United States Senate elections, 2016

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United States Senate elections, 2016
United States Senate
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 needed Steady Increase 4**
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.
**Assumes the Independents continue to caucus with the Democrats and the Vice President casts a tie-breaking vote for 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 3 Senators are up for election in 2016; Class 3 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 1 or Class 2 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 3 6
Incumbent running 7 21 28

Change in composition[edit]

Senate composition before the elections[edit]

D1 D2 D3 D4 D5 D6 D7 D8 D9 D10
D20 D19 D18 D17 D16 D15 D14 D13 D12 D11
D21 D22 D23 D24 D25 D26 D27 D28 D29 D30
D34 D33 D32 D31
I1 I2 R54
Majority → R50
R21 R22 R23 R24 R25 R26 R27 R28 R29 R30
R20 R19 R18 R17 R16 R15 R14 R13 R12 R11
R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 R10

Senate composition after the elections[edit]

D1 D2 D3 D4 D5 D6 D7 D8 D9 D10
D20 D19 D18 D17 D16 D15 D14 D13 D12 D11
D21 D22 D23 D24 D25 D26 D27 D28 D29 D30
TBD TBD TBD TBD I1 I2 D34 D33 D32 D31
Majority → TBD
R21 R22 R23 R24 R25 R26 R27 R28 R29 R30
R20 R19 R18 R17 R16 R15 R14 R13 R12 R11
R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 R10
D# Democratic
R# Republican
I# Independent, caucusing with Democrats[2][3]

Lastest 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
(Parentheses) if
November 23
Oct 7
July 24
Sept 17
Alaska R+12 Lisa Murkowski (R) 2004[8] 39.5%[9] Likely R Safe R Safe R Safe R
Arizona R+7 John McCain (R) 1986 59.2% Likely R Lean R Likely R Lean R
California D+9 (Barbara Boxer) (D) 1992 52.2% Likely D Safe D Safe D Safe D
Colorado D+1 Michael Bennet (D) 2010[10] 47.7% Lean D Lean D Lean D Lean D
Florida R+2 (Marco Rubio) (R) 2010 48.9% Tossup Tossup Tossup Tossup
Georgia R+6 Johnny Isakson (R) 2004 58.1% Likely R Safe R Safe R Safe R
Illinois D+8 Mark Kirk (R) 2010 48.2% Tossup Lean D Tilt D Tossup
Indiana R+5 (Dan Coats) (R) 2010[11] 56.4% Likely R Likely R Likely R Likely R
Kentucky R+13 Rand Paul (R) 2010 55.7% Safe R Likely R Safe R Safe R
Louisiana R+12 (David Vitter) (R) 2004 56.6% Safe R Likely R Safe R Safe R
Missouri R+5 Roy Blunt (R) 2010 54.3% Likely R Likely R Likely R Likely R
Nevada D+2 (Harry Reid) (D) 1986 50.2% Tossup Tossup Tossup Tossup
New Hampshire D+1 Kelly Ayotte (R) 2010 60.2% Tossup Tossup Tilt R Tossup
North Carolina R+3 Richard Burr (R) 2004 55.0% Lean R Likely R Lean R Likely R
Ohio R+1 Rob Portman (R) 2010 57.3% Lean R Lean R Lean R Lean R
Pennsylvania D+1 Pat Toomey (R) 2010 51.0% Lean R Lean R Tilt R Lean R
Wisconsin D+2 Ron Johnson (R) 2010 51.9% Tossup Lean D Tossup Tossup
  Competitive Democratic-held seat
  Competitive Republican-held seat
  Democratic-favored seat
  Republican-favored seat

Race summary[edit]

