United States Senate elections, 2016

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United States Senate elections, 2016
United States
← 2014 November 8, 2016 2018 →

Class 3 (34 of the 100) seats in the United States Senate
51 seats needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party
  Sen Mitch McConnell official.jpg Harry Reid official portrait 2009.jpg
Leader Mitch McConnell Harry Reid
Party Republican Democratic
Leader's seat Kentucky Nevada
Seats before 54 44
Seats after 52 46
Seat change Decrease 2 Increase 2
Popular vote 40,402,790 51,496,682
Percentage 42.4% 53.8%
Swing Decrease 9.3% Increase 10.0%
Seats up 24 10
Races won 22 12

  Third party
Party Independent
Seats before 2[Note 1]
Seats after 2[Note 1]
Seat change Steady
Popular vote 562,935
Percentage 0.5%
Seats up 0
Races won 0

United States Senate election in Alabama, 2016 United States Senate election in Alaska, 2016 United States Senate election in Arizona, 2016 United States Senate election in Arkansas, 2016 United States Senate election in California, 2016 United States Senate election in Colorado, 2016 United States Senate election in Connecticut, 2016 United States Senate election in Florida, 2016 United States Senate election in Georgia, 2016 United States Senate election in Hawaii, 2016 United States Senate election in Idaho, 2016 United States Senate election in Illinois, 2016 United States Senate election in Indiana, 2016 United States Senate election in Iowa, 2016 United States Senate election in Kansas, 2016 United States Senate election in Kentucky, 2016 United States Senate election in Louisiana, 2016 United States Senate election in Maryland, 2016 United States Senate election in Missouri, 2016 United States Senate election in Nevada, 2016 United States Senate election in New Hampshire, 2016 United States Senate election in New York, 2016 United States Senate election in North Carolina, 2016 United States Senate election in North Dakota, 2016 United States Senate election in Ohio, 2016 United States Senate election in Oklahoma, 2016 United States Senate election in Oregon, 2016 United States Senate election in Pennsylvania, 2016 United States Senate election in South Carolina, 2016 United States Senate election in South Dakota, 2016 United States Senate election in Utah, 2016 United States Senate election in Vermont, 2016 United States Senate election in Washington, 2016 United States Senate election in Wisconsin, 20162016 US Senate election results map.svg
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Results of the General elections only:
     Democratic gains      Democratic holds
     Republican holds
  1. ^ a b Both Independents caucus with the Democrats.

Majority Leader before election

Mitch McConnell

Elected Majority Leader

Mitch McConnell

Elections to the United States Senate were held on November 8, 2016. The presidential election, House elections, 14 gubernatorial elections, and many state and local elections were held on the same date.

In the 2016 Senate election, 34 of the 100 seats—all class 3 Senate seats—were contested in regular elections; the winners will serve six-year terms until January 3, 2023. Class 3 was last up for election in 2010, when Republicans won a net gain of six seats.

In 2016, Democrats defended 10 seats, while Republicans defended 24 seats. Republicans, having won a majority of seats in the Senate in 2014, held the Senate majority with 54 seats before this election. Democrats won a net gain of two seats. Republicans retained control of the Senate for the 115th United States Congress. Only two incumbents lost their seats, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Mark Kirk of Illinois, to Democrats Maggie Hassan and Tammy Duckworth, respectively. Despite Republicans retaining control of the Senate, 2016 marks the first time since 1986 that Democrats made a net gain of seats in class 3. This election marks the first time since 2000 in which the party in opposition to the elected or reelected presidential candidate made net gains in the Senate. This is the first and only election since the passage of the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913 where the winning party in every Senate election mirrored the winning party for their state in the presidential election.[1][2]

With the retirement of Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer became the Democratic leader after the elections, while Mitch McConnell retained his position as Senate Majority Leader.

Results summary[edit]

All 34 Class 3 Senators were up for election in 2016; Class 3 consisted of 10 Democrats and 24 Republicans. Of the Senators not up for election, 34 Senators were Democrats, 30 Senators were Republicans and two Senators are independents who caucus with the Senate Democrats.

Parties Total
Democratic Republican Independent Libertarian Other
Before these elections 44 54 2 100
Not up 34 30 2 66
Class 1 (20122018) 23 8 2 33
Class 2 (20142020) 11 22 0 33
Up 10 24 0 34
Class 3 (2010→2016) 10 24 0 34
Special: All classes 0 0 0 0
General election
Incumbent retired 3 2 5
Held by same party 3 2 5
Replaced by other party 0 0 0
Result 3 2 5
Incumbent ran 7 22 29
Won re-election 7 20 27
Lost re-election Decrease 2 Republicans replaced by Increase 2 Democrats 2
Lost renomination
but held by same party
0 0 0
Result 9 20 29
Total elected 12 22 34
Net gain/loss Increase 2 Decrease 2 Steady Steady Steady Steady
Nationwide vote 51,269,434 40,761,406 562,935 1,950,641 1,918,756 96,103,172
Share 53.54% 42.41% 0.58% 1.65% 2.00% 100%
Result 46 52 2 100

Change in composition[edit]

Before the elections[edit]

D1 D2 D3 D4 D5 D6 D7 D8 D9 D10
D20 D19 D18 D17 D16 D15 D14 D13 D12 D11
D21 D22 D23 D24 D25 D26 D27 D28 D29 D30
D34 D33 D32 D31
I1 I2 R54
Majority →
R21 R22 R23 R24 R25 R26 R27 R28 R29 R30
R20 R19 R18 R17 R16 R15 R14 R13 R12 R11
R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 R10

After the general elections[edit]

D1 D2 D3 D4 D5 D6 D7 D8 D9 D10
D20 D19 D18 D17 D16 D15 D14 D13 D12 D11
D21 D22 D23 D24 D25 D26 D27 D28 D29 D30
D34 D33 D32 D31
I1 I2 R52
Majority →
R21 R22 R23 R24 R25 R26 R27 R28 R29 R30
R20 R19 R18 R17 R16 R15 R14 R13 R12 R11
R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 R10

After the 2017 special election[edit]

D1 D2 D3 D4 D5 D6 D7 D8 D9 D10
D20 D19 D18 D17 D16 D15 D14 D13 D12 D11
D21 D22 D23 D24 D25 D26 D27 D28 D29 D30
D40 D39 D38 D37 D36 D35 D34 D33 D32 D31
D41 D42 D43 D44 D45 D46 I1 I2 TBD
R Hold or
D Gain
Majority →
R41 R42 R43 R44 R45 R46 R47 R48 R49 R50
R40 R39 R38 R37 R36 R35 R34 R33 R32 R31
R21 R22 R23 R24 R25 R26 R27 R28 R29 R30
R20 R19 R18 R17 R16 R15 R14 R13 R12 R11
R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 R10
D# Democratic
R# Republican
I# Independent, caucusing with Democrats[3][4]

Latest predictions of competitive seats[edit]

Several sites and individuals publish predictions of competitive seats. These predictions look at factors such as the strength of the incumbent (if the incumbent is running for re-election), the strength of the candidates, and the partisan leanings of the state (reflected in part by the state's Cook Partisan Voting Index rating). The predictions assign ratings to each seat, with the rating indicating the predicted advantage that a party has in winning that seat. Most election predictors use "tossup" to indicate that neither party has an advantage, "lean" to indicate that one party has a slight advantage, "likely" or "favored" to indicate that one party has a significant but not insurmountable advantage, and "safe" or "solid" to indicate that one party has a near-certain chance of victory. Some predictions also include a "tilt" rating that indicates that one party has an advantage that is not quite as strong as the "lean" rating would indicate.

