or bad come election day. In his previous campaign, his top supporter was law agency Morgan and Morgan who gave more than $150,000 of the $14,731,526 raised during the last campaign cycle.
Senator Marco Rubio won re-election in 2016 and if he continues to be successful, he may be able to throw his support of a republican challenger to Senator Nelson. Florida helped Trump win against Hillary Clinton and if Trump continues to fulfill his campaign promises, the Sunshine State may reward him with another republican senator in 2018.
There are several people who would are being discussed as possible nominees to run against Senator Nelson including:
- Governor Rick Scott
- The Former United States Representative David Jolly
- Congressman Ron DeSantis
- Millionaire Carlos Beruff
- Lieutenant Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera
Democrat Senator Joe Donnelly from Indiana
After a very bitter campaign, the people of Indiana voted for Senator Joe Donnelly to represent them as their congressman. He first ran for the United States House in 2004 where he was defeated by Chris Chocola before defeating him in 2006 in a very tightly contested race. He became a United States senator after defeating Richard Lugar in 2013. He has often broken with party lines being one of the most middle-of-the-road legislators in Washington D.C. In 2012, his top contributor was MacAndrews & Forbes, a conglomerate holding company owned by Ronald Perelman, who gave more than $59,400 of the $8,132,418 raised since 2011 for his campaign.
He currently has $1,307,524 cash in his campaign fund. Mark Hurt has announced his bid for this seat. Disability Rights Attorney Andrew Straw has already announced his bid in the newly formed Disability Party. Susan Brooks said on January 31, 2017, that she would not seek the position.
Other possible candidates include:
- United States Representative Marlin Stutzman
- United States Representative Luke Messer
- State Speaker of the House Brian Bosma
- Former Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard
Democrat Claire McCaskill from Missouri
In 2006 Claire McCaskill defeated Jim Talent to become the first female Congresswoman elected in her own right from Missouri. Bob Holden defeated her in her run to be governor in 2004. She will be the leading member of the influential Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. She openly supported President Obama in the early days of his administration putting her at odds with many Missouri voters. Since 2011, EMILY’s List, a pro-choice PAC founded by Ellen Malcolm, has given $522,949 of the $20,325,579 collected for her campaigns.
Many predict that Senator McCaskill could face a very difficult primary with potential democrats seeking to take her place in office.
Others who might like to have this seat include:
- United States Representative Ann Wagner
- United States Representative Vicky Hartzler
- Former Missouri State Treasurer Sarah Steelman
- Former Governor candidate John Brunner
- United States Representative Sam Graves
- Former United States Senator Jim Talent
Democrat Jon Tester from Montana
In 2006, Jon Tester came to Congress after narrowly beating Conrad Burns. Montana voters reelected him in 2012 when he again narrowly defeated Denny Rehberg. The Conservative Review indicates that he has a very liberal voting record. Since 2011, the largest contributor to his campaigns has been the League of Conservation Voters who have given over $142,661 out of a total of $14,014,211 collected for his campaigns. He has $1,414,653 cash in his campaign fund.
The appointment of Ryan Zinke as Interior Secretary removed one of his main opponents in 2018. He must keep his support from retired union workers, college students, and Native Americans if he wants to be successful.
Potential opponents might include:
- Governor Marc Racicot
- Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton
- 2016 gubernatorial nominee Greg Gianforte
- Former U.S. Navy SEAL Rob O’Neill
Republican Dean Heller of Nevada
Governor Brian Sandoval appointed Dean Heller to the United States Congress in 2011, and the voters put him back there in 2012. Originally a member of the Nevada Assembly, he has also served as the Secretary of State of Nevada. This senator takes a middle-of-the-road stand on many issues. He actively supports free trade and a lower immigration limit. Votesane PAC has given $111,500 of the $11,729,630 raised for his campaigns.
Nevada ended up going to Hillary Clinton thanks in part to former Senator Harry Reid. His political voter influence operation help beat republicans in both the 2016 presidential race and senate battle to replace his seat. Reid, who recently retired from the senate, might gift his political machine to help unseat the republican senator.
His most likely opponents will be:
- United States Representative Dina Titus
- Former United States Representatives Shelley Berkley
- The Former United States Representative Steven Horsford
Democrat Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota
The voters in North Dakota elected Heidi Heitkamp as their junior congressperson in 2013. Prior to that, she had served eight years as the state’s Attorney General and four years as the State Tax Commissioner. Her voting record, according to Conservative Review, makes her one of the most liberal people to serve in Congress. Motley Rice LLC gave $46,750 to her campaign that raised $7,478,236.
