U.S. Senate 2022 Summer Status Report

The battle for the Senate is heating up. With a Democrat in the White House, Republicans need 51 seats to regain the majority that was lost after the 2020 elections. Since the GOP already has 50 seats, all that’s needed is a net gain of one seat in November.

Because Senators are elected for six-year terms, roughly a third of the seats are up for grabs every two years. This year, voters will elect 35 Senators. (Because of a special election to replace a retiring Senator, Oklahoma voters will be voting to fill both of the state’s Senate seats.) Of those 35 seats, Republicans currently control 21, Democrats 14.

Winning the majority begins with protecting the 21 GOP seats. The good news is that most of these seats are secure. But some are not. The race to replace retiring Senator Pat Toomey (R) in Pennsylvania is a dead heat contest between Mehmet Oz, the famous doctor and television host – and Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, a favorite of the progressive left. Senator Ron Johnson is expecting a close race against the eventual Democratic nominee in closely divided Wisconsin.

Democrats are hopeful that they can pull off upsets in the race to replace retiring GOP Senator Richard Burr in North Carolina where Congressman Ted Budd (R) faces retired state Supreme Court Judge Cheri Beasley (D) and in the race to replace retiring GOP Senator Rob Portman in Ohio where first-time candidate J.D. Vance (R) faces Congressman Tim Ryan (D). Their hopes that Congresswoman Val Demings (D) can deny Senator Marco Rubio a third term in Florida are fading fast.

Assuming Republicans can protect the seats they currently hold, there are plenty of great opportunities to flip Democrat-held seats any one of which would secure a majority. In Nevada, former Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R) has Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D) running scared. Superstar athlete Herschel Walker (R) is taking on Senator Raphael Warnock (D) in Georgia. And Joe O’Dea (R), a business leader in the construction industry, is a real threat to Senator Michael Bennet (D) in Colorado.

Some other races will develop a little more slowly. Primary voters in Arizona and New Hampshire will pick nominees to challenge vulnerable Democratic Senators Mark Kelly and Maggie Hassan later this summer. And Senator Rick Scott, the Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, believes that dissatisfaction with the Biden economy may put races in usually-blue Washington state and Connecticut into play.

With so many competitive races and so much at stake, it’s imperative that we do all we can to help our Republican candidates. Through our political action committee, RJC is going to be more active than ever in this fight. But to win, we need your help. Add your support by clicking on a linked candidate's name to support them directly, or donate to the RJC PAC here.