2018 Has Arrived! A look at the Upcoming Senate Elections

Sen. Hatch’s retirement makes three open pro-life US Senate seats

By Karen Cross, National Right to Life Political Director

Pro-life Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)

The ball dropped in Times Square, Christmas has passed, children are heading back to school, and 2018 has arrived. The mid-term election cycle has begun. Several states’ filing deadlines have passed, primary elections are looming, and several special congressional elections will be held.

On January 2, the longest-serving U.S. senator in history, pro-life Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), announced that rather than seek an eighth term, he is retiring. Hatch joins pro-life Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and pro-life Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) who announced their retirements last year.

Adding another possibly competitive race is the resignation of pro-abortion Sen. Al Franken [D-Mn.] and his replacement by pro-abortion Lt. Gov. Tina Smith . There will be a special election in November 2018 to fill out the remaining two years of Franken’s term.

This means 34 U.S. Senate seats and 435 U.S. House of Representative seats are in play. Of the 34 senate seats, there are 26 Democrat seats and 8 Republican seats, three of whom are because of retirement.

While it’s still early, we can speculate on potential pickups or vulnerable seats, based on voting histories, districts, and polling data.

There are pro-life pickup opportunities (where pro-life candidates will challenge pro-abortion senators). These include Florida’s pro-abortion Sen. Bill Nelson (D), Indiana’s pro-abortion Sen. Joe Donnelly* (D), Missouri’s pro-abortion Sen. Claire McCaskill (D), Montana’s pro-abortion Sen. Jon Tester (D), North Dakota’s pro-abortion Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D), Ohio’s pro-abortion Sen. Sherrod Brown (D), Pennsylvania’s pro-abortion Sen. Bob Casey* (D), and West Virginia’s pro-abortion Sen. Joe Manchin * (D) to name a few.

Arizona’s open seat (because Sen. Flake is retiring) and Nevada’s pro-life Sen. Dean Heller (R) are also vulnerable

Because it is still early in the election cycle and primaries or conventions have not yet been held, many of the candidates and/or challengers have not yet been determined.

And in 2018, no seat should be considered safe.

Moreover the margin of pro-life control of the Senate is razor-thin. It is imperative to re-elect pro-life senators and elect new pro-life senators in order to maintain the kind of pro-life leadership exemplified by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

With the help of pro-lifers across the nation, we need to battle tirelessly to expose the true positions of candidates on life and to protect our most vulnerable citizens: unborn children, and those who are medically disabled or elderly.

*Senators Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), and Bob Casey (D-Penn.) claim to be pro-life. However they have pro-abortion voting records on the National Right to Life scorecard.

Look for election updates in future editions of nationalrighttolifenews.org.