2012 Senate Races

(This article was last updated on 13 May 2011.)
It’s probably too early to spend too much time talking about the Senate races of 2012, but I’m going to anyway – Primarily because I want to get down a list of Senators whose terms end in almost two years for future reference. Then, as more and more drop out, I can update the list. Here’s the Class of 2006, Senators who last faced the electorate during Bush’s midterms and rode a wave of anti-Bush sentiment. Since the country’s mood is now running in the opposite direction, those Democrats who were elected in normally conservative/Republican states will have a difficult time keeping their seats.

  • Akaka, Daniel (D-HI) is retiring.
  • Barrasso, John (R-WY) won a special election in 2008 to serve the remainder of Craig Thomas’ term.
  • Bingaman, Jeff (D-NM) is retiring.
  • Brown, Scott (R-MA) was just elected last year to fill Ted Kennedy’s seat, and is distancing himself from his fellow Republicans in an attempt to gain and hold support in this deep blue state.
  • Brown, Sherrod (D-OH)
  • Cantwell, Maria (D-WA)
  • Cardin, Ben (D-MD)
  • Carper, Tom (D-DE)
  • Casey Jr, Bob (D-PA)
  • Conrad, Kent (D-ND) is retiring.
  • Corker, Bob (R-TN)
  • Feinstein, Dianne (D-CA)
  • Gillibrand, Kirsten (D-NY) was appointed to the Senate in 2009 to serve out the remainder of Hillary Clinton’s term.
  • Hatch, Orrin (R-UT) faces challenges from his own party; recall that Utah’s other Republican Senator (Bob Bennett) was defeated at the GOP convention last year and didn’t even make it onto the ballot.
  • Heller, Dean (R-NV) just assumed office on 9 May 2011, taking over from John Ensign (R). He plans to run for re-election.
  • Hutchison, Kay Bailey (R-TX) is retiring.
  • Klobuchar, Amy (D-MN)
  • Kohl, Herb (D-WI) is retiring.
  • Kyl, Jon (R-AZ) is retiring.
  • Lieberman, Joe (I-CT) is retiring.
  • Lugar, Richard (R-IN)
  • Manchin, Joe (D-WV) won a special election last year to serve out the remainder of Robert Byrd’s term.
  • McCaskill, Claire (D-MO) is receiving flak from her fellow Democrats for her attempts to distance herself from Obama and ObamaCare given what her colleagues suffered last year. She also had a fairly small margin of victory in her last election.
  • Menendez, Bob (D-NJ)
  • Nelson, Ben (D-NE) remains a persona non grata in Nebraska for his shady deals to support ObamaCare.
  • Nelson, Bill (D-FL)
  • Sanders, Bernie (I-VT), like Lieberman, caucuses with Democrats; he’s simply been honest enough to call himself a socialist while some of today’s Democrats still run and hide from the term.
  • Snowe, Olympia (R-ME)
  • Stabenow, Debbie (D-MI)
  • Tester, Jon (D-MT)
  • Webb, Jim (D-VA) is retiring.
  • Whitehouse, Sheldon (D-RI)
  • Wicker, Roger (R-MS) is also not a member of the “Class of 2006”, as he is serving out the remainder of Trent Lott’s term.

So that’s 21 Democrats (plus two Independents) versus only ten Republicans. The Democrats have a lot more seats to defend, making 2012 look like a good year for the GOP to take back the Senate (in which case all of the proggies calling for an end to the filibuster will suddenly become quiet). If there are any deaths or resignations in the next two years, this may lead to additional special elections to fill those seats for the remainder of those terms.

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