CNN: 10 Senate Seats Likely to Flip in 2022 Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., questions Gary Gensler, Chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, before a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee oversight hearing on the SEC on Sept. 14, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Evelyn Hockstein-Pool/Getty Images)
By Theodore Bunker | Friday, 17 December 2021 01:03 PM
At least 10 seats in the U.S. Senate, six held by Republicans and four by Democrats, are likely to change parties in the upcoming midterm elections next year, according to CNN’s analysis released on Friday.
The seats include the Pennsylvania seat held by Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, which is ranked as the most likely seat to flip, followed by the seats held by Georgia Democrat Sen. Raphael Warnock, Wisconsin Republican Ron Johnson, Arizona Democrat Mark Kelly, Nevada Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto, North Carolina Republican Richard Burr, New Hampshire Democrat Maggie Hassan, Florida Republican Marco Rubio, Ohio Republican Rob Portman, and Missouri Republican Roy Blunt.
Several of the Republican senators previously announced their intent to retire, including Toomey, Burr, Portman, and Blunt. Toomey’s exit has multiple Republicans, including TV host Dr. Mehmet Oz and businessman Jeff Bartos, seeking to replace him, but Democrat President Joe Biden won the state in 2020 and Democrats have a crowded field for their own primary.
In Georgia, Warnock is seeking reelection for a full six-year term after having won a runoff election last January against former GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler. He will likely face one of several Republicans running in the GOP primary, including former NFL player Herschel Walker and Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black.
The third most likely seat to flip is held by Wisconsin’s Johnson, who is currently the only incumbent Republican in the Senate who may run for reelection in a state that voted for Biden. CNN notes that the senator has yet to announce whether or not he will run again, which is presenting a problem for Republicans who would potentially want to replace him.
In Arizona, Kelly is running again following his special election victory last year, this time for a full term much like Warnock. Republicans in the state have several candidates to choose from in the state’s upcoming GOP primary, with state Attorney General Mark Brnovich holding the most name recognition.
Nearby in Nevada, Cortez Masto faces stiff opposition from former Republican state Attorney General Adam Laxalt, who has support from both former President Donald Trump and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in a state that narrowly voted for Biden in 2020.
North Carolina’s Burr leaves a vacancy that several Republicans are competing to fill, including Rep. Ted Budd and former Gov. Pat McCrory. However, Democrats have largely aligned themselves with former North Carolina Chief Justice Cheri Beasley after two candidates dropped out of the race in the last month.
Republicans have singled-out Hassan as a vulnerable Democrat, but they have yet to lineup a significant challenger. Gov. Chris Sununu opted to run for reelection and former Sen. Kelly Ayotte declined to run, leaving the party without a big-name candidate.
Elsewhere, Florida’s Rubio has the support of Trump, but he faces Democrat Rep. Val Demings, a former Orlando police chief who has a substantial fundraising record. Portman’s retirement means that Ohio has a wide range of potential Republicans to choose from in the upcoming primary, while Democrat Rep. Tim Ryan has managed to consolidate support among his own party. In Missouri, Republicans are divided over whether to support former Gov. Eric Greitens due to his resigning from office after an investigation into allegations of misconduct, or to support a lesser-known GOP candidate.