How Many Senate Seats Are Up For Reelection In 2016? Democrats Could Regain Control

US Vice President Joe Biden (C) helps to count of the Electoral College votes for the 2012 presidential election during a joint Senate and House session at the Capitol in Washington on January 4, 2013. US President Barack Obama was officially declared the winner of 2012 presidential election after the counting session-- a quaint formality, perhaps, but constitutionally required. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Source: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

While the overwhelming focus leading into Election Day has been on the presidential race, it can't be overlooked that there are many crucial congressional seats up for reelection as well. And while gridlock has been the name of the game in Washington for the last few years, with a Democratic president facing off against a Republican-controlled Senate and House, the tides may be changing. Democrats are looking to regain control of the Senate after next week's election, and they may have a shot at pulling it off.

The House of Representatives does not stand as much of a chance of flipping. The Republicans hold a 30-seat lead — the largest majority since 1928 — and are not expected to lose control of the House this year. But there are 34 seats up in the Senate, 10 Democratic and 24 Republican. The Republicans currently only have an eight seat majority, so Democrats must only win four seats to flip the chamber Blue under a Hillary Clinton presidency, and five if Donald Trump wins the White House. 

Of the ten seats that have been identified as possible or likely to flip on Nov. 8, nine of them are currently held by Republicans. Senate races in Illinois, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Florida and Arizona feature incumbent Republicans looking to hold on to their seats. In Indiana and Nevada, the seats are open, as their predecessors, Democratic Sen. Harry Reid in Nevada, and Republican Sen. Dan Coats in Indiana are retiring. 

Sen. John McCain's seat in Arizona is highly unlikely to change hands, as is Sen. Marco Rubio's position in Florida. And analysts say Illinois and Wisconsin are pretty much guaranteed to go Blue. But the rest of the seats on the list are still deemed toss-ups, and it doesn't seem like those predictions will get much clearer in the last few days of the campaigns.

Over the last few months, many congresspeople facing reelection battles have attempted to distance themselves from Trump. They don't see any association with him as good for their vulnerable campaigns. But now, with the renewed controversy surrounding Clinton and her private email server, some say that while FBI Director James Comey's letter to Congress is not having much affect on her standing, it may trickle down the ballot to state and local races, and have an affect on some of the senate and house seats up for grabs. So as things seem to change on a daily basis, it's hard to say what the outcome will be on Nov. 8. 

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