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 46*
Current seats 54 46*
Seats needed Decrease 5 Increase 5*
Seats up 24 10

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 2 5
Incumbent running 7 21 28
Intent undeclared 0 1 1

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
June 11
Aug. 7
July 24
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% Likely R Likely R Lean R
California D+9 (Barbara Boxer) (D) 1992 52.2% Likely D Safe D Safe D
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% Tossup Tossup Tossup
Georgia R+6 Johnny Isakson (R) 2004 58.1% Likely R Safe R Likely R
Illinois D+8 Mark Kirk (R) 2010 48.2% Tossup Lean D Tilt D
Indiana R+5 (Dan Coats) (R) 2010[9] 56.4% Likely R Likely 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 Tossup
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 Likely R Lean R
Ohio R+1 Rob Portman (R) 2010 57.3% Lean R Lean R Lean R
Pennsylvania D+1 Pat Toomey (R) 2010 51.0% Lean R Lean R Tilt R
Wisconsin D+2 Ron Johnson (R) 2010 51.9% Tossup Lean D 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 (R)
Ron Crumpton (D)[11]
Alaska Lisa Murkowski Republican Appointed in 2002
Lisa Murkowski (R)[12] 39.5%
Joe Miller (R) 35.5%
Scott McAdams (D) 23.5%
Running[13] Lisa Murkowski (R)
Arizona John McCain Republican 1986
John McCain (R) 59.2%
Rodney Glassman (D) 34.7%
Running[14] John McCain (R)
Ann Kirkpatrick (D)[15]
Kelli Ward (R)[16]
Arkansas John Boozman Republican 2010 John Boozman (R) 58.0%
Blanche Lincoln (D) 36.9%
Running[17] John Boozman (R)
California Barbara Boxer Democratic 1992
Barbara Boxer (D) 52.1%
Carly Fiorina (R) 42.5%
Retiring[18] Rocky Chavez (R)[19]
Kamala Harris (D)[20]
Loretta Sanchez (D) [21]
Colorado Michael Bennet Democratic Appointed in 2009
Michael Bennet (D) 47.7%
Ken Buck (R) 46.5%
Running[22] Michael Bennet (D)
Darryl Glenn (R)[23]
Connecticut Richard Blumenthal Democratic 2010 Richard Blumenthal (D) 55.1%
Linda McMahon (R) 43.3%
Running[24] Richard Blumenthal (D)
August Wolf (R)[25]
Florida Marco Rubio Republican 2010 Marco Rubio (R) 48.9%
Charlie Crist (I) 29.7%
Kendrick Meek (D) 20.1%
Running for president
Ron DeSantis (R)
Pam Keith (D)[27]
Patrick Murphy (D)[28]
Carlos Lopez-Cantera (R)[29]
Alan Grayson (D)[30]
David Jolly (R)
Georgia Johnny Isakson Republican 2004
Johnny Isakson (R) 58.1%
Michael Thurmond (D) 39.2%
Running[31] Johnny Isakson (R)
Derrick Grayson (R)[32]
Hawaii Brian Schatz Democratic Appointed in 2012
2014 (special)
Brian Schatz (D) 69.9%
Campbell Cavasso (R) 27.6%
Running[24] Brian Schatz (D)
Idaho Mike Crapo Republican 1998
Mike Crapo (R) 71.1%
Tom Sullivan (D) 25.0%
Running[33] Mike Crapo (R)
Illinois Mark Kirk Republican 2010 Mark Kirk (R) 48.2%
Alexi Giannoulias (D) 46.3%
Running[34] Tammy Duckworth (D)[35]
Mark Kirk (R)
Andrea Zopp (D)[36]
Napoleon Harris (D)[37]
