Despite Lisa Murkowski’s allegiance to Republican Party leadership she could end up with a challenger from the right or a third party in Alaska. Recently, Alaska’s other Senator Dan Sullivan refused to back her for reelection despite her support for him last cycle. Democrats won the Senate race in Alaska in 2008 and despite the GOP wave in 2014, came within a few points of winning again in this traditionally red state. Democrats are poised to run another strong race this time with a candidate who will put Alaska first.
Democrats are well-positioned to retain the California Senate seat and continue Senator Barbara Boxer’s legacy of leading on the issues that matter most for working families. California has a “top two” or “jungle primary” election system meaning that the top two vote winners in the primary will move on to the general election, regardless of their party affiliation. Republicans have not won a Senate race in California since 1988.
State Attorney General Kamala Harris has already announced her plans to run for the open seat.
Before coming to the Senate, Bennet served as Superintendent of the Denver Public Schools where he led a bold reform effort to increase student achievement and turn around failing schools. During his first term in the Senate, Senator Michael Bennet has used his background in business and public service to champion issues that are most important to middle class families in Colorado. Bennet has been an effective leader on issues such as immigration, small business support and, of course, education.
After serving an unprecedented five terms as Connecticut’s Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal entered the Senate with a long record of fighting for people against large and powerful special interests, and he has continued to build that record during his first term in the Senate. Blumenthal now serves as the Ranking Member on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, a post that allows him to advocate on behalf of our nation’s honored veterans who deserve nothing less than the very best.
Brian Schatz has committed his career to advocating on behalf of Hawaiians best interests. Having won his 2014 special election by more than 40 points, Schatz is well prepared to win in 2016 to continue his work building a clean energy economy, supporting our seniors and veterans, and representing Native Hawaiians.
Senator Dan Coats’ retirement vaults Indiana to the top of the list of competitive races this cycle. The state has gone blue more than once in recent years – President Obama won the state in 2008, and Democrats won a tough Senate race in Indiana in 2012. Within hours of Senator Coats’ announcement, numerous Republicans had already expressed serious interest in entering the race. The messy Republican primary will hurt the GOP’s chances of retaining the seat.
Maryland has a deep bench of potential candidates who will continue Senator Barbara Mikulski’s legacy of looking out for students, women, seniors and Maryland’s middle class families. Republicans haven’t won a Senate race in Maryland since 1980, and with such a talented pool of potential candidates, Democrats are well-positioned to retain the seat.
Reps. Chris Van Hollen and Donna Edwards have already announced their plans to run for the seat.
The Silver state went blue in the last two presidential elections, and Democrats won a Senate race in Nevada by 5 points in 2010 despite the tough election cycle. A messy primary on the Republican side is likely to hurt the GOP’s chances of winning the seat while Democrats already have a strong candidate in former Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto. Cortez Masto’s strong record and reputation will power her campaign to victory and ensure the seat stays in Democratic hands.
Chuck Schumer has never lost his laser focus on doing what’s best for the people of New York, and it’s that attention combined with his sharp political sense that has propelled him to several re-elections by double digit margins. Schumer rode to a 33-point victory in his last election in 2010. Don’t expect Schumer to leave anything to chance. He will continue his intense focus on representing the entire state of New York and running a strong campaign that ends in victory.
Ron Wyden has been a steady and hardworking voice for the people of Oregon. Wyden is well-known back home for holding an open town hall meeting in every Oregon county each year – to date that’s over 600 meetings. Wyden serves as Ranking Member of the powerful Senate Finance Committee. Throughout his career he has honed his ability to make progress and get results for Oregon by standing up for his state’s values and priorities. Last cycle despite a tough environment nationally, Democrats easily reelected Ron Wyden’s colleague in the Senate, Jeff Merkley.
With a strong focus on human rights, protection of civil liberties, and always standing up for Vermont, Patrick Leahy has been a critical voice for his state and nation his entire career. Leahy serves as Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee where he has been an advocate for domestic violence prevention, privacy laws and public transparency. We’re confident that Patrick Leahy will continue representing Vermont for years to come.
As a tireless advocate for women, families, veterans and the middle class, Patty Murray has never lost sight of the priorities that drove her to seek public office. Once told by a state lawmaker that she “couldn’t make a difference” when advocating for a preschool program, Murray has certainly proved him wrong time and again. As the self-described “mom in tennis shoes” Murray has built a reputation as a workhorse who gets results on women’s health, veterans funding, and other priorities of Washington state.