By the looks of it, Senate Republicans are facing a tough election map in 2016.
After claiming the majority in this year’s election, the GOP will have to defend 24 Senate seats in 2016, seven of which are in states where President Obama won with high percentages in the 2012 presidential election. Democrats will only have to defend 10 seats in the next election.
These figures mark a significant role reversal, as Democrats were the ones who faced a difficult map this year. As reported by the Huffington Post, Democrats lost 9 seats and their Senate majority in November’s election, largely due to candidates running in 7 states that President Obama lost in 2012. Democrats and the Obama administration also faced numerous challenges that weighed heavily on November’s major loss, including the Ebola outbreak, the rise of ISIS and President Obama’s approval ratings.
“There's no doubt about it, it's going to be a bigger challenge than 2014,” Republican Senator Ron Johnson said. “But I think we have a really good opportunity here in the next couple years. We will reach out to the other side. I think Americans, Wisconsonites, will find out that we're not the party of 'no.’”
Democrats, for the most part, appear confident in their ability to regain control of the Senate in 2016, even though they will either have to gain 4 or 5 seats depending on which party is in the White House.
“Picking up four or five seats is no small task, but we are certainly in a position to do so,” Democratic Senator Brian Schatz said. “The electorate is going to be different and I think Democratic elected officials and candidates and most importantly voters are going to be excited for a presidential race, and we're excited to play offense."
While it is too soon to determine just how exactly the 2016 race will play out, the election map shows a tough road for the GOP and history certainly supports the predicted outcome as a high possibility. Republican Senators, however, are choosing to remain optimistic about their chances.
“You take them one by one and I feel very, very good about it,” Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker said. “The main thing that helps our candidates is, state by state, the fact that they've tended to business, they've been diligent legislators and taken care of the home folks.”
Source: Huffington Post / Photo Credit: TalkingPointsMemo.com, Wikimedia Commons