Senate races 2022

Here is a compact table listing all of the Senate candidates.

The current breakdown of the Senate is as follows (where we count the two independents as Democrats):

  • 14 Democratic seats are up for reelection in 2022 and 36 seats are not up, for a total of 50 seats
  • 20 Republican seats are up for reelection in 2022 and 30 seats are not up, for a total of 50 seats

The map favors the Democrats. Every one of the 14 Democrats up for reelection is running in a state that Joe Biden won in 2020. In contrast, two of the GOP-held seats are in states that Biden won (Pennsylvania and Wisconsin). Also, there are currently five open seats (Alabama, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania), all of them occupied by Republicans at present. At least two more Republican-held seats (Iowa and Wisconsin) could yet become open-seat races.

The Democratic-held seats are listed first below, in alphabetical order by state, with the Republican ones following.

Click on a picture for the candidate's webpage.
Click on a name for the candidate's entry in Wikipedia.
Click on a party (D) or (R) for the state party.

The indicates a race to watch.

All links open in a new window. Type CTRL-W in the window to close it (Command-W on a Mac).


Democratic-held seats

Arizona   

Incumbent Challenger Notes           Polls
Mark Kelly
Mark
Kelly

(D)
Candidate unknown
Candidate
unknown

(R)
In 2020, Mark Kelly won the right to finish off the term of the late John McCain. In 2022 he has to run for a full term on his own, and probably with a less favorable electorate. Still, he is wildly popular among Democrats (87-6 approval) and did win the general election in 2020. He's a Navy combat veteran in a state full of veterans, not to mention an astronaut. The Republicans' best candidate, by far, is term-limited Gov. Doug Ducey. However, Ducey has said he won't run for the Senate because he knows Donald Trump will campaign against him. So the Republicans' first problem is finding a candidate. There are plenty of Republicans in statewide office, so there could be a nasty primary. Kelly is very unlikely to have a serious primary. On the one hand, beating an incumbent senator is always tough. On the other hand, historically, the president's party loses seats in the midterms. It could go either way, but unless the Republicans field a strong candidate, Kelly is probably the slight favorite.

California

Incumbent Challenger Notes           Polls
Alex Padilla
Alex
Padilla

(D)
Candidate unknown
Candidate
unknown

(R)
Alex Padilla was appointed to the seat vacated by Kamala Harris when she was sworn in as vice president. Nevertheless, he has run for and won statewide election before. Most recently (2018), he ran for secretary of state in California and won by 22 points. He is also a Latino is a state full of Latinos. He will cruise to an easy victory.

Colorado

Incumbent Challenger Notes           Polls
Michael Bennet
Michael
Bennet

(D)
Candidate unknown
Candidate
unknown

(R)
Colorado is a light-blue state, but Bennet won narrow victories in 2010 and 2016. Unless the Republicans can come up with a strong candidate, he can probably win again. If Lauren Boebert decides that she wants a promotion after only one term in the House, he will win in a landslide, but it is possible that she is not that stupid. With her, you never know.

Connecticut

Incumbent Challenger Notes           Polls
Richard Blumenthal
Richard
Blumenthal

(D)
Candidate unknown
Candidate
unknown

(R)
Richard Blumenthal is a popular Democratic senator in a blue state. The Republicans don't have anyone serious to run against him. He should win easily.

Georgia   

Incumbent Challenger Notes           Polls
Raphael Warnock
Raphael
Warnock

(D)
Candidate unknown
Candidate
unknown

(R)
Raphael Warnock won a very close special election in 2020 to finish out the term to which Johnny Isakson was elected in 2016. After Isakson resigned from the Senate due to poor health, the governor appointed Kelly Loeffler to the seat. She is married to the guy who runs the company that owns the New York Stock Exchange and acted the part, greedy and aloof to the core. Stacey Abrams managed to register hundreds of thousands of new voters, many of them Black and Warnock narrowly beat Loeffler. The 2022 race will be a real barnburner as Warnock tries for a full term. Donald Trump has persuaded former football player Herschel Walker to run, and that will probably clear the field and make Walker the nominee. He's a weak candidate given that he lives in Texas, has no political experience, and has several skeletons in the closet, including spousal abuse and some dishonest business practices. Warnock is a clear favorite, though it is at least possible Walker will be saved by ballot shenanigans.