(linked to
summaries below)
Incumbent 2016
Senator Party Electoral
Intent Candidates
Alabama Richard Shelby Republican 1986
Incumbent running Richard Shelby (Republican)[12]
Marcus Bowman (Republican)[13]
John Martin (Republican)[13]
Jonathan McConnell (Republican)[14]
Shadrack McGill (Republican)[15]
Charles Nana (Democratic)[13]
Ron Crumpton (Democratic)[16]
Alaska Lisa Murkowski Republican 2002 (Appointed)
Incumbent running Lisa Murkowski (Republican)[17]
Arizona John McCain Republican 1986
Incumbent running Lennie Clark (Democratic)[18]
Ann Kirkpatrick (Democratic)[19]
John McCain (Republican)[20]
David Pizer (Republican)[21]
Kelli Ward (Republican)[22]
Arkansas John Boozman Republican 2010 Incumbent running John Boozman (Republican)[23]
Curtis Coleman (Republican)[24]
Conner Eldridge (Democratic)[25]
Frank Gilbert (Libertarian)[26]
California Barbara Boxer Democratic 1992
Incumbent retiring[27] Kamala Harris (Democratic)[28]
Loretta Sanchez (Democratic) [29]
Rocky Chavez (Republican)[30]
Tom Del Beccaro (Republican)[31]
Duf Sundheim (Republican)[32]
Colorado Michael Bennet Democratic 2009 (Appointed)
Incumbent running Michael Bennet (Democratic)[33]
Robert Blaha (Republican)[34]
Ryan Frazier (Republican)[35]
Darryl Glenn (Republican)[36]
Greg Lopez (Republican)[37]
Tim Neville (Republican)[38]
Connecticut Richard Blumenthal Democratic 2010 Incumbent running Richard Blumenthal (Democratic)[39]
August Wolf (Republican)[40]
Florida Marco Rubio Republican 2010 Incumbent retiring to run for U.S. President[41] Ron DeSantis (Republican)[42]
David Jolly (Republican)[43]
Carlos Lopez-Cantera (Republican)[44]
Todd Wilcox (Republican)[45]
Patrick Murphy (Democratic)[46]
Alan Grayson (Democratic)[47]
Pam Keith (Democratic)[48]
Georgia Johnny Isakson Republican 2004
Incumbent running[49] Derrick Grayson (Republican)[50]
Johnny Isakson (Republican)
Hawaii Brian Schatz Democratic 2012 (Appointed)
2014 (Special)
Incumbent running Brian Schatz (Democratic)[39]
Idaho Mike Crapo Republican 1998
Incumbent running Mike Crapo (Republican)[51]
Illinois Mark Kirk Republican 2010 Incumbent running Mark Kirk (Republican)[52]
Tammy Duckworth (Democratic)[53]
Napoleon Harris (Democratic)[54]
Andrea Zopp (Democratic)[55]
Indiana Dan Coats Republican 2010 Incumbent retiring[39][56] John Dickerson (Democratic)[57]
Baron Hill (Democratic)[58]
Eric Holcomb (Republican)[59]
Marlin Stutzman (Republican)[60]
Todd Young (Republican)[61]
Iowa Chuck Grassley Republican 1980
Incumbent running Chuck Grassley (Republican)[62]
Rob Hogg (Democratic)[63]
Tom Fiegen (Democratic)[64]
Kansas Jerry Moran Republican 2010 Incumbent running Jerry Moran (Republican)[65]
Kentucky Rand Paul Republican 2010 Incumbent running Rand Paul (Republican)[66]
Louisiana David Vitter Republican 2004
Incumbent retiring Charles Boustany (Republican)
(John Fleming (Republican)
Maryland Barbara Mikulski Democratic 1986
Incumbent retiring[67] Donna Edwards (Democratic)[68]
Chris Van Hollen (Democratic)[69]
Margaret Flowers (Green)[70]
Chrys Kefalas (Republican)[71]
Kathy Szeliga (Republican)[72]
Missouri Roy Blunt Republican 2010 Incumbent running Roy Blunt (Republican)[73]
Jason Kander (Democratic)[74]
Nevada Harry Reid Democratic 1986
Incumbent retiring[75] Catherine Cortez Masto (Democratic)[76]
Joe Heck (Republican)[77]
New Hampshire Kelly Ayotte Republican 2010 Incumbent running Kelly Ayotte (Republican)[78]
Maggie Hassan (Democratic)[79]
New York Chuck Schumer Democratic 1998
Incumbent running Chuck Schumer (Democratic)[39]
North Carolina Richard Burr Republican 2004
Incumbent running Richard Burr (Republican)[80]
Deborah Ross (Democratic)[81]
Chris Rey (Democratic)[82]
Kevin Griffin (Democratic)[83]
North Dakota John Hoeven Republican 2010 Incumbent running John Hoeven (Republican)[84]
Robert Marquette (Libertarian)[85]
Ohio Rob Portman Republican 2010 Incumbent running Rob Portman (Republican)[86]
P.G. Sittenfeld (Democratic)[87]
Ted Strickland (Democratic)[88]
Oklahoma James Lankford Republican 2014 (Special) Incumbent running James Lankford (Republican)[39]
Oregon Ron Wyden Democratic 1996 (Special)
Incumbent running Mark Callahan (Republican)[89]
Dan Laschober (Republican)[89]
Kevin Stine (Democratic)[90]
Ron Wyden (Democratic)[39]
Pennsylvania Pat Toomey Republican 2010 Incumbent running Pat Toomey (Republican)[91]
Everett Stern (Republican)[92]
Kathleen McGinty (Democratic)[93]
Joe Sestak (Democratic)[94]
John Fetterman (Democratic)[95]
South Carolina Tim Scott Republican 2013 (Appointed)
2014 (Special)
Incumbent running Tim Scott (Republican)[39]
South Dakota John Thune Republican 2004
Incumbent running John Thune (Republican)[96]
Utah Mike Lee Republican 2010 Incumbent running Mike Lee (Republican)[97]
Vermont Patrick Leahy Democratic 1974
Incumbent running Patrick Leahy (Democratic)[98]
Washington Patty Murray Democratic 1992
Incumbent running Patty Murray (Democratic)[99]
Chris Vance (Republican)[100]
Wisconsin Ron Johnson Republican 2010 Incumbent running Russ Feingold (Democratic)[101]
Ron Johnson (Republican)[102]

