United States Senate elections, 2016

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United States Senate elections, 2016
United States
2014 ←
November 8, 2016 → 2018

Class 3 (34 of the 100) seats in the United States Senate
51 seats needed for a majority
  Sen Mitch McConnell official.jpg Harry Reid official portrait 2009.jpg
Leader Mitch McConnell Harry Reid
Party Republican Democratic
Leader's seat Kentucky Nevada
Last election 54 44
Current seats 54 44
Seats up 24 10

Party Independent
Current seats 2*
Seats up 0

2016 Senate election map.svg

     Democratic incumbent      Retiring Democrat

     Republican incumbent      Retiring Republican

     No election

*Both Independents currently caucus with the Democrats.

Elections for the United States Senate will be held on November 8, 2016, with 34 of the 100 seats in the Senate being contested in regular elections whose winners will serve six-year terms from January 3, 2017 until January 3, 2023. All class 3 Senators are up for election; class 3 was last up for election in 2010, when Republicans won a net gain of six seats. Currently, Democrats are expected to have 10 seats up for election, and Republicans are expected to have 24 seats up for election. Special elections may also be held to fill vacancies that occur during the 114th United States Congress. Republicans, having taken control of the Senate in the 2014 election, currently hold the Senate majority with 54 seats.

The 2016 Presidential election, 2016 House elections, 2016 gubernatorial elections, and many state and local elections will also be held on this date.

Partisan composition[edit]

All 34 Class III Senators are up for election in 2016; Class III currently consists of 10 Democrats and 24 Republicans. Of the Senators not up for election, 34 Senators are Democrats, 30 Senators are Republicans and two Senators are independents who caucus with the Senate Democrats. If vacancies occur in Class I or Class II Senate seats, the state might require a special election to take place during the 114th Congress, possibly concurrently with the other 2016 Senate elections.

Parties Total
Democratic Republican Independent
Last election (2014) 44 54 2 100
Before this election 44 54 2 100
Not up 34 30 2 66
Class 1 (20122018) 23 8 2 33
Class 2 (20142020) 11 22 0 33
Up 10 24 0 34
Class 3 (2010→2016) 10 24 0 34
Special: Class 1 & 2[1] 0 0 0 0
Incumbent retiring 3 1 4
Incumbent running 7 20 27
Intent undeclared 0 3 3

Predictions of competitive seats[edit]

Several sites and individuals publish predictions of competitive seats. These predictions look at factors such as the strength of the incumbent (if the incumbent is running for re-election), the strength of the candidates, and the partisan leanings of the state (reflected in part by the state's Cook Partisan Voting Index rating). The predictions assign ratings to each seat, with the rating indicating the predicted advantage that a party has in winning that seat. Most election predictors use "tossup" to indicate that neither party has an advantage, "lean" to indicate that one party has a slight advantage, "likely" or "favored" to indicate that one party has a significant but not insurmountable advantage, and "safe" or "solid" to indicate that one party has a near-certain chance of victory. Some predictions also include a "tilt" rating that indicates that one party has an advantage that is not quite as strong as the "lean" rating would indicate. All seats classified with at least one rating of anything other than "safe" or "solid" are listed below.

State PVI Incumbent[2] First
Mar. 05
Mar. 27
Mar. 02
Alaska R+12 Lisa Murkowski (R) 2004[6] 39.5%[7] Likely R Likely R Safe R
Arizona R+7 John McCain (R) 1986 59.2% Safe R Likely R Likely R
Colorado D+1 Michael Bennet (D) 2010[8] 47.7% Lean D Lean D Lean D
Florida R+2 Marco Rubio (R) 2010 48.9% Likely R Lean R Tilt R
Georgia R+6 Johnny Isakson (R) 2004 58.1% Likely R Safe R Likely R
Illinois D+8 Mark Kirk (R) 2010 48.2% Lean R Tossup Tossup
Indiana R+5 (Dan Coats) (R) 2010[9] 56.4% Likely R Likely R Safe R
Iowa D+1 Chuck Grassley (R) 1980 64.5% Safe R Safe R Likely R
Louisiana R+12 David Vitter (R) 2004 56.6% Safe R Likely R Safe R
Missouri R+5 Roy Blunt (R) 2010 54.3% Likely R Likely R Safe R
Nevada D+2 (Harry Reid) (D) 1986 50.2% Tossup Tossup Lean D
New Hampshire D+1 Kelly Ayotte (R) 2010 60.2% Lean R Lean R Lean R
North Carolina R+3 Richard Burr (R) 2004 55.0% Lean R Lean R Lean R
Ohio R+1 Rob Portman (R) 2010 57.3% Likely R Lean R Lean R
Pennsylvania D+1 Pat Toomey (R) 2010 51.0% Lean R Tossup Tilt R
Wisconsin D+2 Ron Johnson (R) 2010 51.9% Lean R Tossup Tossup
  Competitive Democratic-held seat
  Competitive Republican-held seat
  Democratic-favored seat
  Republican-favored seat