Hawaii

Incumbent Challenger Notes           Polls
Brian Schatz
Brian
Schatz

(D)
Candidate unknown
Candidate
unknown

(R)
Brian Schatz is a popular Democratic incumbent in a very blue state with no obvious Republican opponent. He will cruise to an easy win, no matter who the GOP sacrificial lamb is.

Illinois

Incumbent Challenger Notes           Polls
Tammy Duckworth
Tammy
Duckworth

(D)
Candidate unknown
Candidate
unknown

(R)
Tammy Duckworth is popular in this blue state and the Republicans don't have an obvious candidate yet. They might find a rich businessman who can self fund, but he would be a long shot at best.

Maryland

Incumbent Challenger Notes           Polls
Chris Van_Hollen
Chris
Van Hollen

(D)
Candidate unknown
Candidate
unknown

(R)
Chris Van Hollen will probably face a few weak primary opponents, but will knock them off easily. Maryland is a very blue state and Republicans will have trouble finding a first-rate opponent. Kim Klacik ran for the House in 2020 and was beaten badly, but she may be the best the GOP can find, assuming she is interested in being beaten badly again.

Nevada   

Incumbent Challenger Notes           Polls
Catherine Cortez_Masto
Catherine
Cortez Masto

(D)
Candidate unknown
Candidate
unknown

(R)
Nevada is a swing state with a bluish tint. It will be a competitive race, no matter who the Republicans nominate against Catherine Cortez Masto, who is going for her second term. The most likely Republican is Adam Laxalt, the former Nevada attorney general and grandson of former governor Paul Laxalt. He would be a strong candidate, making this one of the most competitive Senate races in the country. Masto is a Latina (in a state full of Latinos) but she doesn't speak Spanish, which many Latinos hold against her. This is a race to watch closely.

New Hampshire   

Incumbent Challenger Notes           Polls
Maggie Hassan
Maggie
Hassan

(D)
Candidate unknown
Candidate
unknown

(R)
Former governor and current senator Maggie Hassan is up for a second term in this swingy state. If Gov. Chris Sununu runs for the GOP nomination, he will get it easily and the general election will be extremely competitive. As in several other states, until Sununu makes an announcement, the Republican field is frozen. If Sununu decides to stay on as governor, Hassan will probably get another term.

New York

Incumbent Challenger Notes           Polls
Chuck Schumer
Chuck
Schumer

(D)
Candidate unknown
Candidate
unknown

(R)
Normally the Senate majority leader is a shoo-in for relection. Schumer's only real worry is not any Republican. It is a Democrat. If Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez decides to challenge him, progressives all over the country will pour millions into her campaign and it will be a very nasty primary. However, her chances of beating him are low and she might well decide that giving up a safe House seat for a wild fling at the Senate is a bad idea right now. She could easily wait 10 years, hell 20 years, and run after he retires.

Oregon

Incumbent Challenger Notes           Polls
Ron Wyden
Ron
Wyden

(D)
Candidate unknown
Candidate
unknown

(R)
Ron Wyden is a popular progressive senator in a progressive state. He is an excellent fit for his state. It is doubtful that any serious Republican will challenge him. Perennial candidate Jo Rae Perkins might run for the GOP nomination and get it because nobody else wants it. But Wyden will slaughter her in the general election.

Vermont

Incumbent Challenger Notes           Polls
Patrick Leahy
Patrick
Leahy

(D)
Candidate unknown
Candidate
unknown

(R)
Pat Leahy has been elected to the Senate eight times and wants to make that nine times. His biggest opponent isn't some aging hippie Republican who snuck into Vermont years ago. It's the clock, or rather, the calendar. Leahy is 81. That is not disqualifying, especially in the Senate, but his age is his biggest Achilles heel, both in a potential primary and in the general election. If no serious opponent shows up though, he will coast to his ninth Senate win easily.

Washington

Incumbent Challenger Notes           Polls
Patty Murray
Patty
Murray

(D)
Candidate unknown
Candidate
unknown

(R)
Patty Murray likes to call herself a "little old lady in tennis shoes." Washingtonians love her. She will win her sixth term easily, no matter who the Republicans throw at her.