Complete list of races[edit]

Thirty-four seats are up for election in 2016:

  • 7 Democrats and 21 Republicans are seeking re-election.
  • 6 Senators (3 Democrats, 3 Republicans) are retiring.


Five-term Senator Richard Shelby (Republican) 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 is running for re-election, and is facing four challengers in the Republican primary: ex-state Senator Shadrack McGill, former Marine and Birmingham businessman Jonathan McConnell, Marcus Bowman, and John Martin.[103]

There are two Democratic candidates: Ron Crumpton, patient rights advocate.[16][104] and Charles Nana.[103]


Two-term Senator Lisa Murkowski (Republican) 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.[17]

Potential Republican primary challengers include 2010 nominee and 2014 candidate Joe Miller and former Governor Sean Parnell.[105][106][107][108]

Potential Democratic candidates include former U.S. Senator Mark Begich,[109] State Senator Dennis Egan, State Representative Andy Josephson, State Senator Bill Wielechowski, State Senator Hollis French and State Senate Minority Leader Johnny Ellis.[110]


Five-term Senator and Republican Presidential candidate in 2008 John McCain was re-elected with 59.3% of the vote in 2010. He will be 80 years old in 2016. Despite speculation that he might retire,[111] McCain is running for re-election.[20]

McCain will face a strong primary challenge, particularly from Tea Party groups.[112][113] State Senator Kelli Ward and businessman David Pizer are running.[22][21] October 2014 primary polling showed McCain running 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%).[114] Salmon has announced he will not run.[115] Other potential Republican candidates include U.S. Representative Trent Franks,[116] businesswoman and 2014 gubernatorial candidate Christine Jones,[117] former Governor of Alaska and 2008 Vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin,[118] former U.S. Representative John Shadegg,[116] former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods,[116] and retired U.S. Air Force Colonel and Representative Martha McSally.[119]

