Special Report

States With the Closest Senate Races This Election

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The U.S. Senate is the most powerful body in congress. Currently, though, the Senate is split evenly between Republicans and Democrats (including Independents who caucus with the Democrats). Vice President Kamala Harris can cast tie-breaking votes, effectively putting the chamber in Democratic control. However, with the midterm elections only days away, that may soon change. 

This year, there are 35 Senate seats up for grabs in the Nov. 8 elections – 14 of which are currently held by Democrats and 21 that are held by Republicans. In most of those races, the results are already all but assured, with one party heavily favored to win. Still, there are a handful of key races in which candidates are neck and neck, and the results of these toss-up races will determine the balance of power in the Senate for at least the next two years. (Here is a look at the U.S. senators who became less popular in the last year.)

24/7 Wall St. reviewed election analysis from data analytics company FiveThirtyEight to identify the elections that will determine which party controls the Senate. Races are ordered from least competitive to most competitive, according to FiveThirtyEight as of Oct. 31, 2022, and alphabetically within ties. FiveThirtyEight’s forecasting is based on a number of factors, including polling, fundraising, historical voting patterns, and expert analysis. A full description of the methodology is available here

We also included supplemental analysis from the Cook Political Report and, for each race, listed the candidates who are running for, or endorsed by, one of the two major political parties. Write-in candidates are not listed. 

Which party controls the Senate will have massive implications for the country. With the Republican Party strongly favored to win a majority in the House of Representatives, a victory in the Senate would likely grant the GOP control of the entire legislative branch. Such an outcome would hamstring the Biden Administration’s policy agenda and likely result in deadlock between the legislative and executive branches. (Here is a look at America’s most politically divided cities.)

Based on projections from FiveThirtyEight, the five tightest Senate races this November are in Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and New Hampshire. Currently, Democrats hold the seat that is up for grabs in every one of those states, with the exception of Pennsylvania. If the GOP can flip just one of them while maintaining power in Pennsylvania, the Democratic Party will lose control of the U.S. Senate.

Click here to see states with the closest senate races this election.

Source: Courtesy of Katie Britt for Alabama via Facebook

35. Alabama
> FiveThirtyEight projected outcome: >99% chance of a Republican victory
> Cook Political Report race rating: Solid Republican
> Candidates: Will Boyd (D), Katie Britt (R)
> Seat currently held by: Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R)

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Source: Courtesy of Kelly for Alaska via Facebook

34. Alaska
> FiveThirtyEight projected outcome: >99% chance of a Republican victory
> Cook Political Report race rating: Solid Republican
> Candidates: Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R), Kelly Tshibaka (R), Patricia Chesbro (D)
> Seat currently held by: Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R)

Source: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

33. Arkansas
> FiveThirtyEight projected outcome: >99% chance of a Republican victory
> Cook Political Report race rating: Solid Republican
> Candidates: Sen. John Boozman (R), Natalie James (D)
> Seat currently held by: Sen. John Boozman (R)

Source: arlingtonnatl / Flickr / Public Domain

32. California
> FiveThirtyEight projected outcome: >99% chance of a Democratic victory
> Cook Political Report race rating: Solid Democratic
> Candidates: Sen. Alex Padilla (D), Mark Meuser (R)
> Seat currently held by: Sen. Alex Padilla (D)

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Source: Photo by Drew Angerer / Getty Images

31. Hawaii
> FiveThirtyEight projected outcome: >99% chance of a Democratic victory
> Cook Political Report race rating: Solid Democratic
> Candidates: Sen. Brian Schatz (D), Bob McDermott (R)
> Seat currently held by: Sen. Brian Schatz (D)

30. Idaho
> FiveThirtyEight projected outcome: >99% chance of a Republican victory
> Cook Political Report race rating: Solid Republican
> Candidates: Sen. Mike Crapo (R), David Roth (D)
> Seat currently held by: Sen. Mike Crapo (R)

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Source: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

29. Illinois
> FiveThirtyEight projected outcome: >99% chance of a Democratic victory
> Cook Political Report race rating: Solid Democratic
> Candidates: Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D), Kathy Salvi (R)
> Seat currently held by: Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D)

