The midterms, as already discussed, are always seen as an important indication of the mood of the public in the US. However the one great difficulty in using the Senate to assess this is that only 1/3rd are re-elected at each Senate election. Therefore, it may not be the case that in each election, approximately 16 Republican seats and 16 Democratic seats are up for grabs – it simply depends whose turn it is to be up for re-election. So, to say that one party or the other made a clean sweep of the board may be misleading if it was only the more liberal or conservative state seats were up for grabs.

In this article, the most competitive seats that are up in November are discussed and analysed with reference to the likely winners and losers. Extremely useful for Unit 3 stuff on Parties and Elections and Unit 4 on Congress.