Both Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick, and Teacher and Veteran Lennie Clark[18] (a progressive who supports Bernie Sanders) are running for the Democratic nomination.[19] Other potential Democratic candidates include U.S. Representatives Kyrsten Sinema and Ruben Gallego, former Surgeon General and 2012 nominee Richard Carmona, 2014 gubernatorial nominee Fred DuVal, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, and retired astronaut Mark Kelly, who is husband of ex-Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.[120][121][122]


One-term Senator John Boozman (Republican) 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.[23] 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.[123][124] Fellow Republican Curtis Coleman, who ran against Boozman in 2010 but came in fifth place, is running again.[24]

Connor Eldridge, the former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, is running for the Democratic nomination.[125] 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.[126] A Public Policy Polling survey in August 2014 found Beebe leading Boozman 46% to 40%[127] and a survey in September 2014 found Beebe leading Boozman 49% to 39%.[128]


Four-term Senator Barbara Boxer (Democrat) 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.[129][130] On January 8, 2015, Boxer announced that she would not run for re-election.[27]

California Attorney General Kamala Harris is running for the Democratic nomination,[131] as is U.S. Representative Loretta Sanchez. Other potential Democratic candidates include U.S. Representatives Xavier Becerra, John Garamendi, and former US Army Secretary Louis Caldera.[132][133][134][135][136][137]

State Assemblyman Rocky Chavez,[30] former State Party Chairs Tom Del Beccaro[31] and Duf Sundheim[32] are running for the Republican nomination, along with John Estrada,[138] Mark Hardie,[139] Don Krampe,[140] and Tom Palzer.[141] Other potential Republican candidates include former U.S. Representatives Mary Bono, David Drier, and Doug Ose, President and CEO of Hewlett-Packard and nominee for Governor in 2010 Meg Whitman, former Lieutenant Governor of California Abel Maldonado, former State Assemblyman and 2014 gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly, and former State Senator Phil Wyman. Republicans who 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.[142]

Independent Mike Beitiks is running on a single-issue climate change platform.[143]


One-term Senator Michael Bennet (Democrat) 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.[33]

El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn,[36] State Senator Tim Neville,[38] former Aurora councilman Ryan Frazier[35] former SBA director Greg Lopez,[37] and businessman Robert Blaha[34] are running for the Republican nomination. Other potential Republican candidates include Attorney General Cynthia Coffman,[144] State Treasurer Walker Stapleton, former Secretary of State Scott Gessler, 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.[145][146][147]


One-term Senator Richard Blumenthal (Democrat) was elected with 55.1% of the vote in 2010. He will be 70 years old in 2016. He is running for re-election.[39]

Former Olympic athlete August Wolf is running for the Republican nomination.[148] Former United States Ambassador to Ireland and 2014 gubernatorial nominee Thomas C. Foley is a potential Republican candidate. Larry Kudlow, an economist and former CNBC television host, may run.[149] Former U.S. Comptroller General and 2014 candidate for Lieutenant Governor David M. Walker[150][151] and former U.S. Representative and 2010 candidate Rob Simmons declined to run for the Republican nomination.[152]


One-term Senator Marco Rubio (Republican) was elected in a three-way race with 48.9% of the vote in 2010. He will be 45 years old in 2016. Rubio openly considered whether to seek re-election or run for President in 2016.[153][154][155] He stated in April 2014 that he would not run for both 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.[156] In April 2015, he announced that he was running for President[157] and would not seek re-election.[158][159][160]

Declared Republican candidates are U.S. Representatives Ron DeSantis, David Jolly, Lieutenant Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera, and combat veteran Todd Wilcox.[161] Other potential Republican candidates include Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam, U.S. Representatives Curt Clawson and Ted Yoho, former Mayor of St. Petersburg Rick Baker, and Bill McCollum, former Florida Attorney General, former U.S. Representative, nominee for U.S. Senate in 2000, candidate in 2004, and candidate for Governor in 2010.[162][163][164]

