The 10 Senate seats most likely to flip in 2022


Pennsylvania — an open-seat race in a state that President Joe Biden carried in 2020 — remains the most likely to flip. But four other states have moved around slightly.

Two other Biden states are trading places, with New Hampshire leapfrogging above Nevada. It’s true that Biden carried the Granite State by a wider margin, but the potential GOP candidate options there are enough to move it above the Silver State for now. Of course, that could change if two big name Republicans in New Hampshire pass on the race.

Two Trump states are also switching spots. Florida is now above Ohio in terms of likelihood of flipping. Democrats have done better recently at the presidential level in Florida than they have in Ohio, and that’s all the more relevant now that Democratic Rep. Val Demings is running against Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Democrats already had a candidate in Ohio — Rep. Tim Ryan — but the increasingly red state is tougher terrain for the party. However, this is fluid — it’s still possible that the messy GOP primary in the Buckeye State will be just the opening Democrats need.
Ohio is a prime example of how former President Donald Trump continues to hold enormous sway over the GOP, with Republican Senate candidates competing for the attention of his supporters at his rally in the state late last month. Trump’s endorsement may not be enough to force other candidates to drop out (see North Carolina), but the idea of running without his backing in a GOP primary does seem to be enough to keep some candidates from jumping in (see Georgia).

The start of July marks the beginning of a new fundraising period, which means more candidates are likely to launch their campaigns, having waited until the end of the second quarter so as not to report a lower total from an incomplete quarter.

Check back here for CNN’s next ranking, which will be updated after second quarter fundraising reports are filed later this month.

1. Pennsylvania

Incumbent: Republican Pat Toomey (retiring)

Pennsylvania — where GOP Sen. Pat Toomey is not running for another term — remains the seat most likely to flip, in large part, because it’s an open seat in a state that Biden carried last fall. And while this race may come down to whatever the national environment looks like next year, Democrats regard it as their top pick up opportunity — even if they don’t yet know who their candidate is going to be. An already big field could get even more crowded with Democratic Rep. Conor Lamb thought to be closely eying the race. At least two potential candidates, fellow Reps. Madeleine Dean and Chrissy Houlahan, did take themselves out of the running. EMILY’s List, the pro-abortion rights powerhouse, backed Montgomery County Commissioner Val Arkoosh. The group is often a powerful player in Democratic primaries, including in another Democratic Senate primary here in 2016. The biggest name, however, remains Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, the progressive former mayor of Braddock and a big fundraiser. Most of the Republican sparring has been between Army veteran Sean Parnell, who ran and lost against Lamb last year, and Jeff Bartos, a wealthy businessman who loaned his campaign $400,000 during the first quarter.

2. Georgia

Incumbent: Democrat Raphael Warnock

Republicans are eager to redeem their trifecta of recent losses in Georgia. But they’re still in a waiting game when it comes to who will avenge the loss to Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, who’s now running for a full six-year term. That’s because Herschel Walker, encouraged by Trump to run, continues to have a freezing effect on the field. Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black announced his candidacy in early June, becoming one of the most prominent candidates so far, while other Republicans have been reluctant to jump into the race if they know someone else will have Trump’s backing. Former Rep. Doug Collins, for example, already passed on a run. Walker, who lives in Texas, teased a campaign with a June 17 video of him revving the engine of a car with Peach State license plates (in a garage). “I’m getting ready,” the former NFL running back said. Trump said in a radio interview last week that Walker told him he’s decided to run. GOP strategists, however, are nervous about a risky candidate jeopardizing a must-win seat. Other Republicans are still testing the waters. Former Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who lost to Warnock in the January runoff, recently tweeted about meeting with Trump. And she met with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, too, telling CNN in mid June, “I haven’t ruled it out.” Rep. Buddy Carter, who’s friends with Walker, is waiting to see what Walker does before making a decision. While everyone waits on Walker, national Republicans are not wasting time attacking one of their top targets. The National Republican Senatorial Committee has hit Warnock on TV for supporting the For the People Act, the sweeping voting and elections bill they dub “the welfare for politicians plan” (because of a public…

Read More:The 10 Senate seats most likely to flip in 2022

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