Race summary[edit]

(linked to
summaries below)
Incumbent Most recent
election results
(Winner in bold)
Senator Party Electoral
Alabama Richard Shelby Republican 1986
Richard Shelby (R) 65.3%
William G. Barnes (D) 34.7%
Running[10] Richard Shelby
Alaska Lisa Murkowski Republican Appointed in 2002
Lisa Murkowski (R)[11] 39.5%
Joe Miller (R) 35.5%
Scott McAdams (D) 23.5%
Running[12] Lisa Murkowski
Arizona John McCain Republican 1986
John McCain (R) 59.2%
Rodney Glassman (D) 34.7%
Undecided[13] [Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Arkansas John Boozman Republican 2010 John Boozman (R) 58.0%
Blanche Lincoln (D) 36.9%
Running[14] John Boozman
California Barbara Boxer Democratic 1992
Barbara Boxer (D) 52.1%
Carly Fiorina (R) 42.5%
Retiring[15] Rocky Chavez
Kamala Harris[16]
Colorado Michael Bennet Democratic Appointed in 2009
Michael Bennet (D) 47.7%
Ken Buck (R) 46.5%
Running[17] Michael Bennet
Darryl Glenn
Connecticut Richard Blumenthal Democratic 2010 Richard Blumenthal (D) 55.1%
Linda McMahon (R) 43.3%
Running[18] Richard Blumenthal
Florida Marco Rubio Republican 2010 Marco Rubio (R) 48.9%
Charlie Crist (I) 29.7%
Kendrick Meek (D) 20.1%
Undecided[19] Pam Keith[20]
Patrick Murphy[21]
Georgia Johnny Isakson Republican 2004
Johnny Isakson (R) 58.1%
Michael Thurmond (D) 39.2%
Running[22] Johnny Isakson
Hawaii Brian Schatz Democratic Appointed in 2012
2014 (special)
Brian Schatz (D) 69.9%
Campbell Cavasso (R) 27.6%
Running[18] Brian Schatz
Idaho Mike Crapo Republican 1998
Mike Crapo (R) 71.1%
Tom Sullivan (D) 25.0%
Running[23] Mike Crapo
Illinois Mark Kirk Republican 2010 Mark Kirk (R) 48.2%
Alexi Giannoulias (D) 46.3%
Running[24] Mark Kirk
Indiana Dan Coats Republican 2010 Dan Coats (R) 56.4%
Brad Ellsworth (D) 38.1%
Rebecca Sink-Burris (L) 5.4%
Iowa Chuck Grassley Republican 1980
Chuck Grassley (R) 64.5%
Roxanne Conlin (D) 33.2%
Running[26] Chuck Grassley
Bob Krause[27]
Kansas Jerry Moran Republican 2010 Jerry Moran (R) 70.3%
Lisa Johnston (D) 26.2%
Running[28] Jerry Moran
Kentucky Rand Paul Republican 2010 Rand Paul (R) 55.8%
Jack Conway (D) 44.2%
Running[29] Rand Paul
Louisiana David Vitter Republican 2004
David Vitter (R) 56.6%
Charles Melancon (D) 37.7%
Running for Governor
of Louisiana in 2015[30]
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Maryland Barbara Mikulski Democratic 1986
Barbara Mikulski (D) 61.8%
Eric Wargotz (R) 36.3%
Retiring[31] Donna Edwards
Chris Van Hollen
Missouri Roy Blunt Republican 2010 Roy Blunt (R) 54.3%
Robin Carnahan (D) 40.6%
Running[32] Roy Blunt
Jason Kander
Nevada Harry Reid Democratic 1986
Harry Reid (D) 50.2%
Sharron Angle (R) 44.6%
Retiring[33] Bob Beers
New Hampshire Kelly Ayotte Republican 2010 Kelly Ayotte (R) 60.2%
Paul Hodes (D) 36.7%
Running[34] Kelly Ayotte
New York Chuck Schumer Democratic 1998
Chuck Schumer (D) 65.4%
Jay Townsend (R) 33.0%
Running[18] Chuck Schumer
North Carolina Richard Burr Republican 2004
Richard Burr (R) 55.0%
Elaine Marshall (D) 42.9%
Running[35] Richard Burr
North Dakota John Hoeven Republican 2010 John Hoeven (R) 76.2%
Tracy Potter (D) 22.2%
Running[36] John Hoeven
Ohio Rob Portman Republican 2010 Rob Portman (R) 57.3%
Lee Fisher (D) 39.0%
Running[37] Rob Portman
P.G. Sittenfeld[38]
Ted Strickland[39]
Oklahoma James Lankford Republican 2014 (special) James Lankford (R) 67.9%
Constance N. Johnson (D) 29.0%
Running[18] James Lankford
Oregon Ron Wyden Democratic 1996 (special)
Ron Wyden (D) 57.2%
Jim Huffman (R) 39.4%
Running[18] Ron Wyden
Pennsylvania Pat Toomey Republican 2010 Pat Toomey (R) 51.01%
Joe Sestak (D) 48.99%
Running[40] Pat Toomey
Joe Sestak[41]
South Carolina Tim Scott Republican Appointed in 2013
2014 (special)
Tim Scott (R) 61.2%
Joyce Dickerson (D) 37.1%
Running[18] Tim Scott
South Dakota John Thune Republican 2004
John Thune (R) Unopposed Running[42] John Thune
Utah Mike Lee Republican 2010 Mike Lee (R) 61.6%
Sam Granato (D) 32.8%
Scott Bradley (C) 5.7%
Running[43] Mike Lee
Vermont Patrick Leahy Democratic 1974
Patrick Leahy (D) 64.4%
Len Britton (R) 30.9%
Running[44] Patrick Leahy
Washington Patty Murray Democratic 1992
Patty Murray (D) 52.4%
Dino Rossi (R) 47.6%
Running[45] Patty Murray
Wisconsin Ron Johnson Republican 2010 Ron Johnson (R) 51.9%
Russ Feingold (D) 47.0%
Running[46] Ron Johnson
State Senator Party Electoral
Most recent
election results
(Winner in bold)
Incumbent 2016

