The Senate Seat Series

Of the 33 Seats up for election in next year, two-thirds are Democratic seats. This means there is a good chance that control of the Senate could go to the Republicans in what would essentially be a repeat of the scenario during the Clinton administration when both houses went to the Republicans but the executive office remained in Democratic hands. Control of the Senate is currently a four seat Democratic advantage not counting the Vice President.

But 60 seats is the magic number for getting anything done in Washington D.C. these days. You can push as many bills through the House of Representatives as desired, but, now that the filibuster is used as a partisan power wielding weapon, the only way to become a law is to crash the 60 seat barrier. So the Senate race is as important as the Presidential race in American politics.

Click the links below as they become available to break down the races, look at some numbers, look at the potential Tea Party influence, examine possible contenders, and generally try to forge a picture of what the state of Congress will look like in 2012.

2012 Senate election map.svg

2012 Senate Seats in Play

Retiring Democrats:

Retiring Republicans:

Democratic incumbents who may seek re-election:

  • Dianne Feinstein of California
  • Tom Carper of Delaware
  • Bill Nelson of Florida
  • Ben Cardin of Maryland
  • Debbie Stabenow of Michigan
  • Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota
  • Claire McCaskill of Missouri
  • Jon Tester of Montana
  • Ben Nelson of Nebraska
  • Bob Menendez of New Jersey
  • Kirsten Gillibrand of New York
  • Sherrod Brown of Ohio
  • Bob Casey, Jr. of Pennsylvania
  • Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island
  • Bernie Sanders of Vermont (I)
  • Maria Cantwell of Washington
  • Joe Manchin of West Virginia
  • Herb Kohl of Wisconsin

Republican incumbents who may seek re-election:

  • Richard Lugar of Indiana
  • Olympia Snowe of Maine
  • Scott Brown of Massachusetts
  • Roger Wicker of Mississippi
  • John Ensign of Nevada *
  • Dean Heller of Nevada
  • Bob Corker of Tennessee
  • Orrin Hatch of Utah
  • John Barrasso of Wyoming

* Ensign was forced to resign early and Dean Heller has been appointed to take his place.

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