The top 10 Senate races of 2016 – now featuring more Trump

by Amber Phillips  |  published on May 13, 2016

This is the first ranking of our Senate races since Donald Trump became Republicans’ de facto nominee. It’s the moment Senate Democrats have been waiting for — the chance to pin down vulnerable Republican incumbents as supportive of a guy who calls some Mexican immigrants rapists, who wants to ban Muslims from immigrating to this country temporarily and who has made many derogatory comments about women.

And they certainly plan on doing it — or in some cases, they already are. (Almost all Republicans on this list have indicated they’ll support their party’s presidential nominee.) But for right now, the Senate map hasn’t drastically shifted with Trump heading up Republicans’ ticket. That’s mostly because the map has already started to fall the way it needs to for Senate Democrats, who have opportunities to try to unseat four or five Republicans to take back the upper chamber. Potential Democratic pick-ups already dominated this list, and they still do today — even as Democrats’ overall odds have become better.

Eight of the top 10 races we think are likely to change parties are Republican-held. In two of Republicans’ rare offensive opportunities this cycle — in Colorado and Nevada — the party is mired in primaries. Meanwhile, Democrats got their preferred candidate through a tough primary last month in Pennsylvania, and their preferred choice in Florida is ahead by double digits.

As a result, at least five of the races below are toss-ups, which means the Senate majority is very much in-play. And Senate Democrats are confident that if it’s a jump ball on election night — especially with Trump at the top of Republicans’ ticket — they’ll win the tip. We shall see. For now, all these races and then some are worth keeping an eye on:

To the line! (As usual, No. 1 on this list is the most likely to switch parties, and the races are ranked from there.)


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