Republican-held seats

Alabama

Challenger Challenger Notes           Polls
Candidate unknown
Candidate
unknown

(R)
Candidate unknown
Candidate
unknown

(D)
Richard Shelby, a former Democrat turned Republican, is 87 and decided to call it quits, so this race will be an open seat. Shelby is a traditional conservative and is not wild about what has happened to the Republican Party under Donald Trump. But even as a noncandidate, he will be a real factor in the race since he has millions of dollars in his campaign account. His chosen successor is his chief of staff, Katie Britt. Normally that might be enough to get her the nomination. But Rep. Mo Brooks is trying to get a promotion and Donald Trump is pushing him for all he is worth. Both Trump and Shelby are popular in Alabama, so the primary could get quite heated. Former ambassador to Slovenia, Lynda Blanchard, is also running. Whoever wins the GOP primary will be the next senator from Alabama. The Democrats might not even bother fielding a candidate. It is that hopeless since no child molesters are running for the Republican nomination this time. The primary is May 24, 2022.

Alaska

Incumbent Challenger Notes           Polls
Lisa Murkowski
Lisa
Murkowski

(R)
Candidate unknown
Candidate
unknown

(D)
Lisa Murkowski probably could win again, despite Donald Trump doing his utmost to defeat her. However, she hasn't said whether she is going to run again. She is out of step with the Party of Trump and may not enjoy being an outcast in her own party. Complicating the race is the new top-four ranked choice voting system for the general election. Donald Trump has already endorsed Kelly Tshibaka for the Republican nomination, but she is barely known in Alaska. Democrats don't have a great bench here, but against Tshibaka, some mayor or former mayor might actually have a chance. But until Murkowski makes a decision, it is hard to handicap this race. The primary is Aug. 16, 2022.

Arkansas

Incumbent Challenger Notes           Polls
John Boozman
John
Boozman

(R)
Candidate unknown
Candidate
unknown

(D)
John Boozman is a solid conservative in a very red state and the Democrats have no bench here at all. He will be reelected easily,

Florida   

Incumbent Challenger Notes           Polls
Marco Rubio
Marco
Rubio

(R)
Candidate unknown
Candidate
unknown

(D)
This race could be interesting. Marco Rubio is not much of a campaigner and not a terribly good senator, but he is a Cuban-American from Miami, which counts for a lot. Rep. Val Demings is the favorite for the Democratic nomination, although she has to knock off kooky leftist Alan Grayson first in the primary. As the former police chief of Orlando, law-and-order voters may be attracted to Demings. It is a race to watch; Rubio's built-in advantages make him the favorite at this point, but an upset is not out of the question.

Idaho

Incumbent Challenger Notes           Polls
Mike Crapo
Mike
Crapo

(R)
Candidate unknown
Candidate
unknown

(D)
Mike Crapo is a solid conservative in a solidly conservative state. The Democratic Party of Idaho is like the Loch Ness monster—rumored to exist, but actual evidence is scarce. They have not managed to get a senator elected since the 1970s, and that streak will continue in 2022. Maybe the Democrats will find someone who has nothing to do in 2022 and likes traveling around Idaho and maybe they won't. It won't make any difference. Crapo will win his fifth term with ease.

Indiana

Incumbent Challenger Notes           Polls
Todd Young
Todd
Young

(R)
Candidate unknown
Candidate
unknown

(D)
Although Indiana is a red state, occasionally a Democrat is elected to the Senate from the Hoosier State. Evan Bayh did it in 2000 and 2006. Joe Donnelly did it in 2012. Still, Todd Young is the heavy favorite here, The only Indiana Democrat who might be able to beat him is Pete Buttigieg and he just got a new job. If Buttigieg wants to be a senator, running against Mike Braun in 2024 might be a better choice for him. Probably some unknown state senator will give it a shot and unless Young makes a Todd-Akin-class blunder, the hapless state senator will lose.

Iowa

Incumbent Challenger Notes           Polls
Chuck Grassley
Chuck
Grassley

(R)
Candidate unknown
Candidate
unknown

(D)
Chuck Grassley has been a senator from Iowa since Methusaleh was in short pants. He's popular in the state, has few enemies, and is good at campaigning. In addition, he is good at bringing home the pork in a state full of pigs. The "full Grassley" (a campaign swing through each one of Iowa's 99 counties) is famous all over Iowa. If Grassley wants an eighth term, it is his for the taking. And he says he wants it, so that is unhappy news for likely Democratic nominee Abby Finkenauer. He'll be 95 by the time his seat next comes up, but Iowans don't seem to mind.

