The 2016 elections have ended, Donald Trump is our President-Elect, and the Republican Party has kept its grip on both the house and senate. As major as this election was, the off-year elections matter too. One-third of the senate is up for reelection, and the 2018 senate campaigns are right around the corner. Here are five major senators who are up for reelection in 2018.
First on the list is Virginia’s Democratic senator Tim Kaine: he is best known for being on Sec. Hillary Clinton’s side as her vice presidential running mate in this year’s election. Kaine made history by giving the first speech entirely composed of Spanish on the senate floor. He was expressing his support for the bipartisan “Gang of eight” immigration bill.
He was also governor of Virginia for one term from 2006 to 2010. A less commonly known fact about him is that he is the former chairman of the DNC: he was appointed in 2009, and then stepped down in 2011 to campaign for Jim Webb’s vacant seat in the senate. He left the chairperson position to Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz who would be the DNC’s chairwoman from 2011 to 2016.
The second notable senator up for reelection is Vermont’s Independent senator Bernie Sanders. He’s most famous for his presidential run in this year’s election, gaining momentum in the democratic primaries and becoming a beloved pop culture icon before eventually conceding the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination to Sec. Hillary Clinton. In 1964, he got his degree in Political Science and in the 1980’s, he became the mayor of Burlington, Vermont.
Another big name to be mentioned is Massachusetts’ Democratic senator Elizabeth Warren. Curt Schilling, a former major league baseball pitcher and avid Donald Trump supporter has already announced that he will be challenging Warren for her seat. A recent poll featured on CBS Boston shows that if it came down to Schilling and Warren, she would win easily with a margin of 19 points. However, the same poll shows that if someone like Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito or former Mass. Gov. Bill Weld (who ran on the Libertarian ticket as VP this year with former Gov. Gary Johnson) were to be matched up with her, the race would become much tighter.
Things would get interesting especially if former Gov. Bill Weld decided to challenge her for the senate: in 1990, Weld ran as a Republican for governor in what is well-known to be a blue state. He won with 51% of the vote, and in his reelection effort, he only lost six counties in the entire state, and got a record-breaking 71% of the vote. If he ended up announcing his candidacy for Warren’s seat, it would be a much tougher battle.
Now to the Republicans; the next senator on our list is Texas senator Ted Cruz. Even though Texas is a safely red state, Cruz might be facing a bigger challenge than one would think. In late October, former Texas governor Rick Perry encouraged current U.S. Representative Michael McCaul to run against Cruz in 2018. However, since McCaul is already a U.S. Representative and a chairman on the Homeland Security committee, it would be unlikely to sacrifice what he has earned and potentially lose his political career.
The last senator I’d like to highlight is our own Utahn: Sen. Orrin Hatch. Interestingly enough, he made a pledge back in 2012 that he wouldn’t run for reelection after his current term ended. He’s seriously considering running for his eighth term in the senate. However, a recent poll from August that appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune showed that 71 percent of people think he shouldn’t run for reelection while only 19 percent say he should.
Rumor has it that former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman might run against Hatch: it is said that he is planning on moving back from Washington D.C. to Utah. However, if he were to run, he would run as an independent. Afterall, he is co-chairman of the “No Labels” group that encourages people to try and solve problems despite political party affiliation.
If you’re someone like me who invested all their time into the past election,
in the next two years, you’ll have another election to do the same thing.