New pipeline construction and decreased oil regulations could fuel trouble for Heitkamp. The outcome of the Dakota Access Pipeline protests may become a challenge for her re-election chances. If Trump delivers on his promises for new jobs and a better future, then Heidi may have a tough fight ahead to keep her seat in Washington.
The congresswoman’s likely opponents include:
- State Representative Rick Becker
- Governor Jack Dalrymple
- United States Representative Kevin Cramer
- Lieutenant Governor Drew Wrigley
- North Dakota Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer
Democrat Sherrod Brown from Ohio
With Trump winning by a larger margin than the previous five presidential winners, many question if Congressman Sherrod Brown can hold on to his seat. He has already announced that he will vote against President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch and has stopped the committee vote for the president’s Treasury nominee Steve Mnuchin. Since 2011, he has received over $143,360 from Ohio State University of the $26,235,921 that his campaign has raised. He currently has $2,855,994 cash on hand.
Governor Kasich’s popularity and President Trump’s win in Ohio could create additional pressure on Brown in his attempt to retain his position in congress.
Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel has already announced that he would like to defeat Brown. Other likely opponents include:
- United States Representative Pat Tiberi
- United States Representative Jim Renacci
- Governor John Kasich
- State Senator Matt Huffman
Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia
Appointed to fill the unexpired term of Congressman Byrd, Joe Manchin was elected to the Congress for the first time in 2012. Prior to that, he had served as the state’s governor and as West Virginia Secretary of State. After President Trump was elected, he urged everyone to work together. He has said that he will not support a filibuster against, Neil Gorsuch. During his campaign, he received $ 88,450 from FirstEnergy Corporation of the $5,679,485 that was raised. He has $1,654,136 cash on hand.
West Virginia suffered under Obama’s war against coal. With the promise of jobs and deregulation und the Trump administration, Joe may need to continue to vote more like a republican in his state to keep his job.
Senator Manchin’s likely opponents include:
- United States Congressmen David McKinley
- United States Congressman Evan Jenkins
- West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey
- West Virginia House of Delegate Erikka Storch
- Former Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton
Democrat Bob Casey Jr. from Pennsylvania
In 2006, Bob Casey defeated Rick Santorum to become a United States senator from Pennsylvania. He was reelected in 2012. He has served as Pennsylvania Auditor General and as the state’s treasurer. He has announced that when the full senate votes, he will oppose Trump’s nominations for Secretary of Education, Attorney General and for the Environmental Protection Agency. His largest financial contributor is Exelon Corporation giving more than $75,350. His second largest contributor was Comcast Corporation who gave $73,775. Casey raised $14,386,720 for his campaign, and he has $1,472,409 cash on hand.
Pennsylvania went for Trump in the presidential election, much to the surprise of many democrats. This shift in traditionally solid voting blocks could spell trouble for this veteran democrat senator.
Libertarian candidate Dale Kerns has already announced that he plans to run. Other likely candidates include:
- Former Governor Tom Corbett
- United States Congressmen Pat Meehan
- United States Representative Charlie Dent
- United States Representative Mike Kelly
Democrat Tammy Baldwin from Wisconsin
Wisconsin voters elected Tammy Baldwin to the office for the first time in 2012. She had served 14 years as the U.S. representative from that state. She has one of the most liberal voting records in Congress. Like Claire McCaskill, her largest contributor was EMILY’S List who gave $431,843 towards her campaign of $18,094,886 raised.
Wisconsin is benefiting from the attention republicans are giving the state after helping to hand Trump his victory. Speaker Paul Ryan hails from this state and may help continue to turn the tide against democrats who have ignored working class white voters for years.
State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald has announced that he is likely to run. Other possibilities include:
- United States Representative Sean Duffy
- Wisconsin Senator Leah Vukmir
- Businessman Eric Hovde
- Marine veteran and businessman Kevin Nicholson
- Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch
- Wisconsin Representative Dale Kooyenga
Midterm elections hinge on President Trump successes
The Democratic purses will be wide open during the 2018 midterm elections as they try to win back control of the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate. Each of these candidates is highly vulnerable depending on what President Trump and the current legislature is able to accomplish. If the legislature can push through Trump’s campaign promises, then they may be able to maintain control of both bodies. As happens so many times, the economy may very well tell the story for the midterm elections.
Is there a race you are interested in learning more about? Add your comments below and we may include it future updates to this article.