Indiana Dan Coats Republican 2010 Dan Coats (R) 56.4%
Brad Ellsworth (D) 38.1%
Rebecca Sink-Burris (L) 5.4%
Retiring[24][38] Baron Hill (D)[39]
Eric Holcomb (R)[40]
Marlin Stutzman (R)[41]
Todd Young (R)[42]
Iowa Chuck Grassley Republican 1980
Chuck Grassley (R) 64.5%
Roxanne Conlin (D) 33.2%
Running[43] Chuck Grassley (R)
Kansas Jerry Moran Republican 2010 Jerry Moran (R) 70.3%
Lisa Johnston (D) 26.2%
Running[44] Jerry Moran (R)
Kentucky Rand Paul Republican 2010 Rand Paul (R) 55.8%
Jack Conway (D) 44.2%
Running[45] Rand Paul (R)
Louisiana David Vitter Republican 2004
David Vitter (R) 56.6%
Charles Melancon (D) 37.7%
Running for Governor
of Louisiana in 2015
Maryland Barbara Mikulski Democratic 1986
Barbara Mikulski (D) 61.8%
Eric Wargotz (R) 36.3%
Retiring[47] Donna Edwards (D)[48]
Chris Van Hollen (D)[49]
Missouri Roy Blunt Republican 2010 Roy Blunt (R) 54.3%
Robin Carnahan (D) 40.6%
Running[50] Roy Blunt (R)
Jason Kander (D)[51]
MD Rabbi Alam (D) [52][53]
Nevada Harry Reid Democratic 1986
Harry Reid (D) 50.2%
Sharron Angle (R) 44.6%
Retiring[54] Catherine Cortez Masto (D)[55]
Joe Heck (R)[56]
New Hampshire Kelly Ayotte Republican 2010 Kelly Ayotte (R) 60.2%
Paul Hodes (D) 36.7%
Running[57] Kelly Ayotte (R)
New York Chuck Schumer Democratic 1998
Chuck Schumer (D) 65.4%
Jay Townsend (R) 33.0%
Running[24] Chuck Schumer (D)
North Carolina Richard Burr Republican 2004
Richard Burr (R) 55.0%
Elaine Marshall (D) 42.9%
Running[58] Richard Burr (R)
North Dakota John Hoeven Republican 2010 John Hoeven (R) 76.2%
Tracy Potter (D) 22.2%
Running[59] John Hoeven (R)
Ohio Rob Portman Republican 2010 Rob Portman (R) 57.3%
Lee Fisher (D) 39.0%
Running[60] Rob Portman (R)
P.G. Sittenfeld (D)[61]
Ted Strickland (D)[62]
Oklahoma James Lankford Republican 2014 (special) James Lankford (R) 67.9%
Constance N. Johnson (D) 29.0%
Running[24] James Lankford (R)
Oregon Ron Wyden Democratic 1996 (special)
Ron Wyden (D) 57.2%
Jim Huffman (R) 39.4%
Running[24] Ron Wyden (D)
Pennsylvania Pat Toomey Republican 2010 Pat Toomey (R) 51.01%
Joe Sestak (D) 48.99%
Running[63] Pat Toomey (R)
Everett Stern (R)
Kathleen McGinty (D)
Joe Sestak (D)[64]
South Carolina Tim Scott Republican Appointed in 2013
2014 (special)
Tim Scott (R) 61.2%
Joyce Dickerson (D) 37.1%
Running[24] Tim Scott (R)
South Dakota John Thune Republican 2004
John Thune (R) Unopposed Running[65] John Thune (R)
Utah Mike Lee Republican 2010 Mike Lee (R) 61.6%
Sam Granato (D) 32.8%
Scott Bradley (C) 5.7%
Running[66] Mike Lee (R)
Vermont Patrick Leahy Democratic 1974
Patrick Leahy (D) 64.4%
Len Britton (R) 30.9%
Running[67] Patrick Leahy (D)
Washington Patty Murray Democratic 1992
Patty Murray (D) 52.4%
Dino Rossi (R) 47.6%
Running[68] Patty Murray (D)
Wisconsin Ron Johnson Republican 2010 Ron Johnson (R) 51.9%
Russ Feingold (D) 47.0%
Running[69] Russ Feingold (D)[70]
Ron Johnson (R)