U.S. Representatives Alan Grayson, Patrick Murphy and attorney Pam Keith are running for the Democratic nomination.[46][47][48]


Two-term Senator Johnny Isakson (Republican) 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.[49] In 2015, Isakson announced he was being treated for Parkinson's disease, but stated that his treatment would not interfere with his re-election campaign or his ability to serve another term.[165]

Derrick Grayson, candidate for the state's other Senate seat in 2014, is running against Isakson for the Republican nomination.[166] Other potential candidates include former U.S. Representative Paul Broun and U.S. Representative Tom Price.[167][168] Former Florida U.S. Representative Allen West has ruled out running for the seat.[49]

Potential Democratic candidates include former Points of Light CEO and 2014 nominee Michelle Nunn,[109][169] former U.S. Representative John Barrow,[170] 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.[171] Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has ruled out a run.[172]


Nine-term Senator and President pro tempore Daniel Inouye (Democrat) 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[173] but he died on December 17, 2012.[174] Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie appointed Lieutenant Governor Brian Schatz in his place. Schatz won a 2014 special election to serve the remainder of Inouye's term. He is running for re-election.[39]

Former U.S. Representative and 2014 Senate candidate Colleen Hanabusa may challenge Schatz in the primary again,[175] while U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard declined to seek the Democratic nomination for the seat.[176]


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 is seeking re-election to a fourth term.[51] U.S Representative Raul Labrador was considered to be a possible primary challenger for Crapo, but has ruled out running.[177][178]


One-term Senator Mark Kirk (Republican) 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.[179] In June 2013 he confirmed that he was planning to run for re-election,[180] but there has been some speculation that he might retire.[181] In November 2014, Kirk reiterated that he was going to run for re-election, saying: "no frickin' way am I retiring."[182]

Joe Walsh, a former U.S. Representative and conservative talk radio host, has been mentioned as a possible primary challenger against Kirk.[120][182][183] On June 6, 2015, Ron Wallace, a conservative activist and investment advisor, announced that he's running. (266)

For the Democrats, U.S. Representative Tammy Duckworth, President and CEO of the Chicago Urban League Andrea Zopp, and State Senator Napoleon Harris are declared candidates.[184][185][186] Other potential candidates include State Senator Kwame Raoul, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, former Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon, and former Governor Pat Quinn.[187][188][189] First Lady Michelle Obama has ruled out running for the seat which was formerly held by her husband, Barack Obama.[190]


Three-term non-consecutive Dan Coats (Republican) was elected with 54.6% of the vote in 2010. Coats is not running for re-election.[191] Republican candidates are Coat's chief of staff Eric Holcomb, U.S. Representatives Marlin Stutzman, and Todd Young. Other potential Republican candidates include State House Speaker Brian Bosma,[191] and Mayor of Indianapolis Greg Ballard.[192]

Former U.S. Representative Baron Hill is running for the Democratic nomination.[58] Other potential Democratic candidates include 2010 Senate nominee Brad Ellsworth, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and former Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel.[191][193] Former Senator Evan Bayh has stated that he is not interested in running for the seat.[191]


Six-term Senator Chuck Grassley (Republican) 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.[194][195]

If Grassley should change his mind and retire, potential Republican candidates would include U.S. Representative Steve King, former U.S. Representative Tom Latham, and State Representative and Grassley's grandson Pat Grassley.[196]

Former State Senator Tom Fiegen and current State Senator Rob Hogg are running for the Democratic nomination. Other potential Democratic candidates include former State Representative and current president of Veterans National Recovery Center Bob Krause, US Agriculture Secretary and former Governor Tom Vilsack, U.S. Representative Dave Loebsack, former First Lady and 2012 IA-04 nominee Christie Vilsack, Senate Majority Leader Michael Gronstal, former Governor Chet Culver, and retired NFL quarterback Kyle Orton.[120][195][197][198]