Complete list of races[edit]

Thirty-four seats are up for election in 2016:

  • Seven Democrats are seeking re-election.
  • Two Democrats are retiring.
  • Twenty Republicans are seeking re-election.
  • Four Republicans may seek re-election.
  • One Republican is retiring.


Five-term Senator Richard Shelby was re-elected with 65.3% of the vote in 2010. He will be 82 years old in 2016. He served in the Senate as a Democrat until switching parties in 1994. Shelby intends to run for re-election.[10] If Shelby vacates the seat, potential Republican candidates include U.S. Representative Martha Roby,[47] State Senator Del Marsh, former Governor Bob Riley, Attorney General Luther Strange, State House Speaker Mike Hubbard, State Treasurer Young Boozer and Lieutenant Governor Kay Ivey. Potential Democratic candidates include former Lt. Governor, Governor and 1980 Senate nominee James E. Folsom, Jr., U.S. Representative Bobby Bright, non-profit executive Stephen Black, and former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb.[48]


Two-term Senator Lisa Murkowski was appointed in 2002 and elected to a full term in 2004. She was defeated in the Republican primary in 2010 by Joe Miller. She later ran as a write-in candidate in the 2010 general election and was re-elected to a second full term with 39.5% of the vote. She is one of only two senators to be elected via write-in votes, the other being Strom Thurmond. She will be 59 years old in 2016 and is running for re-election.[12]

Potential Democratic candidates include former U.S. Senator Mark Begich,[49] State Senator Dennis Egan, State Representative Andy Josephson, State Senator Bill Wielechowski, State Senator Hollis French and State Senate Minority Leader Johnny Ellis.[50]


Five-term Senator and 2008 Republican Presidential nominee John McCain was re-elected with 59.3% of the vote in 2010, though a March 2014 Public Policy Polling survey found him to be the least popular U.S. Senator in the country, with 30% of Arizonans approving of McCain's job performance and 54% disapproving.[51] McCain will be 80 years old in 2016. After hinting in September 2013 that he may retire,[52] he has since said that the chances he runs again are "pretty good" and that he is "leaning toward it," but his campaign has emphasized that he has not made a decision yet.[53][54]

