2018 Senate Election: Competitiveness, Fundraising and Perspectives

This information is compiled by Riley Newman. The most updated information will always be available at this link

  • State races are assigned a “degree of competitiveness code” from 1 (tossup) to 4 (solid D or R). Competitiveness code: (1) at least one “tossup”; (2) no tossup, one or more “leans”;  (3) “solid” and “lean” mix; (4) all “solid” or “safe”
  • “Experts” and their most recent projection dates are in order: Cook Political Report (3/5), Sabato Crystal Ball (3/5), and InsideElections (formerly Rothenberg Political Report) (2/2). Changes in these projections since last chart update will be noted following the chart.
  • A candidate is usually listed only if his/her funds raised by12/31/2018 exceed $500,000 or he/she is otherwise notable – eg, a congressional incumbent or former governor.

 

Endorsers are drawn from the following list, representing the indicated specific concerns.  Click on organization name here to view its website.  Click on a candidate’s endorser (eg “CLW” following candidate Feingold) to see what the endorser says about him/her. 

  • CLW  (Council for a Livable World) – arms control and foreign policy 
  • Emily’s List – women’s issues
  • J Street –  Israel-Palestine policy
  • LCV (League of Conservation Voters) and SC (Sierra Club),  – environmental issues
  • ECU (EndCitizensUnited.org) – campaign finance issues

 A candidate’s name, if in blue, is linked to information Vote Smart provides about ratings and endorsements for the candidate by numerous organizations, organized in categories.  From there, other Vote Smart info about the candidate is easily accessed. See notes on Vote Smart following this chart.

 

State Competitiveness code Primary

date in

2018

“Experts” forecast for seat Candidates (Italics indicates Incumbent)

D: Democrat

R: Republican

I: Independent

Funds raised in $M, from FEC as of

3/6/2018

Endorsers

(See notes above.)

 

Notes from John Isaacs of the Council for a Livable World

AZ 1 8/28 Tossup

Tossup

Tossup

Kyrsten Sinema  (D)

Kelli Ward  (R)

Joe Arpaio  (R)

Martha McSally (R)

8.3

2.0

0.5

3.8

Emily  ECU Arizona: Sen. Jeff Flake (R) has been an ardent and vocal opponent of Donald Trump, and wrote a book detailing his criticisms. On October 24, in terrible political shape, he announced he would not run again. Ex-state Sen. Kelli Ward (R), who lost last year’s primary to Senator McCain 51%-40%, had announced that she would challenge Flake. In January 2018, 85-year old Republican Joe Arpaio, former sheriff known for his hardline approach to Hispanics, announced he is running, as did Rep. Martha McSally. Democrats have a strong candidate in Rep. Kyrsten Sinema.
CA 4 6/5 Solid D

Safe D

Solid D

Dianne Feinstein (D)

Kevin de Leon (D)

Alison Hartson (D)

10.4

0.7

0.1

Emily  JSt California: After leaving her future uncertain, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D) announced in October 2017 that she will run for re-election.  But she faces a primary challenge from state Senate leader Kevin de León (D) and progressive activist Alison Hartson (D).
CT 4 8/14 Solid D

Safe D

Solid D

Chris Murphy (D) 10.5

 

JSt  SC Connecticut:  Incumbent heavily favored.
DE 4 9/6 Solid D

Safe D

Solid D

Tom Carper (D)

 

15.3 JSt  Delaware: Incumbent heavily favored.
FL 1 8/28 Lean D

Tossup

Tilt D

Bill Nelson (D)

Rick Scott  (R)

10.2

0

LCV  ECU  SC Florida: In April, Governor Rick Scott (R) announced his challenge to Senator Bill Nelson (D) in what will be a very expensive and competitive race. Nelson, who is 74, is the most popular politician in Florida, but Scott has won the governorship twice and is very wealthy. Polls consistently
show Nelson modestly ahead of Scott, but not with a secure lead.
.
HI 4 8/11 Solid D

Safe D

Solid D

Mazie Hirono (D) 2.8   Emily  CLW  ECU LCV Hawaii: Incumbent heavily favored
IN 1 5/8 Tossup

Tossup

Tossup

Joe Donnelly  (D)

Luke Messer  (R)

Todd Rokita  (R)

Mike Braun  (R)

 

10.0

2.8

2.7

5.9

 

ECU Indiana: A wide field of Republican candidates is lining up to oppose Sen. Joe Donnelly (D). U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita (R), U.S. Rep. Luke Messer (R) and State Rep. Mike Braun (R) have declared, as have several other candidates. It is a tough state for a Democrat to win. The two House members appear set for a nasty and bitter primary.