One-term Senator Jerry Moran (Republican) was elected with 70.3% of the vote in 2010. He will be 62 years old in 2016. He is running for re-election.[65] Radiologist and 2014 Senate candidate Milton Wolf and former U.S. Representative Todd Tiahrt are potential primary challengers for Moran, while U.S. Representative Tim Huelskamp has ruled out running.[65][120][199][200]

Potential Democratic candidates include former United States Secretary of Health and Human Services and former Governor of Kansas Kathleen Sebelius, Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer, 2014 Governor nominee Paul Davis, former Kansas City Mayor Joe Reardon, former U.S. Representative and 2008 nominee Jim Slattery, and 2014 KS-02 nominee Margie Wakefield.[120][201]

2014 Independent Senate candidate Greg Orman could run again, either as an Independent or a Democratic candidate.[120]

A September 2014 survey by Public Policy Polling found Moran leading Sebelius by 52% to 37%.[202]


One-term Senator Rand Paul (Republican) was elected with 55.7% of the vote in 2010. He will be 53 years old in 2016. Paul has filed for re-election,[66] although he is also running for President of the United States in 2016.[203] Although Kentucky law does not allow for a candidate to appear twice on the same ballot, Paul successfully convinced the Kentucky GOP to adopt a caucus system for 2016, allowing Paul to run for president and for the Senate simultaneously.[204] Kentucky law still bars Paul from appearing twice on the ballot in the general election.[204]

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, and Hal Rogers.[205][206]

Potential Democratic candidates include State Auditor Adam Edelen, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, Louisville mayor Greg Fischer, former Congressman Ben Chandler, former Kentucky Democratic Party chairwoman Jennifer Moore, Lieutenant Governor Crit Luallen, Louisville city councilor David Tandy, actress Ashley Judd, and Colmon Elridge, a senior adviser to Governor Steve Beshear.[207]

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%.[208]


Two-term Senator David Vitter (Republican) was re-elected with 56.6% of the vote in 2010. He will be 55 years old in 2016. Vitter unsuccessfully ran for Governor of Louisiana in 2015. After losing the gubernatorial race, Vitter chose to retire from the Senate at the end of his term.[39][209]

Potential Republican candidates include State Treasurer John Neely Kennedy, retired United States Air Force Colonel Rob Maness, Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle and U.S. Representatives Charles Boustany and John Fleming.[210] Potential Democratic candidates include state legislators Katrina Jackson and Karen Carter Peterson, as well as New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu.[109][210][211]


Five-term Senator Barbara Mikulski (Democrat) 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.[67]

U.S. Representatives Donna Edwards[68] and Chris Van Hollen[69] are running for the Democratic nomination. Other potential Democratic candidates include U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings, former U.S. Representative Frank Kratovil, and former President & CEO of the NAACP Benjamin Jealous.[212][213][214]

Declared Republican candidates are Chrys Kefalas[71] and State Delegate Kathy Szeliga.[72] Other potential Republican candidates include U.S. Representative Andy Harris, former Maryland Secretary of State Mary Kane, and former Anne Arundel County Executive Laura Neuman. Retired Johns Hopkins Neurosurgery Director Ben Carson has ruled out running, as he is running for President.[215][216]


One-term Senator Roy Blunt (Republican) was elected with 54.3% of the vote in 2010. He will be 66 years old in 2016. He is running for re-election.[73] He may face a primary challenge. Former U.S. Representative and 2012 Senate nominee Todd Akin was rumored to be a possible candidate, but declined to run.[217][218]

For the Democrats, Secretary of State Jason Kander[74] and Democratic Party Asian American Caucus chairman MD Rabbi Alam are running.[219][220] Governor Jay Nixon and State Treasurer Clint Zweifel chose not to seek election to the Senate.[221][222]


Five-term Senator and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (Democrat) was re-elected with 50.2% of the vote in 2010. Reid is not seeking re-election.[75] Former Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto is seeking the Democratic nomination.[76] Congressman Joe Heck is seeking the Republican nomination.[77]

New Hampshire[edit]