If McCain runs for a sixth term, he may face a strong primary challenge, and would be a major target of Tea Party groups.[54][55] Early primary polling shows McCain running substantially behind potential Republican challengers including former Governor Jan Brewer (29%-47.7%), U.S. Representative Matt Salmon (30.3%-48.2%), and U.S. Representative David Schweikert (33.9%-40.1%).[56] Other potential Republican candidates include U.S. Representative Trent Franks,[57] businesswoman and 2014 gubernatorial candidate Christine Jones,[58] former Governor of Alaska and nominee for Vice President in 2008 Sarah Palin,[59] former U.S. Representative John Shadegg,[57] former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods,[57] and retired U.S. Air Force Colonel and Representative Martha McSally.[60]

Early general election polling shows McCain trailing potential Democratic challengers including former Surgeon General Richard Carmona (35%-41%) and former U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords (35%-42%), but leading former Governor and former Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano (44%-36%).[51] Other potential Democratic candidates include U.S. Representative Kyrsten Sinema,[57] former Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon,[57] and retired astronaut Mark Kelly.[57]


One-term Senator John Boozman defeated two-term Senator Blanche Lincoln with 58.0% of the vote in 2010. He will be 65 years old in 2016. He has announced that he will run for re-election.[14] However, his poor fundraising - he had just $84,074 cash-on-hand at the end of 2013 - and his hospitalisation in 2014 for emergency heart surgery has led to speculation that he may retire.[61][62]

Potential Democratic candidates include former Governor Mike Beebe, retired General and 2004 presidential candidate Wesley Clark, former Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter and former FEMA Director and 2014 Congressional nominee James Lee Witt.[63] A Public Policy Polling survey in August 2014 found Beebe leading Boozman 46% to 40%[64] and a survey in September 2014 found Beebe leading Boozman 49% to 39%.[65]


Four-term Senator Barbara Boxer was re-elected with 52.1% of the vote in 2010. She will be 75 years old in 2016. Her low fundraising and cash-on-hand numbers meant that she was speculated to retire.[66][67] On January 8, 2015, Boxer announced that she would not run for re-election.[15]

California Attorney General Kamala Harris is running for the Democratic nomination.[68] Other potential Democratic candidates include Speaker of the California State Assembly Toni Atkins, businessman Tom Steyer, Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti, California State Treasurer John Chiang, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, President of the University of California, former United States Secretary of Homeland Security, former Governor of Arizona Janet Napolitano and U.S. Representatives Karen Bass, Eric Swalwell, Ami Bera, Xavier Becerra and Jackie Speier and former U.S. Representative Jane Harman.[66][67][69][70][71] Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg was speculated to run against Boxer as a Democrat,[72] but chose not do so.[73] Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom and former Mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa also declined to run for the Senate.[68][74]

Potential Republican candidates include former Governor of California and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger,[75] former San Diego City Council member and 2014 U.S. House candidate Carl DeMaio,[76] Kevin McCarthy, Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin, and California State Assembly member Rocky Chavez.

Republicans that were once considered potential candidates but ruled out runs include San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Stability and 2014 gubernatorial nominee Neel Kashkari, U.S. Representative Darrell Issa and businesswoman and nominee for the U.S. Senate in 2010 Carly Fiorina.[77]

Actress, film-maker and humanitarian Angelina Jolie could run for either party or as an Independent.[78][79]


One-term Senator Michael Bennet was appointed in 2009 and elected to a full term with 47.7% of the vote in 2010. He will be 51 years old in 2016. He is running for re-election.[17]

El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn is running for the Republicans.[17] Other potential Republican challengers include U.S. Representative Mike Coffman, Colorado Attorney General and Coffman's wife Cynthia,[80] Colorado State Treasurer Walker Stapleton, Colorado Senate Majority Leader Mark Scheffel, Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler, U.S. Representative Ken Buck, former State Representative Rob Witwer, former United States Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton and State Senator Ellen Roberts.[81][82][83]


One-term Senator Richard Blumenthal was elected with 55.1% of the vote in 2010. He will be 70 years old in 2016. He is running for re-election.[18]

Former United States Ambassador to Ireland and 2014 gubernatorial nominee Thomas C. Foley is a potential Republican candidate. Former U.S. Comptroller General and 2014 candidate for Lieutenant Governor David Walker considered running, but has decided against making a run.[76][84][85][86]


