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"Senate:  'To Develop' Races" - by Jim Ellis  
December 20, 2018
 
Winding down 2018 allows us an opportunity to complete the coming Senate political picture. 
 
As previously covered, the states comprising the early top tier competitive campaigns already include Alabama (Sen. Doug Jones), Arizona special (Senator-Designate Martha McSally), Colorado (Sen. Cory Gardner), Georgia (Sen. David Perdue), Iowa (Sen. Joni Ernst), Maine (Sen. Susan Collins), Mississippi (Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith), and North Carolina (Sen. Thom Tillis).
 
Races that could develop or where the incumbent at least has a potential opponent being mentioned are: Kansas (Sen. Pat Roberts), Kentucky (Majority Leader Mitch McConnell), Minnesota (Sen. Tina Smith), New Hampshire (Sen. Jeanne Shaheen), Tennessee (Open: Sen. Lamar Alexander retiring), and Texas (Sen. John Cornyn).
 
Primary challenges are being speculated upon in Massachusetts (Sen. Ed Markey) and South Carolina (Sen. Lindsey Graham). 
 
Minor candidates are surfacing in Arkansas (Sen. Tom Cotton), Nebraska (Sen. Ben Sasse), and New Jersey (Sen. Cory Booker), but none are expected to develop into major challenges.
 
So far, the incumbents from the remaining states do not even have potential opponents being cited at this early point in time:
Alaska (Sen. Dan Sullivan)
Delaware (Sen. Chris Coons)
Idaho (Sen. Jim Risch)
Illinois (Sen. Dick Durbin)
Louisiana (Sen. Bill Cassidy)
Michigan (Sen. Gary Peters)
Montana (Sen. Steve Daines)
New Mexico (Sen. Tom Udall)
Oklahoma (Sen. Jim Inhofe)
Oregon (Sen. Jeff Merkley)
Rhode Island (Sen. Jack Reed)
South Dakota (Sen. Mike Rounds)
Virginia (Sen. Mark Warner)
West Virginia (Sen. Shelley Moore Capito)
Wyoming (Sen. Mike Enzi)
 
From this group, Democratic leaders were heavily pursuing Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) to challenge Sen. Daines, but the Governor has repeatedly said he will not. Instead, Mr. Bullock may soon join the presidential race.
 
Sen. Merkley has been attempting to convince Oregon lawmakers and the Governor to change state law to allow individuals to simultaneously run for more than one office - so he can run for both President and re-election - but it does not appear that Beaver State officials are open to such a maneuver. Therefore, Sen. Merkley will be forced to make a choice at some point in the cycle. The most likely scenario is for him to enter the early primaries but exit the presidential race before he has to file for re-election in mid-May under Oregon state election law.
 
On the other hand, New Jersey state officials have changed the law in that state, and Sen. Booker will be able to simultaneously run for President and re-election.
 
Retirement rumors have circled around Sens. Durbin (IL), Roberts (KS), Inhofe (OK), and Enzi (WY), but, at this point, the only member making public his plans not to seek re-election is Tennessee's Lamar Alexander.
 
The following 16 states do not have a Senate race in 2020:
California
Connecticut
Florida
Hawaii
Indiana
Maryland
Missouri
Nevada
New York
North Dakota
Ohio
Pennsylvania
Utah
Vermont
Washington
Wisconsin

ELECTION COUNTDOWN
Election Insights Voter Information
Employee Voter Registration Week 2017

September 25-29, 2017

Employee Voter Registration Week is an effort to make a dent in the number of unregistered citizens across the country. During this week, companies and associations will join together in an effort to encourage voter registration among private sector employees. The initiative will not tell employees how to vote or who to vote for, but instead aims to serve as a resource to help employers educate their employees about the issues that are important to their industries and provide key deadlines, voter registration, and polling location information.

For more information on Employee Voter Registration Week, visit www.EmployeesVote.com