One-term Senator Kelly Ayotte (Republican) was elected with 60.2% of the vote in 2010. She will be 48 years old in 2016. Ayotte is running for re-election.[78] She has also been speculated to be a potential candidate for the Republican nomination for President of the United States in 2016[223][224][225][226] as well as a potential running mate.[227] If she is the Vice Presidential nominee, she can appear on the ballot twice and run for re-election at the same time.[227][228] If she does run, Ayotte may face a primary challenge from the Tea Party.[228]

Governor Maggie Hassan is running for the Democrats.[79] Other potential candidates as are Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster and former Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter.[228] Former Democratic governor John Lynch declined to run.[229]

New York[edit]

Three-term Senator Chuck Schumer (Democrat) was re-elected with 66% of the vote in 2010. He will be 65 years old in 2016. He is running for re-election.[39] If reelected, Chuck Schumer is widely expected to succeed Harry Reid as the leader of the Senate Democrats.[230]

Potential Republican candidates include U.S. Representatives Chris Gibson and Peter T. King.[231] Larry Kudlow, an economist and former CNBC television host, may also run.[149] U.S. Representative Richard L. Hanna and Manhattan Republican Party Chairwoman Adele Malpass were also mentioned as possible candidates, but both have declined to run.[231][232]

North Carolina[edit]

Two-term Senator Richard Burr (Republican) 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,[233] but he is running for re-election.[80][234]

Former state representative Deborah Ross, Spring Lake Mayor Chris Rey, and businessman Kevin Griffin are running for the Democratic nomination.[81][82][83] Potential Democratic candidates include 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.[109][233] Former U.S. Senator Kay Hagan,[235] state treasurer Janet Cowell,[236] and Anthony Foxx, the United States Secretary of Transportation and former Mayor of Charlotte, declined to run.[237]

Polling conducted by Public Policy Polling in October 2015 found Burr leading Ross 43% to 39%, leading Griffin 44% to 35%, and leading Rey 45% to 34%.[238]

North Dakota[edit]

One-term Senator John Hoeven (Republican) was elected with 76.2% of the vote in 2010. He will be 59 years old in 2016. He is running for re-election.[84]

Potential Democratic candidates include state Senator George B. Sinner, state Representative Corey Mock, and USDA State Director Jasper Schneider.[239]

On November 7, 2015, the Libertarian party nominated Robert Marquette.


One-term Senator Rob Portman (Republican) 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.[240][241][242] He has ruled out running for two offices at the same time, even though Ohio law does allow it.[243] He had considered running for President, but decided not to.[86] Potential Republican candidates if Portman vacates the seat include Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel and U.S. Representative Steve Stivers.[240]

The National Organization for Marriage and other socially conservative groups, unhappy with Portman's public backing for same-sex marriage, have pledged to back a primary challenger. Tea Party groups, who heavily backed Portman in 2010, have said that they are unlikely to do the same if he runs for re-election. Potential primary challengers include former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, former State Representative Seth Morgan, and former State Representative Matt Lynch[244][245]

Former Governor Ted Strickland and Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld are running for the Democratic nomination.[87][246] Former State Representative Bob Hagan had filed papers to run[247] but later withdrew from the race.[248] Other potential Democratic candidates include Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray and former U.S. Representatives John Boccieri and Betty Sutton.[240][247]


Two-term Senator Tom Coburn (Republican) was re-elected with 70.64% of the vote in 2010, but chose to leave office before the end of his term after being diagnosed with prostate cancer. James Lankford won the 2014 special election to serve the remainder of Coburn's term.[249] Lankford is running for re-election.[39]

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.[250] Lankford's 2014 special election opponent Constance N. Johnson has said that she plans to run again.[251]


Three-term Senator Ron Wyden (Democrat) 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.[39]

Medford City Councilor Kevin Stine is challenging Wyden for the Democratic nomination.[90]

Information technology consultant and 2014 candidate Mark Callahan and business consultant Dan Laschober are running for the Republican nomination.[89]