One-term Senator Marco Rubio was elected in a three-way race with 48.9% of the vote in 2010. He will be 45 years old in 2016. Rubio may run for President in 2016.[87][88][89] He stated in April 2014 that he would not run for the Senate and president in 2016, as Florida law prohibits a candidate from appearing twice on a ballot, but did not rule out running for either office.[90] Other potential Republican candidates include former Congressman Allen West, Chief Financial Officer of Florida Jeff Atwater, former U.S. Senator George LeMieux, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam, U.S. Representatives Ron DeSantis, Tom Rooney, Vern Buchanan, John Mica, and Jeff Miller, and Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives Will Weatherford.[19][91]

Potential Democratic candidates include Congresswoman Gwen Graham, Congressman Patrick Murphy, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown, Congressman Ted Deutch, DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and 2010 gubernatorial nominee Alex Sink.[19][92] Florida attorney Pam Keith is running for the Democratic nomination. Lateresa A.Jones 2014 Florida Lt.Govenor Candidate.

Polling conducted by Public Policy Polling in September 2013 found Rubio leading Sink 45% to 42% and leading Wasserman Schultz 46% to 43%. West trailed Sink 44% to 38% and Wasserman Schultz 44% to 40%.[93]


Two-term Senator Johnny Isakson was re-elected with 58.1% of the vote in 2010. He will be 71 years old in 2016. He is running for re-election.[22] Former Florida U.S. Representative Allen West has ruled out running.[22]

Potential Democratic candidates include former Points of Light CEO and 2014 nominee Michelle Nunn,[49][94] former U.S. Representative John Barrow,[95] State Representatives Stacey Abrams, James Beverly, Stacey Evans, Spencer Frye, Scott Holcomb, Margaret Kaiser and David Wilkerson, State Senator and 2014 gubernatorial nominee Jason Carter, former State Senator Doug Stoner and Atlanta City Councilman Alex Wan.[96] Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has ruled out a run, however.[97]


Nine-term Senator and President pro tempore Daniel Inouye was re-elected with 75% of the vote in 2010 and would have been 92 years old in 2016. He intended to run for re-election to a tenth term[98] but he died on December 17, 2012.[99] Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie appointed Lieutenant Governor Brian Schatz in his place. Schatz won a 2014 special election and will serve the remainder of Inouye's term. He is running for re-election.[18]

Former U.S. Representative and 2014 Senate candidate Colleen Hanabusa may challenge Schatz in the primary again[100] but U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard will not run against him.[101]


Three-term Senator Mike Crapo was re-elected with 71.1% of the vote in 2010. Crapo will be 65 years old in 2016. He announced that he will run for re-election to a fourth term.[23] U.S Representative Raul Labrador was considered to be a possible primary challenger for Crapo, but has ruled out running.[102][103]


One-term Senator Mark Kirk was elected with 48.4% of the vote in 2010. He will be 57 years old in 2016.

Kirk suffered a stroke in January 2012 that kept him away from the Senate until January 2013.[104] In June 2013 he confirmed that he was "planning" to run for re-election,[105] but there has been some speculation that he might retire.[106] In November 2014, Kirk reiterated that he was going to run for re-election, saying: "no frickin' way am I retiring."[107] Joe Walsh, a former U.S. Representative and conservative talk radio host, is speculated to run against Kirk in the Republican primary.[107][108][109]

For the Democrats, former director of CeaseFire and candidate for Governor in 2014 Tio Hardiman is a declared candidate.[110] Former Lieutenant Governor of Illinois Sheila Simon and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan are potential candidates,[111] as are U.S. Representatives Cheri Bustos, Robin Kelly, Tammy Duckworth, Jan Schakowsky, Bill Foster Mike Quigley, and former Governor Pat Quinn.[106][112][113] However, First Lady Michelle Obama has ruled out running.[114]

Polling conducted by Public Policy Polling in November 2012 showed Michelle Obama beating Kirk 50% to 41%[115] and polling they conducted in November 2013 showed Kirk tied with Madigan 41% to 41%.[116] A Gravis Marketing poll conducted in March 2014 showed Kirk beating Michelle Obama 47% to 42%.[117]


Three-term non-consecutive, one-term consecutive Senator Dan Coats was elected with 54.6% of the vote in 2010. He previously represented Indiana in the Senate between 1989 and 1999. He will be 73 years old in 2016.[118] On March 24, 2015, Sen. Coats announced he would not run for re-election.

