The fate of the U.S. Senate may hinge on the following top 5 battleground states: Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Wisconsin when the 2022 midterm election rolls around.
"For a few months, Georgia was the center of the American political universe. Biden painted the state the lightest shade of blue after decades of Republican wins, and Democrats flipped two Senate seats to capture control of the chamber. Now one of those winners, Sen. Raphael Warnock, is defending the seat he won in a special election in a potentially tougher political climate," MSNBC reported. "A former pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, Warnock has been a progressive voice in the Senate, advocating for voting rights and economic aid to struggling Americans."
Warnock has a shot of winning the seat with his likely opponent being Herschel Walker, a University of Georgia football hero who won the Heisman Trophy in 1982.
In Arizona, retired NASA astronaut and Navy pilot Mark Kelly, who won a special election in 2020, is expected to win his re-election campaign for a six-year term next fall. The Democrat outperformed Biden by more than 40,000 votes in a historically red state that has become one of the most competitive in the country. His opponents are "election fraud" believers Attorney General Mark Brnovich and Blake Masters.
Switching over to Pennsylvania, "Democrats have their best chance at a Senate pickup here next year with an open seat left by the retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey. On the Democratic side, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman has dominated the fundraising race and is leading his chief rival, Rep. Conor Lamb, in primary polls. Also in the race are Montgomery County Commissioner Val Arkoosh and state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta," MSNBC stated.
In Nevada, the matchup is set against first-term Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and Republican former state attorney general Adam Laxalt, who is endorsed by Trump and the favorite of the party establishment in Washington. Laxalt was co-chair of Trump's Nevada campaign and challenged the election results in the state after Biden won.
"Wisconsin has been a nail-biter in recent presidential elections. Trump won the state by less than 1 point in 2016 and lost it by less than 1 point in 2020," according to the MSNBC report. "In the Democratic primary, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes has sought to solidify his early position, releasing an internal poll in the fall that shows him with a commanding lead, ahead of Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson... Will Republican incumbent Ron Johnson run for a third term? He has held his cards close to the vest and, earlier this month, punted again when NBC News asked if he’ll run. While Johnson defied skeptics in his 2010 and 2016 bids, Democrats see an opening to paint him outside the mainstream with his transformation into a culture warrior and his flirtation with the nativist 'great replacement' theory."
In North Carolina, Democrats are backing former state Supreme Court Justice Cheri Beasley. The Granite State of New Hampshire was the GOP’s best chance to flip a Democratic seat next year — until Gov. Chris Sununu, the target of aggressive recruiting, decided against running so add another tally to the Democrats here. In Ohio, Republican Sen. Rob Portman is not seeking re-election, which leaves his seat up for the taking. It's a tight one, but Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan is the front-runner in a primary that also includes Morgan Harper, a progressive attorney.
Moving over to Florida, Sen. Mark Rubio may be throwing his hat back into the presidential ring if he doesn't win a third term, which could potentially go to Democratic Rep. Val Demings, however unlikely based on recent poll numbers.
Then there's the deep-red state of Missouri where GOP voters nominated Eric Greitens — a former governor who left office mired in scandal — to succeed Sen. Roy Blunt, a Republican not seeking re-election. The Republican field also includes state Attorney General Eric Schmitt, Reps. Vicky Hartzler and Billy Long and attorney Mark McCloskey, best known for waving a gun at Black Lives Matter protesters outside his St. Louis home in 2020, MSNBC reported. A poll of likely GOP primary voters this month by the political news service Missouri Scout found Greitens and Schmitt locked in a close race, with Hartzler a distant third.
Democrats currently lead the chamber, but will it hold? That's the expensive question to be answered in 2022.