Where a site gives a percentage probability as its primary indicator of expected outcome, the chart below classifies a race as follows:

  • Tossup: 50-55%
  • Tilt: 56-60%
  • Lean: 61-75%
  • Likely: 76-93%
  • Safe: 94-100%

The New York Times' Upshot gave the Democrats a 60% chance of winning the Senate on August 24, 2016;[5] on September 23, their model gave Republicans a 58% chance to maintain control.[6]

All seats classified with at least one rating of anything other than "safe" or "solid" are listed below.

State PVI Incumbent 2010
Nov. 2
Nov. 7
Nov. 3
Nov. 7
Nov. 2
Nov. 7
Nov. 7
Nov. 5
Alaska R+12 Lisa Murkowski (R) 39.5%[15] Likely R Safe R Safe R Safe R Safe R 98% R 99+% R Safe R Murkowski
Arizona R+7 John McCain (R) 59.2% Lean R Likely R Likely R Likely R Lean R 97% R 99% R Safe R McCain
Colorado D+1 Michael Bennet (D) 47.7% Likely D Safe D Safe D Safe D Lean D 95% D 96% D Likely D Bennet
Florida R+2 Marco Rubio (R) 48.9% Lean R Lean R Lean R Likely R Tossup 87% R 85% R Lean R Rubio
Georgia R+6 Johnny Isakson (R) 58.1% Likely R Safe R Safe R Safe R Likely R 97% R 99% R Safe R Isakson
Illinois D+8 Mark Kirk (R) 48.2% Lean D Likely D Lean D Safe D Likely D 97% D 98% D Safe D Duckworth
Indiana R+5 Dan Coats (R)
56.4% Tossup Lean R Tossup Tossup Tossup 61% R 53% D Lean R Young
Iowa D+1 Chuck Grassley (R) 64.5% Likely R Safe R Safe R Safe R Safe R 99+% R 99+% R Safe R Grassley
Kentucky R+13 Rand Paul (R) 55.7% Safe R Safe R Safe R Safe R Likely R 93% R 97% R Safe R Paul
Louisiana R+12 David Vitter (R)
56.6% Safe R Likely R Safe R Safe R Likely R 86% R 96% R Likely R Kennedy
Missouri R+5 Roy Blunt (R) 54.3% Tossup Lean R Tossup Tossup Tossup 55% R 65% R Tossup Blunt
Nevada D+2 Harry Reid (D)
50.2% Tossup Lean D Tossup Lean D Tossup 57% D 60% D Tossup Cortez Masto
New Hampshire D+1 Kelly Ayotte (R) 60.2% Tossup Lean D Tossup Tossup Tossup 53% D 55% R Tossup Hassan
North Carolina R+3 Richard Burr (R) 55.0% Tossup Lean R Tossup Tossup Tossup 69% R 67% R Tossup Burr
Ohio R+1 Rob Portman (R) 57.3% Lean R Safe R Likely R Safe R Likely R 98% R 97% R Safe R Portman
Pennsylvania D+1 Pat Toomey (R) 51.0% Tossup Lean D Tossup Tossup Tossup 68% D 66% D Lean D Toomey
Wisconsin D+2 Ron Johnson (R) 51.9% Tossup Lean D Tilt D Lean D Tossup 87% D 72% D Lean D Johnson

Cook, Sabato, Rothenberg, Daily Kos Elections, FiveThirtyEight, Real Clear Politics, Talking Points Memo, and the New York Times consider the states listed below to be safe seats for the party currently holding the seat.

Safe Republican Safe Democratic
Alabama CaliforniaO
Arkansas Connecticut
Idaho Hawaii
Kansas MarylandO
North Dakota New York
Oklahoma Oregon
South Carolina Vermont
South Dakota Washington

O indicates an open seat

Close races[edit]

Red denotes Senate races won by Republicans; Blue denotes those won by Democrats.

States where the margin of victory was under 1%:

  1. New Hampshire, 0.14%

States where the margin of victory was between 1% and 5%:

  1. Pennsylvania, 1.43%
  2. Nevada, 2.43%
  3. Missouri, 2.79%
  4. Wisconsin, 3.36%

States where the margin of victory was between 5% and 10%:

  1. Colorado, 5.66%
  2. North Carolina, 5.70%
  3. Florida, 7.67%
  4. Indiana, 9.70%

Primary dates[edit]

This table shows the primary dates for regularly-scheduled elections. It also shows the type of primary.

  • "Open" primary: any registered voter can vote in any party's primary
  • "Closed" primary, only voters registered with a specific party can vote in that party's primary.
  • "Top-two" primary, all candidates run against each other regardless of party affiliation, and the top two candidates advance to the second round of voting. (In Louisiana, a candidate can win the election by winning a majority of the vote in the first round.)
  • All of the various other primary types are classified as "hybrid." Alaska in 2008 provides one example of a hybrid primary: The Democratic Party allowed unaffiliated voters to vote in its primary, while the Republican Party only allowed party members to vote in its primary.[16]
State Date[17] Type[16]
Alabama Mar. 1R Open
Arkansas Mar. 1R Open
Illinois Mar 15 Hybrid
North Carolina Mar 15 Hybrid
Ohio Mar 15 Hybrid
Maryland April 26 Hybrid
Pennsylvania April 26 Closed
Indiana May 3 Open
Idaho May 17 Hybrid
Kentucky May 17 Closed
Oregon May 17 Hybrid
Georgia May 24R Open
California June 7 Top-two
Iowa June 7 Hybrid
South Dakota June 7R Hybrid
Nevada June 14 Closed
North Dakota June 14 Open
South Carolina June 14R Hybrid
Colorado June 28 Hybrid
New York June 28 Closed
Oklahoma June 28R Hybrid
Utah June 28 Hybrid
Kansas Aug 2 Closed
Missouri Aug 2 Open
Washington Aug 2 Top-two
Connecticut Aug 9 Hybrid
Vermont Aug 9 Open
Wisconsin Aug 9 Open
Hawaii Aug 13 Open
Alaska Aug 16 Hybrid
Arizona Aug 30 Hybrid
Florida Aug 30 Closed
New Hampshire Sep 13 Hybrid
Louisiana Nov 8 Top-two

RIndicates a state that requires primary run-off elections under certain conditions.