Potential Democratic candidates include former U.S. Representative Baron Hill,[119] 2010 Senate nominee Brad Ellsworth, former Senator Evan Bayh, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and former Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel.[120]


Six-term Senator Chuck Grassley was re-elected with 64.5% of the vote in 2010. He will be 83 years old in 2016. Grassley is running for re-election.[121] U.S. Representatives Steve King and Tom Latham could be Republican candidates if Grassley changes his mind and retires, while U.S. Representative Dave Loebsack and United States Secretary of Agriculture and former Governor Tom Vilsack could run for the Democrats.[122] Democrat Bob Krause, a former State Representative and a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2010, has declared his candidacy.[27]


One-term Senator Jerry Moran was elected with 70.3% of the vote in 2010. He will be 62 years old in 2016. He is running for re-election.[28] Radiologist and 2014 Senate candidate Milton Wolf and U.S. Representative Tim Huelskamp are potential primary challengers for Moran.[28][123]

Former United States Secretary of Health and Human Services and former Governor of Kansas Kathleen Sebelius is a potential Democratic candidate.[124]

A September 2014 survey by Public Policy Polling found Moran leading Sebelius by 52% to 37%.[125]


One-term Senator Rand Paul was elected with 55.7% of the vote in 2010. He will be 53 years old in 2016. Paul has filed for re-election,[29] although he has also publicly expressed interest in running for President of the United States in 2016.[126] As Kentucky law does not allow for a candidate to appear twice on the same ballot, Paul may be unable to simultaneously run for re-election and for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.[127] According to Roll Call, Paul is seeking to switch Kentucky's May presidential primary to a March caucus, which would allow Paul to simultaneously run for both both offices without appearing on the ballot twice.[127] Paul has also considered federal litigation challenging the constitutionality of Kentucky's ballot laws, running for both offices regardless of state law, or seeking both offices without putting his name on the Kentucky presidential ballot.[127]

Potential Republican candidates include Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and former Secretary of State Trey Grayson, along with former Chairman of the Republican National Committee Mike Duncan and U.S. Representatives Andy Barr, Brett Guthrie, Thomas Massie, Hal Rogers and Ed Whitfield.[128][129]

Attorney General Jack Conway, State Auditor Adam Edelen and Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes are potential Democratic candidates.[128][130]

An August 2014 survey by Public Policy Polling found Paul leading Democratic Governor Steve Beshear 50% to 41% and Thomas Massie trailing Beshear 30% to 45%.[131]


Two-term Senator David Vitter was re-elected with 56.6% of the vote in 2010. He will be 55 years old in 2016. Vitter is running for Governor of Louisiana in 2015.[30] If Vitter wins election, he will appoint his own replacement who will serve until the regular 2016 election.[18] Vitter has not said what he will do if loses the gubernatorial race.[18]

Potential Republican candidates include Governor Bobby Jindal and U.S. Representatives Jeff Landry, Charles Boustany and John Fleming.[132] Potential Democratic candidates include state legislators John Bel Edwards, Katrina Jackson and Karen Carter Peterson, as well as former U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, who lost in the 2014 election.[49][132]


Five-term Senator Barbara Mikulski was re-elected with 61.8% of the vote in 2010. She will be 80 years old in 2016. She is the longest-serving female Senator and the longest-serving woman in the history of the U.S. Congress. She is not seeking reelection.[31]

Potential Democratic candidates include U.S. Representatives Elijah Cummings, John Delaney, Donna Edwards, John Sarbanes and Chris Van Hollen, former Attorney General of Maryland Doug Gansler, State Delegate Heather Mizeur and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.[133]

For the Republicans, retired Johns Hopkins Neurosurgery Director Ben Carson and attorney, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense and candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2012 Richard Douglas are potential candidates.[134][135]


One-term Senator Roy Blunt was elected with 54.3% of the vote in 2010. He will be 66 years old in 2016. He is running for re-election.[32] He may face a primary challenge. Possible Republican challengers include former U.S. Representative and 2012 Senate nominee Todd Akin[136] and State Senator John Lamping.[137]

For the Democrats, Secretary of State Jason Kander[138] is running, while another potential candidate is Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders,.[139] Governor Jay Nixon and State Treasurer Clint Zweifel chose not to seek election to the Senate.[140][141]


