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November 2014 Senate races

4 Sep
The race for the U.S. Senate is in full swing, with Democrats and Republicans ferociously battling for control of the nation’s top legislative chamber. Who will come out on top? Below, Ballotpedia profiles the nine most competitive races of the year.

  • Alaska: Is 2014 the Final Frontier for Senator Mark Begich? The first-term Democratic Senator is trying to keep Republican challenger Daniel Sullivan at bay. Begich’s 2008 bid was aided by the felony conviction of his opponent, former Senator Ted Stevens, just eight days prior to the general election. Today, Alaska is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas, meaning the GOP holds the governship and a majority in both houses of the Alaska State Legislature.
  • Arkansas: Incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Pryordoesn’t want Cotton to become the fabric of our lives–Tom Cotton, that is. Pryor, who is often ranked as one of the most conservative Democrats in Congress, is the lone Democrat in Arkansas’ congressional delegation. In his 2008 re-election bid, Pryor faced no Republican opposition. Now he’s locked in a tight battle with first-term Representative Cotton, who is a Harvard Law School graduate and a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
  • Colorado: First-term Democratic Senator Mark Udall is facing a challenge from Representative Cory Gardner. Democrats have won every top-of-the-ticket statewide race in Colorado since 2004, but Udall is vulnerable. Udall’s campaign says Gardner is too conservative for Colorado, while Gardner’s advertising strategy brands him as a “new kind of Republican.”
  • Georgia: The retirement of incumbent Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss leaves Georgia with a rare open Senate seat. Vying for the seat are DemocratMichelle Nunn, daughter of former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn, and Republican David Perdue, the cousin of former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue. Neither candidate has ever held elective office before.
  • Iowa: The Hawkeye State is also home to an open U.S. Senate seat in 2014. Democrat Bruce Braley and Republican Joni Ernst are trading punches in this close race. If elected, Ernst, who has gained attention with her creative campaign advertisements, would become the first woman from Iowa elected to either house of Congress.
  • Kentucky: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is facing a challenge from Kentucky’s Secretary of State,Alison Lundergan Grimes. The two candidates recently traded zingers at Kentucky’s annual Fancy Farm picnic, where Grimes said “Truly, it has been a hard year for Mitch McConnell. Thirty-five is my age, and that is also Mitch McConnell’s approval rating.” McConnell struck back with “Obama was only two years into his first job when he starting campaigning for the next one. Sound familiar?”
  • Louisiana: Due to Louisiana’s jungle primary system, incumbent Senator Mary Landrieu still faces several challengers, including Republicans Bill Cassidy andRob Maness. Landrieu, a more conservative Democrat representing a red state, is emphasizing her role as head of the Senate Energy Committee while seeking to allay questions about her residency.
  • Michigan: Michigan’s open Senate seat pits DemocratGary Peters against Republican Terri Lynn Land. Peters currently represents Michigan’s 14th congressional district, while Land is the former Michigan Secretary of State. The candidates are trading barbs over the Affordable Care Act and job creation.
  • North Carolina: First-term incumbent Democratic Senator Kay Hagan is seeking to fend off a challenge from Thom Tillis, the current Republican Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives. After Barack Obama won the state in 2008, many analysts thought North Carolina had turned blue for the long-haul. But the Tar Heel State has instead gone red, and is currently one of 23 Republican state government trifectas.