Kansas

Incumbent Challenger Notes           Polls
Jerry Moran
Jerry
Moran

(R)
Candidate unknown
Candidate
unknown

(D)
The last time the state's voters sent a Democrat to the U.S. Senate, they also gave their electoral votes to an upstart governor from New York who promised a "New Deal" for Americans. In other words, Jerry Moran does not need to be worried about the Democrats, and as a proud member of the Tea Party Caucus, his right flank is also safe. There is no reason to believe that 2022 will end the GOP's winning streak. If Gov. Laura Kelly (D) decides to challenge Moran, it could be a serious race since she has won statewide election in Kansas, but if she doesn't Moran is safe.

Kentucky

Incumbent Challenger Notes           Polls
Rand Paul
Rand
Paul

(R)
Candidate unknown
Candidate
unknown

(D)
Rand Paul is one of the two senators who is strongly disliked by both parties (Ted Cruz is the other). Democrats keep putting up strong candidates in Kentucky Senate races, but they always lose badly, even against Mitch McConnell who is perennially unpopular in his own state. If the Democrats can find a strong candidate and Paul makes a serious blunder (which with him is always a possibility), the Democrat might have an outside shot at winning. But most likely, Paul will get his third term. As an aside, although his father, Ron Paul, was a very libertarian (although technically a Republican) congressman from Texas, the senator is not named for dad's heroine, Ayn Rand. His full name is Randal Howard Paul.

Louisiana

Incumbent Challenger Notes           Polls
John Kennedy
John
Kennedy

(R)
Candidate unknown
Candidate
unknown

(D)
Louisiana is a pretty red state but it does elect Democrats statewide from time to time. One of them is Gov. John Bel Edwards, who is in his second and last term now. If he decides to challenge John Kennedy, this could be a competitive race. If Edwards doesn't it is doubtful that the Democrats can find any candidate well known enough to beat Kennedy.

Missouri   

Challenger Challenger Notes           Polls
Candidate unknown
Candidate
unknown

(R)
Candidate unknown
Candidate
unknown

(D)
For reasons best known to himself, Roy Blunt decided to retire. He could have won another two or three terms easily, but he apparently doesn't like the Senate any more. This has created a complicated situation for the open seat. Disgraced former governor Eric Greitens (R), who blackmailed a woman with nude photos he took of her against her will, is trying to make a comeback. If he gets the Republican nomination, the Democrats could win this one. The state's AG, Eric Schmitt, is running as is Rep. Vicky Hartzler and the gun-wielding lawyer who confronted peaceful protesters, Mark McCloskey. The Democrats don't have a candidate, but if Greitens is the GOP nominee, they could nominate Generic Candidate, make the entire campaign about Greitens' lack of morals, and still win. So the Republicans will have to settle on a candidate (probably Schmitt) and do everything to block Greitens. If that works, they will hold the seat; otherwise, it could be a toss-up. The primary is Aug. 2, 2022.

North Carolina   

Challenger Challenger Notes           Polls
Candidate unknown
Candidate
unknown

(R)
Candidate unknown
Candidate
unknown

(D)
This is going to be the most expensive race in the country, maybe the most expensive Senate race in all of U.S. history. Richard Burr is retiring due to an insider trading scandal. Former governor Pat "Bathroom bill" McCrory is trying to make a comeback, just like Greitens in Missouri, only McCrory's problem is the anti-trans bathroom bill he signed, not his personal behavior. If he is nominated, the Democrats have a decent shot at picking up the seat in a state that is purple but trending blue. Donald Trump won it by only 1.5 points. Trump has endorsed Rep. Ted Budd (R), who is not terribly well known. Neither is former representative Mark Walker (R). Other candidates could join as well. On the Democratic side, former Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court Cheri Beasley, former state senator Erica Smith, and current state senator Jeff Jackson are all running, among others. With an open seat and so many candidates in a state that is almost 50-50, expect tons on money to pour in from out of state. It will be quite a show for political junkies. Beasley announced a Q2 haul of $1.3 million, beating Smith's Q1 take of $200K. The primary is March 8, 2022.