Five-term Senator and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid was re-elected with 50.2% of the vote in 2010. Reid is not seeking re-election.[142] Potential Democratic candidates include former Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, Congresswoman Dina Titus, former Congressman Steven Horsford, former Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller, and Reid's son, former Clark County Commissioner Rory Reid.[143] Republican Bob Beers, a Las Vegas City Councilman, former State Senator and candidate for Governor in 2006 is running.[144] Brian Sandoval, the Governor of Nevada, has been mentioned as a potential Republican candidate.[145] 2010 Republican nominee Sharron Angle may run again.[146] Wayne Allyn Root, the Libertarian Party nominee for Vice President of the United States in 2008, has re-joined the Republican Party and is considering running for the seat.[147][148] Other potential Republican candidates include Lieutenant Governor Mark Hutchison, former Lieutenant Governor Brian Krolicki, Congressman Joe Heck,[149] and state senator Michael Roberson.[150]

New Hampshire[edit]

One-term Senator Kelly Ayotte was elected with 60.2% of the vote in 2010. She will be 48 years old in 2016. Ayotte is running for re-election.[34] She has also been speculated to be a potential candidate for the Republican nomination for President of the United States in 2016[151][152][153][154] as well as a potential running mate.[155] If she is the Vice Presidential nominee, she can appear on the ballot twice and run for re-election at the same time.[155][156] If she does run, Ayotte may face a primary challenge from the Tea Party.[156]

Governor Maggie Hassan is a potential Democratic candidate,[156] as are Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster and former Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter.[156] Former Democratic governor John Lynch declined to run.[157]

New York[edit]

Three-term Senator Chuck Schumer was re-elected with 66% of the vote in 2010. He will be 65 years old in 2016. He is running for re-election.[18]

North Carolina[edit]

Two-term Senator Richard Burr was re-elected with 55% of the vote in 2010. He will be 61 years old in 2016. There had been speculation that Burr may retire,[158] but he is running for re-election.[35][159]

If Burr changes his mind and retires, potential Republican candidates include U.S. Representatives George Holding, Mark Meadows and Robert Pittenger, Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest, North Carolina Commissioner of Labor Cherie K. Berry, North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler, President pro tempore of the North Carolina Senate Philip E. Berger and former United States Ambassador to Denmark James P. Cain.[35][158]

Anthony Foxx, the United States Secretary of Transportation and former Mayor of Charlotte, has been speculated as a potential Democratic candidate,[160] but has indicated to Burr that he won't run against him,[35] and a spokesperson for Foxx announced he would not be a candidate.[161] Other potential Democratic candidates include former U.S. Senator Kay Hagan, North Carolina State Treasurer Janet Cowell, Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines, former Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker, State Senate Minority Leader Daniel T. Blue, Jr., State Senator Josh Stein, State Representative Grier Martin and Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane.[49][158]

Polling conducted by Public Policy Polling in August 2014 found Burr leading Cowell 44% to 37%, leading Foxx 45% to 35%, leading Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines 45% to 32% and leading Martin 45% to 33%.[162]

North Dakota[edit]

One-term Senator John Hoeven was elected with 76.2% of the vote in 2010. He will be 59 years old in 2016. He is running for re-election.[36]

Potential Democratic candidates include state Senator George B. Sinner, state Representative Corey Mock, and USDA State Director Jasper Schneider.[163]


One-term Senator Rob Portman was elected with 57.3% of the vote in 2010. He will be 60 years old in 2016. He is running for re-election. Portman is considered a potential candidate for Vice President in 2016.[164][165][166] He has ruled out running for two offices at the same time, even though Ohio law does allow it.[167] He had considered running for President, but decided not to.[37] Potential Republican candidates if Portman vacates the seat include Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel and U.S. Representative Steve Stivers.[164]

Former Governor Ted Strickland and Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld are running for the Democratic nomination.[38][168] Former State Representative Bob Hagan had filed papers to run[169] but later withdrew from the race.[170] Other potential Democratic candidates include Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray, former Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, U.S. Representatives Joyce Beatty and Tim Ryan, former U.S. Representatives John Boccieri and Betty Sutton, Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, State Senator Nina Turner, State Representative Connie Pillich and Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld.[164][169]