Race summary[edit]

(linked to
summaries below)
Incumbent Status Candidates
Senator Party Electoral
Alabama Shelby, RichardRichard Shelby Republican 1986
Incumbent re-elected. Richard Shelby (Republican)[18] 64.0%
Ron Crumpton (Democratic)[19] 35.8%
Others (write-in) 0.2%
Alaska Murkowski, LisaLisa Murkowski Republican 2002 (Appointed)
Incumbent re-elected. Lisa Murkowski (Republican)[20] 44%
Joe Miller (Libertarian)[21] 29%
Margaret Stock (Independent)[22][23] 13%
Ray Metcalfe (Democratic)[24] 12%
Arizona McCain, JohnJohn McCain Republican 1986
Incumbent re-elected. John McCain (Republican)[25] 53%
Ann Kirkpatrick (Democratic)[26] 41%
Pat Quinn (independent/Write-in)[27][28]
Gary Swing (Green/Write-in)[29] 5%
Arkansas Boozman, JohnJohn Boozman Republican 2010 Incumbent re-elected. John Boozman (Republican)[30] 59.7%
Conner Eldridge (Democratic)[31] 36.3%
Frank Gilbert (Libertarian)[32] 4.0%
California Boxer, BarbaraBarbara Boxer Democratic 1992
Incumbent retired.
Democratic hold.
Kamala Harris (Democratic)[33] 61.8%
Loretta Sanchez (Democratic)[34] 38.2%
Colorado Bennet, MichaelMichael Bennet Democratic 2009 (Appointed)
Incumbent re-elected. Michael Bennet (Democratic)[35] 50.0%
Darryl Glenn (Republican)[36] 44.3%
Lily Tang Williams (Libertarian)[37] 3.6
Arn Menconi (Green)[38] 1.3
Connecticut Blumenthal, RichardRichard Blumenthal Democratic 2010 Incumbent re-elected. Richard Blumenthal (Democratic)[39] 63.2%
Dan Carter (Republican)[40] 34.6%
Richard Lion (Libertarian)[41] 1.1
Jeff Russell (Green)[42] 1.0
Florida Rubio, MarcoMarco Rubio Republican 2010 Incumbent re-elected. Marco Rubio (Republican)[43] 52.0%
Patrick Murphy (Democratic)[44] 44.3%
Paul Stanton (Libertarian)[45] 2.1
Georgia Isakson, JohnnyJohnny Isakson Republican 2004
Incumbent re-elected. Johnny Isakson (Republican)[46] 54.8%
Jim Barksdale (Democratic)[47] 41%
Allen Buckley (Libertarian)[48] 4.16%
Hawaii Schatz, BrianBrian Schatz Democratic 2012 (Appointed)
2014 (Special)
Incumbent re-elected. Brian Schatz (Democratic)[49] 73.6%
John Carroll (Republican)[49] 22.2%
Idaho Crapo, MikeMike Crapo Republican 1998
Incumbent re-elected. Mike Crapo (Republican)[50] 66.1%
Jerry Sturgill (Democratic)[51] 27.8%

Ray Writz (Constitution)6.0%

Illinois Kirk, MarkMark Kirk Republican 2010 Incumbent lost re-election.
Democratic gain.
Tammy Duckworth (Democratic)[52] 54.9%
Mark Kirk (Republican)[53] 39.8%
Kent McMillen (Libertarian)[54] 3.2%
Scott Summers (Green)[55] 2.1
Indiana Coats, DanDan Coats Republican 1989 (Appointed)
1990 (Special)
1998 (Retired)
Incumbent retired.
Republican hold.
Todd Young (Republican)[56] 52.1%
Evan Bayh (Democratic)[57] 42.4%
Lucy Brenton (Libertarian)[58] 5.5%
Iowa Grassley, ChuckChuck Grassley Republican 1980
Incumbent re-elected. Chuck Grassley (Republican)[59] 60.1%
Patty Judge (Democratic)[60] 35.7%
John Heiderscheit (Libertarian)[61] 2.7
Kansas Moran, JerryJerry Moran Republican 2010 Incumbent re-elected. Jerry Moran (Republican)[62] 62.1%
Patrick Wiesner (Democratic)[63] 32.2%
Robert Garrard (Libertarian)[64] 5.5%
Kentucky Paul, RandRand Paul Republican 2010 Incumbent re-elected. Rand Paul (Republican)[65] 57.27%
Jim Gray (Democratic)[66] 42.73%
Louisiana Vitter, DavidDavid Vitter Republican 2004
Incumbent retired.
New senator elected.
Republican hold.
John N. Kennedy (Republican)[67] 60.65%
Foster Campbell (Democratic)[68] 39.35%
Maryland Mikulski, BarbaraBarbara Mikulski Democratic 1986
Incumbent retired.
New senator elected.
Democratic hold.
Chris Van Hollen (Democratic)[69] 60.9%
Kathy Szeliga (Republican)[70] 35.7%
Margaret Flowers (Green)[71]
Missouri Blunt, RoyRoy Blunt Republican 2010 Incumbent re-elected. Roy Blunt (Republican)[72] 49.3%
Jason Kander (Democratic)[73] 46.2%
Jonathan Dine (Libertarian)[74]
Nevada Reid, HarryHarry Reid Democratic 1986
Incumbent retired.
New senator elected.
Democratic hold.
Catherine Cortez Masto (Democratic) 47.1% [75]
Joe Heck (Republican) 44.7% [76]

Tom Jones (Independent American)
Tony Gumina (unaffiliated)
Tom Sawyer (unaffiliated)
Jarrod Michael Williams (unaffiliated)
(None of these candidates)