Complete list of races[edit]

Thirty-four seats are up for election in 2016:

  • 7 Democrats and 21 Republicans are seeking re-election. One Republican, David Vitter of Louisiana, may seek re-election.
  • 5 Senators (3 Democrats, 2 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 intends to run for re-election.[10] If Shelby vacates the seat, potential Republican candidates include U.S. Representative Martha Roby,[71] 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., former U.S. Representative Bobby Bright, non-profit executive Stephen Black, and former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb.[72]


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.[13]

Potential Republican primary challengers include 2010 nominee and 2014 candidate Joe Miller and former Governor Sean Parnell.[73][74][75][76]

Potential Democratic candidates include former U.S. Senator Mark Begich,[77] State Senator Dennis Egan, State Representative Andy Josephson, State Senator Bill Wielechowski, State Senator Hollis French and State Senate Minority Leader Johnny Ellis.[78]


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,[79] McCain is running for re-election.[80]

McCain may face a strong primary challenge, particularly from Tea Party groups.[81][82] 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%).[83] Other potential Republican candidates include State Senator Kelli Ward,[84] U.S. Representative Trent Franks,[85] businesswoman and 2014 gubernatorial candidate Christine Jones,[86] former Governor of Alaska and 2008 Vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin,[87] former U.S. Representative John Shadegg,[85] former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods,[85] and retired U.S. Air Force Colonel and Representative Martha McSally.[88]

Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick is running for the Democratic nomination.[15] 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 husband of Gabrielle Giffords and retired astronaut Mark Kelly.[89][90][91]


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.[17] 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.[92][93]

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.[94] A Public Policy Polling survey in August 2014 found Beebe leading Boozman 46% to 40%[95] and a survey in September 2014 found Beebe leading Boozman 49% to 39%.[96]


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.[97][98] On January 8, 2015, Boxer announced that she would not run for re-election.[18]

California Attorney General Kamala Harris is running for the Democratic nomination,[99] 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.[100][101][102][103][104][105]

State Assemblyman Rocky Chavez is running for the Republican nomination.[106] Other potential Republican candidates include State Party Chairs Tom Del Beccaro and Duf Sundheim, former State Assemblyman and 2014 gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly, and former State Senator Phil Wyman.[107][108][109][110] 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.[111]

Independent Mike Beitiks is running on a single-issue climate change platform.[112]


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.[22]

El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn is running for the Republicans.[22] Potential Republican candidates include Attorney General Cynthia Coffman,[113] 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.[114][115][116]


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.[24]

Former Olympic athlete August Wolf is running for the Republican nomination.[117] 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.[118] Former U.S. Comptroller General and 2014 candidate for Lieutenant Governor David Walker[119][120] and former U.S. Representative and 2010 candidate Rob Simmons declined to run for the Republican nomination.[121]


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.[122][123][124] 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.[125] In April 2015, he announced that he was running for President[126] and would not seek re-election.[127][128][129]

Potential Republican candidates include former U.S. Senator George LeMieux, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam, U.S. Representatives Vern Buchanan, Curt Clawson, Ron DeSantis, David Jolly, John Mica, Jeff Miller, Tom Rooney and Ted Yoho, and Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives Will Weatherford.[130][131] Chief Financial Officer of Florida Jeff Atwater opted out of a run.[132]

Congressman Patrick Murphy and attorney Pam Keith are running for the Democratic nomination.[27][28] Congressman Alan Grayson is running, according to a close friend and Democratic party donor.[30]


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.[31] 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.[133]

Derrick Grayson, candidate for the state's other Senate seat in 2014, is running against Isakson for the Republican nomination.[134] Other potential candidates include former U.S. Representative Paul Broun and U.S. Representative Tom Price.[135][136] Former Florida U.S. Representative Allen West has ruled out running for the seat.[31]

Potential Democratic candidates include former Points of Light CEO and 2014 nominee Michelle Nunn,[77][137] former U.S. Representative John Barrow,[138] 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.[139] Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has ruled out a run.[140]


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[141] but he died on December 17, 2012.[142] 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.[24]

Former U.S. Representative and 2014 Senate candidate Colleen Hanabusa may challenge Schatz in the primary again[143] but U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard will not run against him.[144]


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.[33] U.S Representative Raul Labrador was considered to be a possible primary challenger for Crapo, but has ruled out running.[145][146]


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.[147] In June 2013 he confirmed that he was planning to run for re-election,[148] but there has been some speculation that he might retire.[149] In November 2014, Kirk reiterated that he was going to run for re-election, saying: "no frickin' way am I retiring."[150]

Joe Walsh, a former U.S. Representative and conservative talk radio host, has been mentioned as a possible primary challenger against Kirk.[89][150][151]

