Senate Control Will Likely Come Down to Just Two States: The Kiplinger Letter

Montana and Ohio may hold the key to control in the Senate as the Democrats angle for control.

To help you understand what is going on in the House and the Senate, the fight for Senate control and what we expect to happen in the future, our highly experienced Kiplinger Letter team will keep you abreast of the latest developments and forecasts (Get a free issue of The Kiplinger Letter or subscribe). You'll get all the latest news first by subscribing, but we will publish many (but not all) of the forecasts a few days afterward online. Here’s the latest…

Control of the Senate will likely come down to just two states next year: Montana and Ohio, where Senators Jon Tester and Sherrod Brown, respectively, are both angling for fourth terms as Democrats in their increasingly red states.

Donald Trump won both states twice during his presidential campaigns. Republicans will further benefit from Senator Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) retirement, which will almost automatically net them a seat in the deep-red Mountain State, as well as free up more resources to campaign against Tester and Brown.

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The GOP will need to win only one additional seat to gain control of the chamber if a Republican also wins the presidency. In that scenario, the vice president Kamala Harris would serve as the tiebreaking vote in the Senate.

Democrats, on the other hand, boast battle-tested incumbents. Tester and Brown have both won reelection in tough political environments before and may do so again, but never have the circumstances been so unfavorable.

This forecast first appeared in The Kiplinger Letter, which has been running since 1923 and is a collection of concise weekly forecasts on business and economic trends, as well as what to expect from Washington, to help you understand what’s coming up to make the most of your investments and your money. Subscribe to The Kiplinger Letter.

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Sean Lengell
Associate Editor, The Kiplinger Letter

Sean Lengell covers Congress and government policy for The Kiplinger Letter. Before joining Kiplinger in January 2017 he served as a congressional reporter for eight years with the Washington Examiner and the Washington Times. He previously covered local news for the Tampa (Fla.) Tribune. A native of northern Illinois who spent much of his youth in St. Petersburg, Fla., he holds a bachelor's degree in English from Marquette University.