New Hampshire Ayotte, KellyKelly Ayotte Republican 2010 Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Democratic gain.
Maggie Hassan (Democratic) 47.97% [77]
Kelly Ayotte (Republican) 47.87% [78]
Brian Chabot (Libertarian)[79]
New York Schumer, ChuckChuck Schumer Democratic 1998
Incumbent re-elected. Chuck Schumer (Democratic) 70.4% [39]
Wendy Long (Republican) 27.4% [80]
Alex Merced (Libertarian)[81]
Robin Wilson (Green)[82]
North Carolina Burr, RichardRichard Burr Republican 2004
Incumbent re-elected. Richard Burr (Republican) 51.1% [83]
Deborah Ross (Democratic) 45.3% [84]
Sean Haugh (Libertarian)[85]
North Dakota Hoeven, JohnJohn Hoeven Republican 2010 Incumbent re-elected. John Hoeven (Republican) 78.4% [86]
Eliot Glassheim (Democratic) 17.0% [87]
Robert Marquette (Libertarian)[88]
Ohio Portman, RobRob Portman Republican 2010 Incumbent re-elected. Rob Portman (Republican) 58.0% [89]
Ted Strickland (Democratic) 37.1% [90]
Joseph DeMare (Green)[91]
Oklahoma Lankford, JamesJames Lankford Republican 2014 (Special) Incumbent re-elected. James Lankford (Republican) 67.7% [39]
Mike Workman (Democratic) 24.5% [92]
Robert Murphy (Libertarian)[93]
Oregon Wyden, RonRon Wyden Democratic 1996 (Special)
Incumbent re-elected. Ron Wyden (Democratic) 56.1% [39]
Mark Callahan (Republican) 33.35% [94]
Jim Lindsay (Libertarian)[95]
Eric Navickas (Green)[95]
Pennsylvania Toomey, PatPat Toomey Republican 2010 Incumbent re-elected. Pat Toomey (Republican) 48.9% [96]
Katie McGinty (Democratic) 47.2% [97]
Edward Clifford (Libertarian)[98]
South Carolina Scott, TimTim Scott Republican 2013 (Appointed)
2014 (Special)
Incumbent re-elected. Tim Scott (Republican) 60.5% [39]
Thomas Dixon (Democratic) 37.0% [99]
Bill Bledsoe (Libertarian)[100]
South Dakota Thune, JohnJohn Thune Republican 2004
Incumbent re-elected. John Thune (Republican) 71.8% [101]
Jay Williams (Democratic) 28.2% [102]
Utah Lee, MikeMike Lee Republican 2010 Incumbent re-elected. Mike Lee (Republican) 68.1% [103]
Misty K. Snow (Democratic) 27.1% [104]
Stoney Fonua (Independent American)
Bill Barron (unaffiliated)
Vermont Leahy, PatrickPatrick Leahy Democratic 1974
Incumbent re-elected. Patrick Leahy (Democratic) 59.9% [105]
Scott Milne (Republican) 32.3% [106]
Pete Diamondstone (Liberty Union)
Cris Ericson (Marijuana)[verification needed]
Jerry Trudell (unaffiliated)
Washington Murray, PattyPatty Murray Democratic 1992
Incumbent re-elected. Patty Murray (Democratic) 59.04% [107]
Chris Vance (Republican) 40.96% [108]
Wisconsin Johnson, RonRon Johnson Republican 2010 Incumbent re-elected. Ron Johnson (Republican) 50.19% [109]
Russ Feingold (Democratic) 46.84% [110]
Phil Anderson (Libertarian) 2.7%[111]

Special elections during the next Congress[edit]

In this special election, the winner was elected during the next Congress after January 3, 2017.

(linked to
summaries below)
Incumbent Results Candidates
Senator Party Electoral
(Class 2)
Strange, LutherLuther Strange Republican 2017 (Appointed) Interim appointee lost nomination.
New senator to be elected December 12, 2017.
Roy Moore (Republican)[112]
Doug Jones (Democratic)[113]

Complete list of races[edit]

Thirty-four seats were up for election in 2016:

  • 7 Democrats and 21 Republicans sought re-election.
  • 5 Senators (3 Democrats, 2 Republicans) retired.


Five-term Senator Richard Shelby (Republican) was re-elected with 65% of the vote in the 2010 election. He was 82 years old in 2016. He ran for re-election. He served in the Senate as a Democrat until switching parties in 1994. Shelby ran for re-election and faced four challengers in the Republican primary: ex-state Senator Shadrack McGill, former Marine and Birmingham businessman Jonathan McConnell, Marcus Bowman, and John Martin.[114] On March 1, Shelby won the primary with 65% of the vote.[115]

There were two Democratic candidates: Ron Crumpton, patient rights advocate,[19][116] and Charles Nana.[114] Crumpton won the primary with 56% of the vote.[115]

Sen. Shelby won re-election with 64% of the vote.


Two-term Senator Lisa Murkowski (Republican) was appointed in 2002 and elected to a full term in 2004. She was defeated in the Republican primary in 2010 by Joe Miller. She later ran as a write-in candidate in the 2010 general election and was re-elected to a second full term with 40% of the vote, making her one of two senators in US history to win election via write-in votes. She was 59 years old in 2016. She ran for re-election.[20]

Thomas Lamb, a candidate for the State House in 2006, and Bob Lochner filed to run against Murkowski.[117] Other potential Republican primary challengers included 2010 nominee and 2014 candidate Joe Miller, State Senator Mike J. Dunleavy, former Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell, and former Mayor of Anchorage Dan Sullivan.[118]

The only person to file for the Democratic primary as of May 20 was writer and satirist Richard Grayson, who previously sought election to Wyoming's House seat in 2014.[119][120][121][117] Potential Democratic candidates included State Senator Dennis Egan, State Representative Andy Josephson, State Senator Bill Wielechowski, State Senator Hollis French and State Senate Minority Leader Johnny Ellis.[122] Former Senator Mark Begich was mentioned as a possible candidate,[123] but he declined to run.[124]

Murkowski won her primary on August 16, 2016 with 72 percent of the vote.

Joe Miller received the Libertarian nomination and will run against Murkowski in the general election.

Anchorage attorney and veteran Margaret Stock ran as an Independent candidate.[125]

Sen. Murkowski won re-election with 44% of the vote compared to Miller with 30% and Metcalfe with 11%. 15% went to other candidates. Murkowski has been re-elected three times now with 48% in 2004, 39.5% in 2010 and 44% in 2016, never having won a majority.


Five-term Senator and Republican presidential candidate in 2008 John McCain was re-elected with 59% of the vote in 2010. He was 80 years old in 2016. Despite speculation that he might retire,[126] McCain ran for re-election.[25]

McCain faced primary challenges from Fair Tax activist Alex Meluskey,[127] businessman David Pizer,[128] talk radio host Clair Van Steenwyk,[129] and State Senator Kelli Ward.[130] David Pizer later dropped out of the race. Representatives Matt Salmon and David Schweikert were both mentioned as possible candidates,[131] but both chose not to run.[132][133] Other potential Republican candidates included former Governor Jan Brewer,[134] businesswoman and 2014 gubernatorial candidate Christine Jones,[135] former Governor of Alaska and 2008 vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin,[136] former U.S. Representative John Shadegg,[137] and former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods.[137]

Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick[26] and teacher Lennie Clark[138] ran for the Democratic nomination. Lennie Clark dropped out and Ann Kirkpatrick became the Democratic nominee. Other potential Democratic candidates included U.S. Representative Ruben Gallego, former Surgeon General and 2012 nominee Richard Carmona, 2014 gubernatorial nominee Fred DuVal, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, and retired astronaut Mark Kelly, who is the husband of ex-Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.[139][140]

Sen. McCain won re-election with 53% to Kirkpatrick's 41%.