 

ME 2 6/12 Lean D

Likely D/I

Solid D

Angus King (I) 

Eric Brakey   (R)

Zak Ringelstein  (D)

4.1

 

0.3

0.2

CLW  JSt  ECU Maine: Sen. Angus King (I) is in political good shape. He has one Republican opponent, State Sen. Eric Brakey, who is not well known, and one Democratic opponent, Zak Ringelstein, a teacher and a founder of an education business.
MD 4 6/26 Solid D

Safe D

Solid D

Ben Cardin (D)

Chelsea Manning  (D)

 

2.8

0.1

  Maryland: Incumbent Sen. Ben Cardin (D) is the overwhelming favorite to win re-election in strongly Democratic Maryland. That has not stopped Chelsea Manning, convicted of disclosing classified information, from running against him in the Democratic primary.
MA 4 TBA Solid D

Safe D

Solid D

Elizabeth Warren (D)

John Kingston  (R)

Shiva Ayyadurai  (R)

Geoff Diehl   (R)

Beth Lindstrom (R)

Allen Waters  (R)

18.1

4.9

4.6

1.0

0.9

0

CLW   Emily  ECU Massachusetts: Senator Elizabeth Warren (D) is a very strong candidate. Computer scientist Shiva Ayyadurai (R), state Rep. Geoff Diehl (R), financial consultant Allen Waters (R) and John Kingston (R), a wealthy businessman and philanthropist who has self-funded to the tune of $3 million, are running against her.
MI 3 8/7 Likely  D

Likely D

Solid D

Debbie Stabenow (D)

John James   (R)

Bob Young    (R)

Sandi Pensler  (R)

11.1

2.2

0.3

5.1

  Michigan: Debbie Stabenow (D) looks to be in strong shape for re-election, but a number of candidates are considering running against her. Businessman John James (R), who served with the Army in Iraq and businessman Sandy Pensler (R) have declared.
MN

 A

4 8/14 Solid D

Safe D

Solid D

Amy Klobuchar (D)

 

Jim Newberger  (R)

7.9

 

0.1

Emily  ECU

 

Minnesota A: In early August, 2017, State Rep. Jim Newberger (R) announced he will challenge Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D), who is the overwhelming favorite.
MN

 B

1 8/14 Tossup

Likely D

Likely D

Tina Smith   (D)

Karin Housley  (R)

Bob Anderson  (R)

 

2.7

0.7

0.0

Emily Minnesota B: With the departure of Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), accused of sexual transgressions, Governor Mark Dayton appointed his Lieutenant Governor, Tina Smith, as Franken’s replacement. She will be on the ballot in November 2018. State Sen. Karin Housley and Dental technician Bob Anderson (R) will run for the Republican nomination. The Republican establishment appears to be coalescing around Housley.
MS

 A

4 6/5 Solid R

Safe R

Solid R

Roger Wicker (R)

 

David Baria  (D)

4.8

0

0

  Mississippi A: Roger Wicker (R) is running for re-election in an overwhelmingly Republican state. He will coast to re-election after State senator Chris McDaniel (R) dropped his challenger to Wicker to run for the other Mississippi Senate seat.
MS

 B

    Likely R

Likely R

Solid R

Cindy Hyde-Smith (R)

Chris McDaniel  (R)

Mike Espy (D)

Jason Shelton (D)

0

0

0

0

  Mississippi B: On March 21, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant announced the appointment of Cindy Hyde-Smith, the state’s Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce, to fill the seat of GOP U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, who resigned from the Senate because of ill health on April 1. State senator Chris McDaniel (R) has dropped his challenge to incumbent Senator Roger Wicker (R) and instead will run for this seat . Former U.S. Representative and Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy (D) has also quickly entered the race as has Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton (D).
MO 1 8/7 Tossup

Tossup

Tossup

Claire McCaskill (D)

Josh Hawley  (R)

Austin Petersen  (R)

 

 

13.2

1.8

0.3

Emily  ECU Missouri: In 2012, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) was fortunate to run against Rep. Todd Akin (R), who made infamous comments about “legitimate rape.” Austin Petersen (R), a former Libertarian candidate for President, declared for the seat on July 4. On October 10, Attorney General Josh Hawley (R) announced for Senate, and may be the consensus Republican nominee.
MT 2 6/5 Likely D

Leans D

Tilt D

Jon Tester (D)

Troy Downing  (R)

Matt Rosendale   (R)