Source: Mark Wilson / Getty Images News via Getty Images

28. Kansas
> FiveThirtyEight projected outcome: >99% chance of a Republican victory
> Cook Political Report race rating: Solid Republican
> Candidates: Sen. Jerry Moran (R), Mark R. Holland (D)
> Seat currently held by: Sen. Jerry Moran (R)

27. Kentucky
> FiveThirtyEight projected outcome: >99% chance of a Republican victory
> Cook Political Report race rating: Solid Republican
> Candidates: Sen. Rand Paul (R), Charles Booker (D)
> Seat currently held by: Sen. Rand Paul (R)

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Source: Mark Wilson / Getty Images

26. Maryland
> FiveThirtyEight projected outcome: >99% chance of a Democratic victory
> Cook Political Report race rating: Solid Democratic
> Candidates: Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D), Chris Chaffee (R)
> Seat currently held by: Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D)

Source: Kyle Rivas / Getty Images News via Getty Images

25. Missouri
> FiveThirtyEight projected outcome: >99% chance of a Republican victory
> Cook Political Report race rating: Solid Republican
> Candidates: Trudy Busch Valentine (D), Eric Schmitt (R)
> Seat currently held by: Sen. Roy Blunt (R)

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Source: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images News via Getty Images

24. New York
> FiveThirtyEight projected outcome: >99% chance of a Democratic victory
> Cook Political Report race rating: Solid Democratic
> Candidates: Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D), Joe Pinion (R)
> Seat currently held by: Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D)

Source: Alex Wong / Getty Images

23. North Dakota
> FiveThirtyEight projected outcome: >99% chance of a Republican victory
> Cook Political Report race rating: Solid Republican
> Candidates: Sen. John Hoeven (R), Katrina Christiansen (D)
> Seat currently held by: Sen. John Hoeven (R)

Source: Pool / Getty Images News via Getty Images

22. Oklahoma (special election)
> FiveThirtyEight projected outcome: >99% chance of a Republican victory
> Cook Political Report race rating: Solid Republican
> Candidates: Madison Horn (D), Markwayne Mullin (R)
> Seat currently held by: Sen. Jim Inhofe (R)

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

21. Oklahoma
> FiveThirtyEight projected outcome: >99% chance of a Republican victory
> Cook Political Report race rating: Solid Republican
> Candidates: Sen. James Lankford (R), Kendra Horn (D)
> Seat currently held by: Sen. James Lankford (R)

20. Oregon
> FiveThirtyEight projected outcome: >99% chance of a Democratic victory
> Cook Political Report race rating: Solid Democratic
> Candidates: Sen. Ron Wyden (D), Jo Rae Perkins (R)
> Seat currently held by: Sen. Ron Wyden (D)

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Source: Courtesy of Mathhews for Senate via Facebook

19. South Carolina
> FiveThirtyEight projected outcome: >99% chance of a Republican victory
> Cook Political Report race rating: Solid Republican
> Candidates: Sen. Tim Scott (R), Krystle Matthews (D)
> Seat currently held by: Sen. Tim Scott (R)

Source: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images News via Getty Images

18. South Dakota
> FiveThirtyEight projected outcome: >99% chance of a Republican victory
> Cook Political Report race rating: Solid Republican
> Candidates: Sen. John Thune (R), Brian Bengs (D)
> Seat currently held by: Sen. John Thune (R)

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

17. Vermont
> FiveThirtyEight projected outcome: >99% chance of a Democratic victory
> Cook Political Report race rating: Solid Democratic
> Candidates: Peter Welch (D), Gerald Malloy (R)
> Seat currently held by: Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D)

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

16. Connecticut
> FiveThirtyEight projected outcome: 99% chance of a Democratic victory
> Cook Political Report race rating: Solid Democratic
> Candidates: Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D), Leora Levy (R)
> Seat currently held by: Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D)

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

15. Louisiana
> FiveThirtyEight projected outcome: 99% chance of a Republican victory
> Cook Political Report race rating: Solid Republican
> Candidates: Sen. John Kennedy (R), Gary Chambers (D)
> Seat currently held by: Sen. John Kennedy (R)

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Source: Photo by Zach Gibson / Getty Images

14. Indiana
> FiveThirtyEight projected outcome: 97% chance of a Republican victory
> Cook Political Report race rating: Solid Republican
> Candidates: Sen. Todd Young (R), Thomas McDermott Jr. (D)
> Seat currently held by: Sen. Todd Young (R)