One-term Senator John Boozman (Republican) defeated two-term Senator Blanche Lincoln with 58% of the vote in 2010. He was 65 years old in 2016. Despite speculation that he might retire following health problems,[141][142] Boozman ran for re-election.[30] Fellow Republican Curtis Coleman, who ran against Boozman in 2010 but came in fifth place, ran again.[143]

Conner Eldridge, the former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, is the only Democrat who met the filing deadline.[144]

Frank Gilbert is the candidate for the Libertarian Party,[145][146][147] and Jason Tate was running a write-in campaign.[148]

Sen. Boozman won re-election with 60% to Eldridge's 36%.


Four-term Senator Barbara Boxer (Democrat) was re-elected with 52% of the vote in 2010. Boxer declined to run for re-election.[149] California Attorney General Kamala Harris and U.S. Representative Loretta Sanchez, both Democrats, finished first and second, respectively,[150] in California's nonpartisan blanket primary, and will contest the general election. As such, Boxer's successor is guaranteed to be a Democrat.[151] This marks a historic first such occasion in California, ever since the Senate elections began in 1914.

Other Democrats on the primary ballot included "President" Cristina Grappo, Massie Munroe, Herbert Peters, Emory Rogers, and Steve Stokes.[152] Among the potential candidates who declined to run were Governor Jerry Brown, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, U.S. Representatives Xavier Becerra and Adam Schiff, and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Former state Republican Party chairs Tom Del Beccaro[153] and Duf Sundheim,[154] and former State Senator Phil Wyman[155][156] ran, along with Don Krampe,[157] Tom Palzer,[158] Karen Roseberry,[159] Greg Conlon, Von Huogo, Jerry Laws, Ron Unz, Jarrell Williamson, and George Yang.[152] State Assemblymen Rocky Chavez was running as well,[160] but withdrew from the race.[161] Republicans who were once considered potential candidates but ruled out runs included San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Stability and 2014 gubernatorial nominee Neel Kashkari, U.S. Representative Darrell Issa, and businesswoman and nominee for the U.S. Senate in 2010 Carly Fiorina.[162]

Independent Mike Beitiks ran on a single-issue climate change platform.[163]

Polling conducted by the SurveyUSA from March 30, 2016 to April 3, 2016 indicated that Harris was ahead with 26%, compared to Rep. Sánchez with 22%, Del Beccaro with 8%, Wyman with 8%, and Sundheim with 3%; 7% of those polled were supporting other candidates, and 24% were undecided.[164]

Harris won the election with 62% of the vote to Sanchez's 38%.


One-term Senator Michael Bennet (Democrat) was appointed in 2009 and elected to a full term with 48% of the vote in 2010. He was 51 years old in 2016. He ran for re-election.[35]

Businessman Robert Blaha,[165] former Aurora councilman Ryan Frazier,[166] El Paso County Commissioners Darryl Glenn,[36] and Peggy Littleton,[167] former Colorado State University Athletic Director Jack Graham,[168] State Representative Jon Keyser,[169] former SBA director Greg Lopez,[170] State Senator Tim Neville,[171] and Jefferson County Commissioner Donald Rosier[172][173] ran for the Republican nomination. Glenn, Graham, Blaha, Keyser, and Frazier actually competed in the primary.[174]

Darryl Glenn won the Republican nomination with 37% of the vote against four other opponents.[174]

Bennet won re-election with 50% of the vote to Glenn's 44%.


One-term Senator Richard Blumenthal (Democrat) was elected with 55% of the vote in 2010. He was 70 years old in 2016. He ran for re-election.[39]

State Representative Dan Carter,[40] apparel company CEO and 2004 Senate nominee Jack Orchulli,[175] and former Olympic athlete August Wolf[176] ran for the Republican nomination. Another potential candidate was former West Hartford Town Councilor Joe Visconti, who ran for CT-01 in 2008 and ran as an Independent for Governor in 2014.[177] Former U.S. Comptroller General and 2014 candidate for Lieutenant Governor David M. Walker,[178][179] former U.S. Representative and 2010 candidate Rob Simmons,[180] and economist and former CNBC television host Lawrence Kudlow declined to run.[181][182]

Blumenthal won re-election with 63% of the vote to Carter's 35%.


One-term Senator Marco Rubio (Republican) was elected in a three-way race with 49% of the vote in 2010. In April 2014, Rubio stated that he would not run for both the Senate and President in 2016, as Florida law prohibits a candidate from appearing twice on a ballot.[183] In April 2015, he announced that he would run for President and would not seek re-election.[184] After suspending his campaign on March 15, 2016, Rubio announced on June 22, 2016 that he changed his mind and will run for re-election.[43]

U.S. Representative Ron DeSantis, combat veteran Todd Wilcox,[185] real estate developer Carlos Beruff,[186] retired college lecturer Ilya Katz,[187] and Donald J. DeRenzo ran for the Republican nomination.[188][189] Ben Carson, retired neurosurgeon and candidate for President in 2016 is also mentioned as a potential candidate.[190] On June 17, 2016, U.S. Representative David Jolly withdrew from the race to run for re-election to his House seat, four days after Rubio began openly considering reversing his decision to not run for re-election.[191]

U.S. Representative Patrick Murphy[44] defeated fellow representative Alan Grayson, as well as Pam Keith, Lateresa Jones, Richard Coleman, Sam Brian Gibbons, and Josh Larose, for the Democratic nomination. Murphy lost to incumbent Marco Rubio in the November general election on November 8.[192]

Sen. Rubio won re-election with 52% of the vote compared to Murphy's 44%.


Two-term Senator Johnny Isakson (Republican) was re-elected with 58% of the vote in 2010. He was 71 years old in 2016. He ran for re-election.[46] In 2015, Isakson announced he was being treated for Parkinson's disease, but stated that his treatment would not interfere with his re-election campaign or his ability to serve another term.[193]

Mary Kay Bacallao, college professor, former Fayette County Board of Education member, and candidate for State Superintendent of Schools in 2014[194] and Derrick Grayson, candidate for the state's other Senate seat in 2014,[195] challenged Isakson for the Republican nomination. Isakson won the Republican nomination with more than three quarters of the vote.[196]

Investment firm executive Jim Barksdale,[47] project manager Cheryl Copeland,[197] and businessman John Coyne[198] ran for the Democratic nomination. USAF veteran Jim Knox was running but dropped out of the race.[199] Barksdale defeated Copeland in a close race to win the Democratic nomination.[196]

Sen. Isakson won re-election with 55% to Barksdale's 41%.