Al Olszewski  (R)

11.3

1.3

1.1

0.2

CLW  ECU Montana: Sen. John Tester (D) dodged a bullet when Rep. Ryan Zinke (R), who represented the entire state in the House, was appointed Interior Secretary. But Trump carried the state by 20%, so Tester’s re-election will not be easy. Montana Attorney General Tim Fox (R) has joined Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke (R) in declining to challenge Tester, but a close election is still likely. State Auditor Matt Rosendale is running, but faces state Sen. Albert Olszewski and businessman Troy Downing in the GOP primary.
NE 4 5/15 Solid R

Safe R

Solid R

Deb Fischer (R)

Jane Raybould   (D)

4.2

0.7

  Nebraska: Jane Raybould (D), who runs the grocery business her father started more than 53 years ago, is challenging Sen. Deb Fischer (R) in a very tough state for Democrats.
NV 1 6/12 Tossup

Tossup

Tossup

Dean Heller (R)

Jesse Sbaih    (D)

Jacky Rosen   D

 

6.0

2.2

7.7

 

 

 

 

 

CLW  Emily  ECU

Nevada: Senator Dean Heller (R) is up for election in a state carried twice by President Obama and once by Hillary Clinton. Still, Heller has won four elections in the state and he will not be easy to dislodge. In July 2017, Rep. Jacky Rosen (D) announced she will run, and will be a strong opponent.
NJ 4 6/5 Likely D

Likely D

Solid D

Bob Menendez (D)

Richard Pezzullo  (R)

Bob Hugin  (R)

4.5

0.1

7.9

  New Jersey: Senator Robert Menendez (D) went on trial on federal corruption charges in September, but a hung jury ended the trial. In January 2018, the Justice Department dropped all charges, and the incumbent should coast to re-election. Bob Hugin (R), formerly a top executive at the pharmaceutical company Celgene, declared his candidacy in February.
NM 4 6/5 Solid D

Safe D

Solid D

Martin Heinrich (D)

Mick Rich  (R)

5.6

0.6

CLW  JSt  ECU New Mexico: Senator Martin Heinrich (D) has a challenger after Albuquerque construction company owner Mark Rich (R) announced his candidacy. Rich has never run for office, but could self-fund.
NY 4 9/11 Solid D

Safe D

Solid D

Kirsten Gillibrand (D) 14.8 Emily New York: Incumbent heavily favored.
ND 1 6/12 Tossup

Tossup

Tossup

Heidi Heitkamp (D)

Kevin Cramer  (R)

8.3

0

ECU North Dakota: Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D) faces an electorate that strongly backed President Trump. In August 2017, state Sen. Tom Campbell (R) entered the race. U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer (R) first announced he would not run, but in February 2018 reversed course. Campbell promptly dropped out.
OH

 

2 5/8 Lean D

Lean D

Lean D

Sherrod Brown (D)

Mike Gibbons  (R)

Jim Renacci   (R)

17.9

1.8

4.4

JSt  ECU CLW Ohio: Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) beat back a challenge in 2012 from state treasurer Josh Mandel (R), but in early January 2018, Mandel dropped out of the expected rematch due to his wife’s health problems. After Mandel left the race, U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci (R) switched from running for governor to enter this Senate contest. Wealthy investment banker Mike Gibbons (R) had previously entered the contest and  launched a television and internet advertising campaign. At the filing deadline in February, investment adviser Dan Kiley (R) also joined the contest.
PA 2 5/15 Likely  D

Likely D

Likely D

Bob Casey (D)

Lou Barletta  (R)

Paul Addis   (R)

Rick Saccone  (R)

Jim Christiana  (R)

 

14.7

2.8

1.5

0.1

0.3

CLW  LCV  ECU Pennsylvania: Sen. Bob Casey (D) is in a good position to be re-elected, but the state went for Trump in 2016, leaving some uncertainty. In August 2017, Republican Rep. Lou Barletta announced that he will run, and he is likely to be the major opposition.
RI 4 9/11 Solid D

Safe D

Solid D

Sheldon Whitehouse (D)

Robert Flanders (R)

3.8

0.7

JSt  ECU Rhode Island:  Incumbent heavily favored.
TN 1 8/2 Tossup

Likely R

Lean R

Philip Bredesen  (D)

Marsha Blackburn  (R)

4.4

5.3

  Tennessee: Sen. Bob Corker (R) has announced his retirement at the end of this term. In December, former Gov. Phil Bredesen (D) entered the Democratic primary. GOP Rep. Marsha Blackburn will be the Republican
nominee.
TX 4 3/6 Likely R