Republican Senator Tom Coburn won re-election in 2010, but Coburn chose to leave office before the end of his term after being diagnosed with prostate cancer. James Lankford won the 2014 special election for the seat, and Lankford will serve the remainder of Coburn's term.[171] Two-term Senator Tom Coburn was re-elected with 70.64% of the vote in 2010. Lankford is running for re-election.[18]

Former Congressman Dan Boren is viewed by some Oklahoma political operatives as the only Democrat who could make the 2016 race competitive, but is seen as unlikely to run.[172] 2014 nominee Constance N. Johnson has said that she plans to run again.[172]


Three-term Senator Ron Wyden was re-elected with 57.3% of the vote in 2010. He will be 67 years old in 2016. He is running for re-election.[18]


One-term Senator Pat Toomey was elected with 51% of the vote in 2010. He will be 54 years old in 2016. Toomey is seeking re-election.[40]

Former Congressman Joe Sestak, the 2010 Democratic nominee, is seeking a rematch.[41][173][174][175] Other potential Democratic candidates include Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro, Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane,[176] U.S. Representative Allyson Schwartz, and former Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Katie McGinty.[177] State Treasurer Rob McCord and Congressman Matt Cartwright declined to run.[40][178]

South Carolina[edit]

Two-term Republican Senator Jim DeMint was re-elected with 61.48% of the vote in 2010. He resigned at the start of 2013 to become President of The Heritage Foundation and U.S. Representative Tim Scott of South Carolina's 1st congressional district was appointed to replace him by Governor Nikki Haley.[179] Scott subsequently won the special election in 2014 for the remaining two years of the term. He is running for re-election[18] and he is also a potential Republican Vice Presidential nominee.[180][181]

If Scott becomes the Vice Presidential nominee and does not run for re-election, potential Republican candidates include Congressmen Mick Mulvaney,[182] Jeff Duncan and Mark Sanford, along with State Senator Tom Davis, State Treasurer Curtis Loftis and State Attorney General Alan Wilson.[180] Darla Moore has also been mentioned as a potential candidate for either party.[180]

South Dakota[edit]

Two-term Senator John Thune ran unopposed and was re-elected with 100% in 2010. He will be 55 years old in 2016. He is running for re-election.[42]

Former Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin and former United States Attorney Brendan Johnson are potential Democratic candidates.[183][184]


One-term Senator Mike Lee was elected with 61.6% of the vote in 2010. He will be 45 years old in 2016. He is running for re-election.[43]

Lee may face a primary challenge following his role in the unpopular 2013 federal government shutdown, which caused his approval ratings to drop precipitously.[185][186][187] Changes to Utah's primary system, allowing candidates to bypass the party convention by collecting signatures to advance to the primary, could adversely affect Lee's chances at renomination.[188]

Potential Republican challengers include state party chair Thomas Wright, former State Senator Dan Liljenquist, Attorney General Sean Reyes, Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox, State Senator Aaron Osmond, Congressman Jason Chaffetz, Congressman Chris Stewart and Mitt Romney's son Josh Romney.[185][186][189] Former Governor of Utah and former United States Secretary of Health and Human Services Mike Leavitt has denied interest in running.[188]

Congressman Jim Matheson is a potential Democratic candidate, although he may instead choose to run for Governor of Utah.[189]


Seven-term Senator Patrick Leahy was re-elected with 64.4% of the vote in 2010. He will be 76 years old in 2016. Leahy is seeking re-election.[44]


Four-term Senator Patty Murray was re-elected with 52.15% of the vote in 2010. She will be 66 years old in 2016. She is running for re-election.[45]

Congressman Dave Reichert is a potential Republican candidate.[190][191]


One-term Senator Ron Johnson defeated three-term Senator Russ Feingold with 51.9% of the vote in 2010. He will be 61 years old in 2016. He is running for re-election.[192]

Feingold and U.S. Representatives Ron Kind and Gwen Moore are potential Democratic candidates.[193][194] Businesswoman and 2014 gubernatorial nominee Mary Burke has declared that she is not seeking statewide office in 2016.[195] Polling by Public Policy Polling in February 2013 showed Johnson losing a re-match to Feingold, 52% to 42%.[196]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Subject to change if vacancies occur in Class I or Class II Senate seats.
  2. ^ Parentheses around an incumbent's name indicates that the incumbent is retiring.
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  7. ^ In the 2010 election, Republican nominee Joe Miller won 35.5% of the vote. Murkowski won as a write-in candidate with 39.5% of the vote.
  8. ^ Bennet was first appointed to the seat in 2009.
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