In 2012, Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie appointed Lieutenant Governor Brian Schatz (Democrat) to take the place of deceased nine-term Senator Daniel Inouye. Schatz won a 2014 special election to serve the remainder of Inouye's term. Schatz ran for re-election.[39]

Former U.S. Representative and 2014 Senate candidate Colleen Hanabusa may challenge Schatz in the primary again,[200] while U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard declined to seek the Democratic nomination for the seat.[201]

Charles Collins, a Republican who ran for the Senate in 2012 and for Governor in 2014, was seeking the nomination again,[202] but withdrew from the race.[203]

Sen. Schatz won re-election with 74% of the vote compared to Carroll's 22%.


Three-term Senator Mike Crapo (Republican) was re-elected with 71% of the vote in 2010. Crapo was 65 years old in 2016. He ran for re-election.[50] U.S Representative Raul Labrador declined to challenge Crapo in the Republican primary.[204][205]

Jerry Sturgill ran for the Democratic nomination.[51]

Perennial candidate Pro-Life ran as an independent.[206][207] He was defeated in the Constitution Party primary on May 17, 2016 to Ray J. Writz.[208]

Sen. Crapo was re-elected.


One-term Senator Mark Kirk (Republican) was elected with 48% of the vote in 2010. He was 57 years old in 2016. He ran for re-election. Kirk suffered a stroke in January 2012 that kept him away from the Senate until January 2013.[209] In June 2013, he confirmed that he was planning to run for re-election,[210] but speculation he might retire persisted.[211] In November 2014, Kirk reiterated that he was going to run for re-election, saying: "No frickin' way am I retiring."[212]

Joe Walsh, a former U.S. Representative and conservative talk radio host, declined to challenge Kirk in the Republican primary.[213] Two others filed for the right to challenge Senator Kirk in the primary: businessman James Marter,[214] and Elizabeth Pahlke,[215] but Pahlke was disqualified, so only Marter was on the ballot running against Kirk.[216] On March 15, Kirk won the primary with 71% of the vote.[217]

U.S. Representative Tammy Duckworth,[218] President and CEO of the Chicago Urban League Andrea Zopp,[219] and State Senator Napoleon Harris ran for the Democratic nomination.[220][221] On March 15, Duckworth won the primary with 64% of the vote.[217]

In December 2015, Jim Brown, a teacher and former businessman, announced he was running as an independent.[222]

Chris Aguayo, an Iraq/Afghan war Veteran and Veterans Party State Chair, announced he was running representing the Veterans Party.[223]

Rep. Duckworth unseated Sen. Kirk with 54% compared to his 40%.


Three-term Senator Dan Coats (Republican) was elected with 55% of the vote in 2010; Coats served in the Senate from 1989 to 1999 and then returned to serve another term from 2011 to 2017. Coats did not run for re-election.[224] Republican candidates include U.S. Representatives Marlin Stutzman[225] and Todd Young.[56] Coats's chief of Staff Eric Holcomb was a candidate, but withdrew from the race.[226][227]

Former U.S. Representative Baron Hill won the Democratic nomination on May 3, but withdrew in July 2016 in favor of Evan Bayh.[228] Bayh held the seat from 1999 until his retirement in 2011, and also served as Governor of Indiana from 1989 to 1997. Former non-profit director John Dickerson also announced he was going to run, but suspended his campaign in early 2016.[229][230]

Former Sen. Bayh lost his bid to regain his seat to Rep. Young. Rep Young garnered 52% to Bayh's 42%


Six-term Senator Chuck Grassley was re-elected with 65% of the vote in 2010. He was 83 years old in 2016. He ran for re-election.[231][232] Talk radio host Robert Rees announced he was going to challenge Grassley for the nomination,[233] but later withdrew.[234]

Former Lt Governor Patty Judge [60] earned the Democratic nomination by defeating State Senator Rob Hogg,[235] former state Senator Tom Fiegen,[236] and former state representative Bob Krause.[237] Former state representative Ray Zirkelbach[238] briefly ran but ended his campaign soon after.

Sen. Grassley won re-election with 60% to Judge's 36%.


One-term Senator Jerry Moran (Republican) was elected with 70% of the vote in 2010. He was 62 years old in 2016. He ran for re-election.[62] Radiologist and 2014 Senate candidate Milton R. Wolf and U.S. Representative Tim Huelskamp declined to run.[62][139][239][240]

Patrick Wiesner,[63] an attorney and a candidate for the Senate in 2010 and 2014, defeated Monique Singh-Bey[241] for the Democratic nomination. Potential candidates who declined to run included Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer, 2014 Governor nominee Paul Davis, former Kansas City Mayor Joe Reardon, former U.S. Representative and 2008 nominee Jim Slattery, and 2014 KS-02 nominee Margie Wakefield.[139]

Sen. Moran won re-election with 62% to Wiesner's 32%.


One-term Senator Rand Paul (Republican) was elected with 56% of the vote in 2010. He was 53 years old in 2016. Paul filed for re-election,[65] although he was also running for President of the United States in 2016.[242] Although Kentucky law did not allow for a candidate to appear twice on the same ballot, Paul successfully convinced the Kentucky GOP to adopt a caucus system for 2016, allowing Paul to run for president and for the Senate simultaneously.[243] Kentucky law still bars Paul from appearing twice on the ballot in the general election.[243] However, on February 3, 2016, Paul ended his campaign for the presidency and ran for reelection.[244] James Gould and Stephen Slaughter filed to run against Paul.[245] Paul won the Republican primary, receiving 169,180 votes (about 85%); James R. Gould received 16,611 (about 8%) and Stephen Howard Slaughter received 13,728 (about 7%).[246]

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray,[66] Rory Houlihan,[247] Ron Leach,[248] Sellus Wilder[249] Jeff Kender, Tom Recktenwald (who was a candidate in 2014), and Grant Short ran for the Democratic nomination.[245] Gray won the nomination.

Paul won re-election with 57% of the vote to Gray's 43%.