For the Democrats, U.S. Representative Tammy Duckworth and President and CEO of the Chicago Urban League Andrea Zopp are declared candidates.[152] Other potential candidates include, State Senators Napoleon Harris and Kwame Raoul, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, former Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon, and former Governor Pat Quinn.[153][154][155][156][157] First Lady Michelle Obama has ruled out running for the seat which was formerly held by her husband, Barack Obama.[158]


Three-term non-consecutive Dan Coats (Republican) was elected with 54.6% of the vote in 2010. Coats is not running for re-election.[159] Republican candidates are Coat's chief of staff Eric Holcomb and Congressman Marlin Stutzman. Other potential Republican candidates include State House Speaker Brian Bosma, State Senator Jim Merrit, and Congressman Todd Young.[159]

Former U.S. Representative Baron Hill is running for the Democratic nomination.[39] Other potential Democratic candidates include 2010 Senate nominee Brad Ellsworth, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and former Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel.[159][160] Former Senator Evan Bayh has stated that he is not interested in running for the seat.[159]


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.[161][162]

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.[89][163]

Former State Senator Tom Fiegen and former State Representative Bob Krause are running for the Democratic nomination.[164] State Senator Rob Hogg has confirmed he is considering running, and will announce his decision in the spring after the legislative session ends. Other potential Democratic candidates include 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.[89][162][165][166]


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.[44] 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.[44][89][167][168]

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.[89][169]

2014 Independent Senate candidate Greg Orman could run again, either as an Independent or a Democratic candidate.[89]

A September 2014 survey by Public Policy Polling found Moran leading Sebelius by 52% to 37%.[170]


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,[45] although he is also running for President of the United States in 2016.[171] 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.[172] Kentucky law still bars Paul from appearing twice on the ballot in the general election.[172]

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.[173][174]

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.[175]

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%.[176]


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.[46] If Vitter wins election, he will appoint his own replacement who will serve until the regular 2016 election.[24] Vitter has not said what he will do if loses the gubernatorial race.[24]

Potential Republican candidates include Governor Bobby Jindal and U.S. Representatives Jeff Landry, Charles Boustany and John Fleming and [177] 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.[77][177]


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.[47]

U.S. Representatives Chris Van Hollen and Donna Edwards are running for the Democratic nomination.[178][179] Other potential Democratic candidates include U.S. Representatives Elijah Cummings, John Sarbanes and Dutch Ruppersberger, and former President & CEO of the NAACP Benjamin Jealous.[180][181][182]

Potential Republican candidates include U.S. Representative Andy Harris, former Maryland Secretary of State Mary Kane, Chrysovalantis Kefalas, former Anne Arundel County Executive Laura Neuman, and State Delegate Kathy Szeliga[183][184][185][186] Retired Johns Hopkins Neurosurgery Director Ben Carson has ruled out running, as he is running for President.[187][188]


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.[50] He may face a primary challenge. Possible Republican challengers include former State Senator John Lamping.[189] Former U.S. Representative and 2012 Senate nominee Todd Akin was rumored to be a possible candidate, but has announced he will not run.[190][191]

For the Democrats, Secretary of State Jason Kander[192] and Democratic Party Asian American Caucus chairman MD Rabbi Alam are running.[193][194] Governor Jay Nixon and State Treasurer Clint Zweifel chose not to seek election to the Senate.[195][196]


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.[54] Potential Democratic candidates are former Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto and former Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller.[197] 2010 Republican nominee Sharron Angle may run again.[198] 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.[199][200] Other potential Republican candidates include former Lieutenant Governor Brian Krolicki, Congressman Joe Heck,[201] and state senator Michael Roberson.[202]

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.[57] She has also been speculated to be a potential candidate for the Republican nomination for President of the United States in 2016[203][204][205][206] as well as a potential running mate.[207] If she is the Vice Presidential nominee, she can appear on the ballot twice and run for re-election at the same time.[207][208] If she does run, Ayotte may face a primary challenge from the Tea Party.[208]

Governor Maggie Hassan is a potential Democratic candidate,[208] as are Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster and former Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter.[208] Former Democratic governor John Lynch declined to run.[209]

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.[24] If reelected, Chuck Schumer is widely expected to succeed Harry Reid as the leader of the Senate Democrats.[210]

