United States Senate elections, 2018

United States Senate elections, 2018

← 2016November 6, 20182020 →

33 of the 100 seats (Class 1) in the United States Senate
(and 2 special elections)
51 seats needed for a majority
as of 11:10 (UTC-5)
 Majority partyMinority party
 Mitch McConnell 2016 crop.jpgChuck Schumer official photo (cropped).jpg
LeaderMitch McConnellChuck Schumer
Leader sinceJanuary 3, 2007January 3, 2017
Leader's seatKentuckyNew York
Seats before5147
Seats after51–53[a]45–47[a]
Seat changeIncrease 0–2Decrease 0–2

 Third party
Seats before2
Seats after2
Seat changeSteady

2018 United States Senate elections.svg
Results of the general and special elections
     Democratic gain      Republican gain
     Democratic hold      Republican hold
     Independent hold      Undetermined
Line through state means both seats are up for election.

Majority Leader before election

Mitch McConnell

Elected Majority Leader


The elections to the United States Senate were held on November 6, 2018. 33 of the 100 seats were contested in regular elections and two seats in special elections. The winners of the 33 regular elections will serve six-year terms from January 3, 2019, to January 3, 2025. Democrats had 26 seats up for election, including the seats of two independents who caucus with them. Republicans had nine seats up for election. The seats up for regular election in 2018 were last up in 2012; in addition, special elections were scheduled due to vacancies in Minnesota and Mississippi.

Other elections that were held on this date include the elections to the U.S. House of Representatives, 39 Governorships as well as various other state and local elections.

Republicans could only afford to have a net loss of one Senate seat to maintain their working majority of 50 Senators and Republican Vice President Mike Pence, who is able to cast a tie-breaking vote in accordance with Article One of the United States Constitution. Three of the Republican seats were open as a result of retirements in Tennessee, Utah, and Arizona. Democrats were defending ten seats in states won by Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election, while Republicans were only defending one seat in a state won by Hillary Clinton in 2016. According to FiveThirtyEight, Democrats faced the most unfavorable Senate map in 2018 that any party has ever faced in any election.[1][2]

Although the final tally is yet to be confirmed, the Republicans kept the Senate majority, defeating three Democratic incumbents in Indiana, Missouri, and North Dakota. This is the first midterm election cycle since 2002 where any incumbents of the non-presidential party lost re-election.[3] Democrats defeated a Republican incumbent in Nevada and gained an open seat in Arizona. Out of the 33 determined winners, 22 are Democrats, nine are Republicans, and two are independents who caucus with the Democrats. The winner in Florida and the Mississippi runoff election have yet to be determined.[4]

Focus on competitive races

Democrats targeted Republican-held Senate seats in Arizona (open seat) and Nevada.[5] Seats in Texas,[6] Mississippi (at least one of the two seats) and Tennessee (open seat)[7] were also competitive for the Democrats. Republicans targeted Democratic-held seats in Indiana, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, and West Virginia, all of which voted for Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election and Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.[8] Seats in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan, all of which voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election, were also targeted by Republicans.[9][5]