Two-term Senator David Vitter (Republican) was re-elected with 57% of the vote in 2010. After losing the 2015 gubernatorial race, Vitter chose to retire from the Senate at the end of his term.[39][250]

Republicans who ran for the seat included U.S. Representatives Charles Boustany[251] and John Fleming,[252] former U.S. Representative Joseph Cao,[253] State Treasurer John Neely Kennedy,[67] retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Rob Maness,[254] and former Louisiana State Representative David Duke. Other potential Republican candidates included Public Service Commissioner Erik Skrmetta,[255] 2014 candidate for LA-05 Zach Dasher,[255] state representative Paul Hollis,[256] and former President of Jefferson Parish John Young.[257]

Democratic candidates included Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell,[68] attorney Derrick Edwards,[258] Caroline Fayard, an attorney and candidate for Lieutenant Governor in 2010,[259] and businessman Josh Pellerin.[260] Other potential Democratic candidates included state legislators Robert Johnson, Eric LaFleur, and Gary Smith, Jr., and Mayor of Alexandria Jacques Roy.[261][262][263] Former U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu and her brother, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, declined to run.[264]

As no candidate won a majority of the vote in the "jungle primary", a runoff election was held on December 10 to choose between Kennedy and Campbell (the 2 candidates with the most votes in the primary).[265] John Kennedy was declared the winner of the runoff election with 61% of the vote to Campbell's 39%.


Five-term Senator Barbara Mikulski (Democrat) was re-elected with 62% of the vote in 2010. She is the longest-serving female Senator and the longest-serving woman in the history of the U.S. Congress. She is not seeking re-election.[266]

The candidates who filed for the Democratic nomination were: U.S. Representatives Donna Edwards[267] and Chris Van Hollen,[69] Freddie Donald Dickson, Jr., Ralph Jaffe, Theresa Scaldaferri, Charles Smith, Violate Staley, Blaine Taylor, Ed Tinus, and Lih Young.[268] Van Hollen won the April 26 primary.

The Republican candidates who filed were former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense and Senate candidate in 2012 Richard Douglas,[269] Chrys Kefalas,[270] State Delegate Kathy Szeliga,[70] Chris Chaffee, Sean Connor, John Graziani, Greg Holmes, Joseph David Hooe, Mark McNicholas, Lynn Richardson, Anthony Seda, Richard Shawver, Dave Walle, and Garry T. Yarrington.[268] Szeliga won the primary and will face Van Hollen in the general election.

Rep. Van Hollen won election to the Senate with 61% of the vote to Szeliga's 36%.


One-term Senator Roy Blunt (Republican) was elected with 54% of the vote in 2010. He was 66 years old in 2016. He ran for re-election.[72] Former U.S. Representative and 2012 Senate nominee Todd Akin was rumored to be a possible candidate, but declined to run.[271][272] Three candidates ran against Blunt for the Republican nomination, the best-known being sales manager, tea party activist, and 2010 candidate Kristin Nichols, but Blunt won decisively with 72% of the vote.

For the Democrats, Secretary of State Jason Kander[73] easily won the nomination, defeating Robert Mack, Pastor Cori Bush[273][274] and activist Chief Wana Dubie.[275] Governor Jay Nixon and State Treasurer Clint Zweifel chose not to seek election to the Senate.[276][277]

Sen. Blunt won re-election with 49% of the vote to Kander's 46%.


Five-term Senator and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (Democrat) was re-elected with 50% of the vote in 2010. Reid is not seeking re-election.[278] Former Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto earned the Democratic nomination, defeating Bobby Mahendra, Liddo Susan O'Briant, and Allen Rheinhart in the primary on June 14, 2016.

Congressman Joe Heck[76] defeated eight candidates, including 2010 nominee Sharron Angle,[279] who ran against Reid in 2010, for the Republican nomination.

Jarrod M. Williams, an independent candidate ran for the seat. He describes himself as a Democratic Socialist, a supporter of Bernie Sanders, and is a member of the Socialist Party USA, although the party doesn't have a chapter in the State of Nevada.[citation needed]

Cortez Masto was elected with 47.1% of the vote to Heck's 44.7%.

New Hampshire[edit]

One-term Senator Kelly Ayotte (Republican) was elected with 60% of the vote in 2010. She was 48 years old in 2016. Ayotte ran for re-election.[78] Jim Rubens, a former state senator, candidate for Governor in 1998 and for the Senate in 2014, announced a challenge to Ayotte in the primary,[280][281] but Ayotte won the nomination.

Brian Chabot is the Libertarian candidate for US Senate in 2016. He is a relative newcomer to politics, having run for US Senate in 2010 and US Representative in 2014.

Governor Maggie Hassan ran for the Democratic nomination.[77] Other potential candidates include Executive Councilor Chris Pappas, State Senators Dan Feltes and Donna Soucy, Portsmouth City Councilor and daughter of U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen Stefany Shaheen, and campaign manager for Senator Shaheen Mike Vlacich.[282]

A series of polls taken by WMUR/UNH in February, April, and July 2016, as well as WBUR polls taken in May and July/August, show Hassan gaining support over time and now leading Ayotte.

Gov. Hassan won a very close election, 353,978 or 47.97%, to Sen. Ayotte's 353,262 or 47.87%, a difference of 716 votes. Sen. Ayotte conceded the race to Gov. Hassan around noon Wednesday November 9, 2016.

New York[edit]

Three-term Senator Chuck Schumer (Democrat) was re-elected with 66% of the vote in 2010. He was 66 years old in 2016. He ran for re-election.[39] Chuck Schumer has been elected leader of the Senate Democrats succeeding Harry Reid.[283]

Wendy Long, the Republican nominee in 2012, ran as the nominee of Republican, Conservative, and Reform Parties.[80] Other potential Republican candidates included U.S. Representatives Chris Gibson and Peter T. King.[284] U.S. Representative Richard L. Hanna, Manhattan Republican Party Chairwoman Adele Malpass, and former CNBC television host Larry Kudlow[285] were also mentioned as possible candidates, but all have declined to run.[284][286]

Robin Laverne Wilson, the Green Party of New York nominee, received 1.5% of the vote.[287] Alex Merced, the Libertarian Party candidate,[288] received 0.7% of the vote.[287]

North Carolina[edit]

Two-term Senator Richard Burr (Republican) was re-elected with 55% of the vote in 2010. He was 61 years old in 2016. There had been speculation that Burr might retire,[289] but he ran for re-election.[83][290]

Three Republicans challenged Burr in the primary: Greg Brannon,[291] Larry Holmquist,[292] and former Superior Court Judge Paul Wright.[293] On March 15, Burr won the primary with 61% of the vote.[294]

Former state representative Deborah Ross,[84] Spring Lake Mayor Chris Rey,[295] businessman Kevin Griffin,[296] and retired U.S. Army Captain Ernest Reeves[297] ran for the Democratic nomination. Former U.S. Senator Kay Hagan,[298] state treasurer Janet Cowell,[299] and Anthony Foxx, the United States Secretary of Transportation and former Mayor of Charlotte, declined to run.[300] On March 15, Ross won the primary with 62% of the vote.[301]

Burr won re-election 51% to 45% for Ross.

North Dakota[edit]

One-term Senator John Hoeven (Republican) was elected with 76% of the vote in 2010. He was 59 years old in 2016. He ran for re-election.[86]

Democrats endorsed state representative Eliot Glassheim[302] On November 7, 2015, the Libertarian party nominated Robert Marquette.