Potential Republican candidates include U.S. Representatives Chris Gibson and Peter T. King.[211] Larry Kudlow, an economist and former CNBC television host, may also run.[118] U.S. Representative Richard L. Hanna and Manahattan Republican Party Chairwoman Adele Malpass were also mentioned as possible candidates, but both have declined to run.[211][212]

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,[213] but he is running for re-election.[58][214]

Potential Democratic candidates include 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.[77][213] Both former U.S. Senator Kay Hagan[215] and Anthony Foxx, the United States Secretary of Transportation and former Mayor of Charlotte, declined to run.[216]

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%.[217]

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.[59]

Potential Democratic candidates include state Senator George B. Sinner, state Representative Corey Mock, and USDA State Director Jasper Schneider.[218]


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.[219][220][221] He has ruled out running for two offices at the same time, even though Ohio law does allow it.[222] He had considered running for President, but decided not to.[60] Potential Republican candidates if Portman vacates the seat include Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel and U.S. Representative Steve Stivers.[219]

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[223][224]

Former Governor Ted Strickland and Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld are running for the Democratic nomination.[61][225] Strickland is favored to take the nomination and win the general election.[226] Former State Representative Bob Hagan had filed papers to run[227] but later withdrew from the race.[228] 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.[219][227]


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 for the seat, and Lankford will serve the remainder of Coburn's term.[229] Lankford is running for re-election.[24]

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.[230] Lankford's 2014 special election opponent Constance N. Johnson has said that she plans to run again.[231]


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.[24]


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.[63]

Everett Stern, a security intelligence consultant and whistleblower of the HSBC money laundering scandal, is challenging Toomey for the Republican nomination.[232]

Democratic candidates include Katie McGinty, former Chief of Staff to Governor Tom Wolf and former Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, as well as former Congressman Joe Sestak, who defeated incumbent Senator Arlen Specter for the 2010 Democratic nomination, but lost to Toomey in the general election.[233] Other potential Democratic candidates include state senator Vincent Hughes, former U.S. Representative Chris Carney, and Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams.[234][235][236] Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski announced his candidacy for the seat but suspended his campaign due to an FBI investigation of Allentown.[237]

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.[238] Scott subsequently won the special election in 2014 for the remaining two years of the term. He is running for re-election[24] and he is also a potential Republican Vice Presidential nominee.[239][240]

If Scott becomes the Vice Presidential nominee and does not run for re-election, potential Republican candidates include Congressmen Mick Mulvaney,[241] Jeff Duncan and Mark Sanford, along with State Senator Tom Davis, State Treasurer Curtis Loftis and State Attorney General Alan Wilson.[239] Darla Moore has also been mentioned as a potential candidate for either party.[239]

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.[65]

Former Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin is a potential Democratic candidates.[242] Other potential Democratic candidates include 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.[243][244][245][246][247] 2014 nominee Rick Weiland will not run again in 2016.[248]


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.[66]

Lee may face a primary challenge following his role in the unpopular 2013 federal government shutdown, which caused his approval ratings to drop drastically.[249][250][251] 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.[252]

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.[249][250][253] Former Governor of Utah and former United States Secretary of Health and Human Services Mike Leavitt has denied interest in running.[252]

Congressman Jim Matheson is a potential Democratic candidate, although he may instead choose to run for Governor of Utah.[253]


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.[67]


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.[68]

Congressman Dave Reichert is a potential Republican candidate.[254][255]


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.[256]

On May 14, 2015, Feingold announced that he would seek a rematch against Johnson for his former Senate seat.[257] Immediately after his announcement, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee endorsed Feingold's candidacy.[258] U.S. Representatives Ron Kind and Gwen Moore are also potential Democratic candidates.[259][260] Businesswoman and 2014 gubernatorial nominee Mary Burke has declared that she is not seeking statewide office in 2016.[261]

Polling by Public Policy Polling in February 2013 showed Johnson losing a rematch to Feingold, 52% to 42%.[262]

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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  6. ^ Murkowski was first appointed to the seat in 2002.
  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, and continued to caucus with the Republican Party upon re-election.
  8. ^ Bennet was first appointed to the seat in 2009.
  9. ^ Coats also served in the Senate from 1989 to 1999.
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  12. ^ Murkowski won as a write-in candidate
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