One-term Senator Pat Toomey (Republican) was elected with 51% of the vote in 2010. He will be 54 years old in 2016. Toomey is seeking re-election.[91]

Everett Stern, a security intelligence consultant and whistleblower of the HSBC money laundering scandal, is challenging Toomey for the Republican nomination.[92]

Democratic candidates include Katie McGinty, former Chief of Staff to Governor Tom Wolf and former Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection,[93] former Congressman Joe Sestak, who defeated incumbent Senator Arlen Specter for the 2010 Democratic nomination, but lost to Toomey in the general election,[94] and current mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania, John Fetterman,[95] who is an AmeriCorps alum and Harvard University graduate.[252]

Other potential Democratic candidates include state senator Vincent Hughes, former U.S. Representative Chris Carney, and Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams.[253][254][255] Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski announced his candidacy for the seat but suspended his campaign due to an FBI investigation of Allentown.[256]

South Carolina[edit]

Two-term Republican Senator Jim DeMint (Republican) 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 (Republican) of South Carolina's 1st congressional district was appointed to replace him by Governor Nikki Haley.[257] Scott subsequently won the special election in 2014 for the remaining two years of the term. He is running for re-election[39] and he is also a potential Republican Vice Presidential nominee.[258][259]

If Scott becomes the Vice Presidential nominee and does not run for re-election, potential Republican candidates include Congressmen Mick Mulvaney,[260] Jeff Duncan and Mark Sanford, along with State Senator Tom Davis, State Treasurer Curtis Loftis and State Attorney General Alan Wilson.[258] Darla Moore has also been mentioned as a potential candidate for either party.[258]

South Dakota[edit]

Two-term Senator John Thune (Republican) ran unopposed and was re-elected with 100% in 2010. He will be 55 years old in 2016. He is running for re-election.[96]

Potential Democratic candidates include former Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin,[261] filmmaker and former television news producer Sam Hurst, State Senator Billie Sutton, former State Senator Frank Kloucek, former U.S. Senator Jim Abourezk, former U.S. Senator Tom Daschle, Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether, and State Senator Bernie Hunhoff.[262][263][264][265][266] 2014 nominee Rick Weiland declined to run again in 2016.[267]


One-term Senator Mike Lee (Republican) was elected with 61.6% of the vote in 2010. He will be 45 years old in 2016. He is running for re-election.[97]

Lee may face a primary challenge following his role in the unpopular 2013 federal government shutdown, which caused his approval ratings to drop drastically.[268][269][270] 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.[271]

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.[268][269][272] Former Governor of Utah and former United States Secretary of Health and Human Services Mike Leavitt has denied interest in running.[271]

Congressman Jim Matheson is a potential Democratic candidate, although he may instead choose to run for Governor of Utah.[272]


Seven-term Senator Patrick Leahy (Democrat) was re-elected with 64.4% of the vote in 2010. He will be 76 years old in 2016. Leahy is seeking re-election.[98]


Four-term Senator Patty Murray (Democrat) 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.[99]

Congressman Dave Reichert was considered a potential Republican candidate.[273] Instead, he decided to run for reelection.[274]

The only declared Republican candidate is former State Representative and former chair of the Washington State Republican Party Chris Vance.[100]


One-term Senator Ron Johnson (Republican) defeated three-term Senator Russ Feingold (Democrat) with 51.9% of the vote in 2010. He will be 61 years old in 2016. He is running for re-election.[275]

On May 14, 2015, Feingold announced that he would seek a rematch against Johnson for his former Senate seat.[276] Immediately after his announcement, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee endorsed Feingold's candidacy.[277] Businesswoman and 2014 gubernatorial nominee Mary Burke has declared that she is not seeking statewide office in 2016.[278]

Polling by Wisconsin Public Radio in October 2015 showed Johnson losing a rematch to Feingold, 51% to 40%.[279]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Subject to change if vacancies occur in Class 1 or Class 2 Senate seats.
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