Likely R

Likely R

Ted Cruz (R)

Beto O’Rourke  (D)

 

 

9.1

13.4

JSt  LCV  ECU Texas: U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D), a three
-term Representative from El Paso, is challenging incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz (R). O’Rourke, who is the
underdog, is a businessman in the technology industry and a musician who played in three punk rock bands during and after his college years at Columbia University. O’Rourke is raising huge amounts of money in an
unconventional campaign.
UT 4 6/26 Solid R

Safe R

Solid R

Jenny Wilson   (D)

Mitt Romney   (R)

0.5

1.7

  Utah: Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) will retire at the end of his term after eight terms in office. Former Republican Senate candidate Mitt Romney (R) is the overwhelming favorite to be elected.
VT 4 8/14 Solid D

Safe D/I

Solid D

Bernie Sanders (I) 5.4   Vermont: Incumbent heavily favored.
VA 4 6/12 Solid D

Safe D

Solid  D

Tim Kaine (D)

Corey Stewart   (R)

Nick Freitas   (R)

E.W. Jackson   (R)

11.9

0.6

0.3

0.2

JSt CLW Virginia: Prince William County Supervisor Corey Stewart (R), who came close to claiming the Virginia GOP nomination for governor, is running against Sen. Tim Kaine (D). In his announcement, Stewart promised to “run a very vicious and ruthless campaign against Tim Kaine and I’m going to win.” Conservative Delegate Nick Freitas (R) and preacher E.W. Jackson, the GOP nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in the 2013 election. entered the race in December,
WA 4 8/7 Solid D

Safe D

Solid D

Maria Cantwell (D) 6.8 Emily Washington: Incumbent heavily favored.
WV 1 5/8 Tossup

Lean D

Tossup

Joe Manchin (D)

Evan Jenkins    (R)

Patrick Morrisey    (R)

Don Blankenship (R)

6.1

1.4

1.8

2.0

  West Virginia: Two-term Congressman Evan Jenkins (R) and State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R) are running against Sen. Joe Manchin (D) in 2018, a state which has turned very Republican in recent years but still elects Democrats to the U.S. Senate and as Governor. Manchin has developed a very independent profile. A poll released in September 2017 showed Manchin with a 10-point lead. President Trump carried the state over Hillary Clinton 68%-27% and the state’s governor, who ran as a Democrat, has switched to the Republican Party.
WI 2 8/14 Likely  D

Lean D

Tilt D

 

Tammy Baldwin (D)

 

Kevin Nicholson   (R)

Leah Vukmir   (R)

16.8

 

2.3

1.2

Emily   CLW  JSt  ECU Wisconsin: While a lot of Republicans circled around the Senate seat of Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D), in the end state Sen. Leah Vukmir (R) and Marine veteran and businessman Kevin Nicholson (R) are the only two who have declared. There will be months of vigorous battle for the August 14 primary between Nicholson (R), a former president of College Democrats of America, who has been endorsed by Club for Growth, and Vukmir (R), who appears to have the support of Governor Walker’s team.
WY 4 8/21 Solid R

Safe R

Solid R

John Barrasso (R)

Gary Trauner   (D)

5.3

0.4

  Wyoming:  Sen. John Barrasso is seeking re-election, but alt-right leader Steve Bannon is looking for a Republican to run against him in a primary. In the meantime, businessman Gary Trauner (D), who very narrowly lost a 2006 House bid, has announced he will run for the U.S. Senate.

Changes in “expert” prognostications since last chart update:  no previous update

 

This page includes links to Vote Smart, a nonpartisan organization that provides facts about current officials and candidates for political office. The links to their website are for informational purposes and do not associate Vote Smart to any above-stated opinions.

VoteSmart.org provides a treasure chest of information about many of the candidates in our chart.  Vote Smart sends a “Political Courage Test” to candidates – a questionnaire asking for his/her position on a range of issues.  Unfortunately, in recent years candidates are increasingly unwilling to respond to this test.  So Vote Smart’s website now presents what it thinks a candidate’s answers would have been, based on Vote Smart’s analysis of the candidate’s past statements and votes.  The links in our chart take you directly to the Vote Smart page for each candidate.   Far more information is readily accessed from this Vote Smart section, including the candidate’s biography, voting record, copies of speeches and statements, and funding.  In addition, Vote Smart provides a huge nicely-organized table showing ratings and endorsements of the candidate by a wide range of organizations – an excellent way to explore evaluations of the candidate by organizations that address particular concerns the reader may have.