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With 54 Republican seats and 45 Democratic seats, the U.S. Senate has had a Republican majority since the 2014 midterm elections. This election year, several Senate seats belonging to swing states are up for re-election. It is crucial that the Senate remains in Republican control, no matter who is elected for president in November.

1) Marco Rubio (R-FL)

The incumbent senator ended his presidential campaign in March. He announced in June that he would be running again to hold his Senate seat. The junior Florida senator has held his seat since 2011.  He was not planning to launch a reelection campaign, but later changed his mind, stating that, no matter who is elected president we’re going to need a Senate full of people willing to act as a check and balance on the excesses of the next president.” Senator Rubio is favored to win his August 30th primary and later go on to face the expected Democratic primary winner, Representative Patrick Murphy in the general election.

2) Rob Portman (R-OH)

Ohio, another key battleground state, will see Senator Rob Portman’s seat up for reelection.  He is chasing another six years in the U.S. Senate. Portman won his primary in March and will face former Democratic governor of Ohio, Ted Strickland come November.

3) Pat Toomey (R-PA)

Pennsylvania has been in the spotlight several times throughout the 2016 election, with many emphasizing the importance of winning the state’s 20 electoral votes. While still a swing state, Pennsylvania is typically leans Democrat, proving even more crucial for Senator Toomey to win his reelection. Toomey has served in the Senate for Pennsylvania since 2011.  He won his primary back in April. Senator Toomey will face Democrat Katie McGinty in the November general election.

4) Ron Johnson (R-WI)

When Senator Johnson was already anticipating his 2016 Senate election in 2014, he admitted that it would be a “difficult re-election battle.” Johnson won his primary on August 9th.  He will go on to face former U.S. Senator Scott Harbach in November.

5) Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)

All eyes are on the close Senate race in battle ground state of New Hampshire. A new poll from RealClearPolitics shows incumbent Ayotte polling just one point behind her opponent, New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan. The move and push for Ayotte to endorse GOP presidential candidate Trump has been used against her by her opponent several times.  It has many exploring how this decision has factored into her lackluster poll numbers.

6) Chuck Grassley (R-IA)

Senior Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley has served in the Senate since 1981, and many, including President Barack Obama, are looking for him to lose his seat in November. President Obama recently endorsed Grassley’s opponent, former Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge. In what has been called “the race of his life,” Grassley is experiencing his first real competition in the duration of his Senate career.

7) John McCain (R-AZ)

In Arizona, Senator John McCain will face Dr. Kelli Ward on the August 30th primary. Many across the state are calling to “retire McCain” and put a fresh face in Washington. The election has gained much attention and has proved to host a number of stakeholders.

8) Rand Paul (R-KY)

After easily winning his May 17th primary again two Kentucky natives, Rand Paul and will go on to face Democratic challenger, Jim Gray, in November.  

9) Tim Scott (R-SC)

As the first African-American to have been elected to both chambers of Congress, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott has his sights set on making even more history in the U.S. Senate. Senator Scott won his June 10th primary and will face Democrat Joyce Dickerson in the November.

10) Mike Lee (R-UT)

Utah Senator Mike Lee has won his June 28th primary and will face his Democratic opponent Misty Snow (who is also “the first transgender person to be nominated for a Congressional seat by a major political party”) in the November general election.
As the more prestigious chamber of Congress, the Senate holds precious responsibility and unquestionable power. If the GOP wants to continue to make an impact–regardless of who is elected to the White House in November–it is imperative that it keeps a majority in the Senate.

Alana B
FFL Contributor
Alana is an undergraduate student at Washington State University studying communications. She aspires to work in either journalism or communications and aims to empower young women to feel confident in sharing their political views. Her favorite things include Jesus, capitalism, politics, yoga, and traveling.

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