Nine Months Until the Midterms
With nine months to go until the midterm elections, Democrats are battling to maintain their Senate majority, and several key retirements could make that task even tougher. Five Democratic incumbents have announced their intention not to seek re-election in 2014. Among these, only Carl Levin (Michigan) and Tom Harkin (Iowa) come from states that Barack Obama won in 2012. Three Republican senators also plan to retire, but all hail from red states – Oklahoma, Georgia, and Nebraska – that appear unlikely to embrace a Democrat.
What follows is a rundown of the races for the eight seats left open by retirements this cycle, the outcomes of which could determine which party controls the U.S. Senate for the next two years.