Source: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

13. Iowa
> FiveThirtyEight projected outcome: 96% chance of a Republican victory
> Cook Political Report race rating: Likely Republican
> Candidates: Sen. Chuck Grassley (R), Michael Franken (D)
> Seat currently held by: Sen. Chuck Grassley (R)

Source: Tasos Katopodis / Getty Images

12. Utah
> FiveThirtyEight projected outcome: 96% chance of a Republican victory
> Cook Political Report race rating: Likely Republican
> Candidates: Sen. Mike Lee (R), Evan McMullin (I – endorsed by Democrats)
> Seat currently held by: Sen. Mike Lee (R)

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Source: Pool / Getty Images News via Getty Images

11. Florida
> FiveThirtyEight projected outcome: 93% chance of a Republican victory
> Cook Political Report race rating: Likely Republican
> Candidates: Sen. Marco Rubio (R), Val Demings (D)
> Seat currently held by: Sen. Marco Rubio (R)

Source: Courtesy of Tiffany Smiley via Facebook

10. Washington
> FiveThirtyEight projected outcome: 92% chance of a Democratic victory
> Cook Political Report race rating: Likely Democratic
> Candidates: Sen. Patty Murray (D), Tiffany Smiley (R)
> Seat currently held by: Sen. Patty Murray (D)

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Source: Scott Olson / Getty Images

9. Colorado
> FiveThirtyEight projected outcome: 91% chance of a Democratic victory
> Cook Political Report race rating: Leans Democratic
> Candidates: Sen. Michael F. Bennet (D), Joe O’Dea (R)
> Seat currently held by: Sen. Michael F. Bennet (D)

Source: cbpphotos / Flickr

8. Wisconsin
> FiveThirtyEight projected outcome: 80% chance of a Republican victory
> Cook Political Report race rating: Toss up
> Candidates: Sen. Ron Johnson (R), Mandela Barnes (D)
> Seat currently held by: Sen. Ron Johnson (R)

7. Ohio
> FiveThirtyEight projected outcome: 79% chance of a Republican victory
> Cook Political Report race rating: Leans Republican
> Candidates: Tim Ryan (D), J.D. Vance (R)
> Seat currently held by: Sen. Rob Portman (R)

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Source: Melissa Sue Gerrits / Getty Images News via Getty Images

6. North Carolina
> FiveThirtyEight projected outcome: 78% chance of a Republican victory
> Cook Political Report race rating: Leans Republican
> Candidates: Cheri Beasley (D), Ted Budd (R)
> Seat currently held by: Sen. Richard Burr (R)

Source: Darren McCollester / Getty Images

5. New Hampshire
> FiveThirtyEight projected outcome: 76% chance of a Democratic victory
> Cook Political Report race rating: Leans Democratic
> Candidates: Sen. Margaret Wood Hassan (D), Don Bolduc (R)
> Seat currently held by: Sen. Margaret Wood Hassan (D)

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4. Arizona
> FiveThirtyEight projected outcome: 68% chance of a Democratic victory
> Cook Political Report race rating: Toss up
> Candidates: Sen. Mark Kelly (D), Blake Masters (R)
> Seat currently held by: Sen. Mark Kelly (D)

Source: Mark Makela / Getty Images News via Getty Images

3. Pennsylvania
> FiveThirtyEight projected outcome: 57% chance of a Democratic victory
> Cook Political Report race rating: Toss up
> Candidates: John Fetterman (D), Mehmet Oz (R)
> Seat currently held by: Sen. Patrick J. Toomey (R)

Source: Trevor Bexon / Getty Images News via Getty Images

2. Nevada
> FiveThirtyEight projected outcome: 54% chance of a Republican victory
> Cook Political Report race rating: Toss up
> Candidates: Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D), Adam Laxalt (R)
> Seat currently held by: Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D)

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

1. Georgia
> FiveThirtyEight projected outcome: 53% chance of a Republican victory
> Cook Political Report race rating: Toss up
> Candidates: Sen. Raphael G. Warnock (D), Herschel Walker (R)
> Seat currently held by: Sen. Raphael G. Warnock (D)

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