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How many US Senate seats will Democrats control after 2018 midterm elections?

35 seats are up for election on November 6th, 2018. Of those seats, 9 are currently held by Republicans, 24 by Democrats, and 2 by independents Bernie Sanders and Angus King, who caucus with Democrats. Republicans can only afford to lose one seat while still maintaining a working majority by having vice president Mike Pence break ties in favor of the Republicans.

All incumbent candidates are running, except Republicans Jeff Flake [R-AZ], Thad Cochran [R-MS], Bob Corker [R-TN], and Orrin Hatch [R-UT]. Al Fraken [D-MN] has resigned from his seat and his interim appointee Tina Hatch [D-MN] is running.

As of March 2018, Democrats have an approximate 8 percentage point lead on generic ballot polling, but they have fewer opportunities to flip seats than Republicans do. 10 Democrat-held seats are in states that voted for Donald Trump in 2016, whereas only 1 seat held by a Republican was won by Hillary Clinton.

For the purposes of this question, only seats controlled by Democrats will be counted in the total, even though 2 Independents caucus with them. (The total will include the 23 Democrats who are not up for election this year. This is the assumed minimum. Theoretically, the maximum possible seats Democrats could win is 35, plus the 23 not up for election, for a total of 58.)

All 35 races will occur on November 6th, 2018, and the question will be scored after the final race has been decided. In case of prolonged re-counts, etc., the question will be resolved on December 15 based on which seats are considered settled in the most recent published count by the Washington Post.


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