North Dakota

Incumbent Challenger Notes           Polls
John Hoeven
John
Hoeven

(R)
Candidate unknown
Candidate
unknown

(D)
In contrast to Missouri and North Carolina, there is nothing to see here. Move on. John Hoeven will get his third term with 75% or more of the vote, just like in 2010 and 2016.

Ohio   

Challenger Challenger Notes           Polls
Candidate unknown
Candidate
unknown

(R)
Candidate unknown
Candidate
unknown

(D)
Rob Portman doesn't like what has happened to the Republican Party and is retiring. The race to succeed him could be interesting. The former swing state has become quite Republican in presidential races, but the other senator, Sherrod Brown, is a liberal Democrat. The Republican side will be wild. Already in are three "major" candidates and four minor ones. Donald Trump almost endorsed former Ohio Republican party chair Jane Timken, but aides talked him out of it. He could yet endorse her. Also running is Hillbilly Elegy author J.D. Vance, who has a lock on the hillbilly vote. Also the billionaire vote as billionaires Peter Thiel and Robert Mercer are funding him. Interesting team. Hillbillyonaires? Then there is Josh Mandel (R), who won two terms as state treasurer. The only Democrat in the race so far is Rep. Tim Ryan. The primary is May 3, 2022.

Oklahoma

Incumbent Challenger Notes           Polls
James Lankford
James
Lankford

(R)
Candidate unknown
Candidate
unknown

(D)
Oklahoma is one of the reddest states in the nation. James Lankford won a special election in 2014 and a regular election in 2016 in a landslide. He'll win another regular election in a landslide in 2022.

Pennsylvania   

Challenger Challenger Notes           Polls
Candidate unknown
Candidate
unknown

(R)
Candidate unknown
Candidate
unknown

(D)
This is by far the Democrats' best pickup chance. Pat Toomey is retiring so there is an open seat in a blue state and the blue team has a deep bench here. To start with, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D), a giant with a Harvard degree and the ambience of a Hells Angel is in. He is also very progressive. Rep. Conor Lamb (D) has also jumped in. Lamb is a centrist who has a history of winning in red districts, but who does not have a history of winning statewide elections, since he's never run in one. Seven other lesser known candidates are also in on the Democratic side, but this one is shaping up to be a mega-battle between Fetterman and Lamb. On the Republican side, nobody you have ever heard of is in. Also nobody Pennsylvanians have heard of is in. The primary is May 17, 2022.

South Carolina

Incumbent Challenger Notes           Polls
Tim Scott
Tim
Scott

(R)
Candidate unknown
Candidate
unknown

(D)
Tim Scott was appointed to the Senate by then-governor Nikki Haley after the resignation of Jim DeMint in 2013. Putting a Black man in the Senate was a bold move by Haley. She didn't know if he could win statewide in the 2014 special election in a state not known for being friendly to Black politicians. But he won rather easily by 24 points. Of course, that was against a Black woman who had no political experience. In 2016 he beat a Black man by 24 points. So we still don't know what would happen if the Democrats ran a straight Christian white man. Does (R) trump bigotry? Maybe in 2022 we will find out. Maybe not.

South Dakota

Incumbent Challenger Notes           Polls
John Thune
John
Thune

(R)
Candidate unknown
Candidate
unknown

(D)
This is another one of those elections where we know the results even before the Democrats pick a candidate: John Thune will win in a landslide.

Utah

Incumbent Challenger Notes           Polls
Mike Lee
Mike
Lee

(R)
Candidate unknown
Candidate
unknown

(D)
Probably Mike Lee will get reelected easily. If Steve Schmidt, founder of the Lincoln Project, runs as a Democrat, we might get some great campaign ads, but Lee will still win.

Wisconsin   

Incumbent Challenger Notes           Polls
Ron Johnson
Ron
Johnson

(R)
Candidate unknown
Candidate
unknown

(D)
The $64,000 question here is: Will he or won't he? That is: Will Ron Johnson run for a third term? Before being elected to the Senate, Johnson said he would retire after two terms. The second term is almost over so now he has to either keep his promise or break it. Wisconsin is a swing state and Johnson isn't that popular. Democrats might do better in an open-seat race, but given Johnson's embrace of Donald Trump, they might actually do better with him in the race, where they can accuse him of breaking his promise to the voters and being Trumpier than hell as well. But until Johnson makes a decision, this race is in suspended animation.