Hoeven defeated Glassheim 78% to 17%.


One-term Senator Rob Portman (Republican) was elected with 57% of the vote in 2010. He was 60 years old in 2016. He ran for re-election. He had considered running for President, but decided not to.[89]

Two candidates filed to challenge him: Don Elijah Eckhart, who ran for OH-15 as an independent in 2008,[303] and Melissa Strzala, but Strzala was disqualified.[304] On March 15, Portman won the primary with 82% of the vote.

Former Governor and Congressman Ted Strickland, Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld, and occupational therapist Kelli Prather ran for the Democratic nomination.[305][306][307] Former State Representative Bob Hagan had filed papers to run,[308] but later withdrew from the race.[309] On March 15, Strickland won the primary with 65% of the vote.

Joseph DeMare, a machinist from Bowling Green, is the Green Party candidate. He ran unopposed in the March 15, 2016 primary, and received enough votes to substantially increase the number of enrolled Green Party members. In Ohio, the only way to join a political party is to vote in that Party's primary.


Two-term Senator Tom Coburn (Republican) was re-elected with 71% of the vote in 2010, but chose to leave office before the end of his term after being diagnosed with prostate cancer. James Lankford won the 2014 special election to serve the remainder of Coburn's term.[310] Lankford ran for re-election.[39]

Former Congressman Dan Boren was viewed by some Oklahoma political operatives as the only Democrat who could make the 2016 race competitive, but was seen as unlikely to run.[311] Lankford's 2014 special election opponent Constance N. Johnson has said that she plans to run again.[312]


Three-term Senator Ron Wyden (Democrat) was re-elected with 57% of the vote in 2010. He was 67 years old in 2016. He ran for re-election.[39]

Medford City Councilor Kevin Stine[313] and retired locomotive engineer Paul Weaver[314] challenged Wyden for the Democratic nomination. Wyden won the Democratic nomination.

Information technology consultant and 2014 candidate Mark Callahan,[94] businessman Sam Carpenter,[315] business consultant Dan Laschober,[316] Steven Reynolds,[314] and Lane County commissioner Faye Stewart[317] ran for the Republican nomination. Callahan won the Republican nomination.


One-term Senator Pat Toomey (Republican) was elected with 51% of the vote in 2010. He was 54 years old in 2016. Toomey ran for re-election.[96]

Everett Stern, a security intelligence consultant and whistleblower of the HSBC money laundering scandal, announced that he would challenge Toomey for the Republican nomination,[318] but has missed the filing deadline, so Toomey was unopposed in the primary.

Democratic candidates included Katie McGinty, former Chief of Staff to Governor Tom Wolf and former Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection,[97] former Congressman Joe Sestak, who defeated incumbent Senator Arlen Specter (a Democrat turned Republican turned back to Democrat) for the 2010 Democratic nomination, but lost to Toomey in the general election,[319] the current mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania, John Fetterman,[320] who is an AmeriCorps alum and Harvard University graduate,[321] and small businessman and senate candidate in 2010 and 2012 Joseph Vodvarka.[322] Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski announced his candidacy for the seat but suspended his campaign due to an FBI investigation of Allentown.[323] McGinty won the primary and faced Toomey in the general election on November 8, 2016. Toomey defeated McGinty and retained the seat.

South Carolina[edit]

Two-term Republican Senator Jim DeMint (Republican) was re-elected with 61% of the vote in 2010. He resigned at the start of 2013 to become President of The Heritage Foundation and U.S. Representative Tim Scott (Republican) of South Carolina's 1st congressional district was appointed to replace DeMint by Governor Nikki Haley.[324]

Scott subsequently won the special election in 2014 for the remaining two years of the term. Scott ran for re-election[39] and he was a potential Republican vice presidential nominee.[325][326]

Other potential Republican candidates include Congressmen Mick Mulvaney,[327] Jeff Duncan and Mark Sanford, along with State Senator Tom Davis, State Treasurer Curtis Loftis and State Attorney General Alan Wilson.[325] Darla Moore was mentioned as a potential candidate for either party.[325]

On the Democratic side, pastor Thomas Dixon ran in the general primary on November 8, 2016 but was defeated by the incumbent, Scott.[99]

South Dakota[edit]

Two-term Senator John Thune (Republican) ran unopposed and was re-elected with 100% in 2010.[101]

Jay Williams, Chair of the Yankton County Democratic Party, and candidate for the State House in 2010 and 2014, is running for the Democratic nomination.[102] Other potential Democratic candidates include State Senator Bernie Hunhoff[328] and filmmaker and former television news producer Sam Hurst.[329]

Former U.S. Representative Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Heuther, and 2014 nominee Rick Weiland all declined to run.[330][331]


One-term Senator Mike Lee (Republican) was elected with 62% of the vote in 2010. He was 45 years old in 2016. He ran for re-election.[103] State party chair Thomas Wright, former State Senator Dan Liljenquist, State Senator Aaron Osmond, Congressman Jason Chaffetz, Congressman Chris Stewart, former Governor of Utah Mike Leavitt, and Mitt Romney's son Josh Romney[332][333][334] were mentioned as potential primary challengers, but all declined to run.[335][336] Lee ran unopposed at the Utah Republican convention and is the Republican nominee.[337]

Marriage therapist Jonathan Swinton[338] and grocery store clerk Misty Snow, a transgender woman, ran for the Democratic nomination. Snow defeated Swinton by more than 20 percentage points, running to the left of Swinton, criticizing him for supporting limitations on abortion rights. She became the first transgender woman to become a major party's nominee for the Senate.[339]


Seven-term Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy was re-elected with 64% of the vote in 2010. Leahy won re-election in 2016, aged 76.[105]

Scott Milne, the Republican nominee who narrowly lost the 2014 Vermont gubernatorial election, ran unsuccessfully against Leahy.[340][341]


Four-term Senator Patty Murray (Democrat) was re-elected with 52% of the vote in 2010. She ran successfully for re-election against Republican candidate Chris Vance.[108] Congressman Dave Reichert was considered a potential Republican candidate[342] but chose to run for reelection.[343]


One-term Senator Ron Johnson (Republican) defeated three-term Senator Russ Feingold (Democrat) with 52% of the vote in 2010.

On May 14, 2015, Feingold announced that he would seek a rematch against Johnson for his former Senate seat.[110] Immediately after his announcement, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee endorsed Feingold's candidacy.[344] Businesswoman and 2014 gubernatorial nominee Mary Burke has declared that she is not seeking statewide office in 2016.[345]

Johnson and Feingold faced each other again, and Johnson again defeated Feingold, in what many observers and pundits considered to be a surprising and uphill victory.[109]

See also[edit]


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