With the midterm elections less than a month away, Republicans are looking to win control of both chambers of Congress for the first time since 1998.
They’re also hoping to have a more unified Republican Party in 2020 and beyond.
Here are five Republican Senate seats where Democrats could be looking to capitalize on the political and ideological polarization that has been sweeping through the nation.
Michigan Sen. Gary Peters.
Peters, who was elected in 2012, has been in office for just over a year and a half.
But his district is a bastion of Republican power, with about a third of its voters supporting Trump and a majority of the Republican electorate supporting Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s (D-Mich.) primary challenge to him in 2018.
That was a significant upset for the incumbent, who is expected to lose.
The election for Michigan’s 6th Congressional District also is the first since Republicans swept to power in 2014, and the first in which Democrats have gained the seats they need to take back the chamber.
Michigan has become a key battleground state for the GOP, and if Democrats can take a few more seats, it could be a huge advantage heading into the 2020 election.
West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito.
Capito is a state senator from West Virginia, and her district is home to the state’s largest coal-mining area.
She is the only woman on the state senate and was considered a top-tier candidate before the primary, but her Democratic challenger, Joe Manchin III, has raised questions about her honesty and reliability.
Trump won West Virginia by 10 points in the 2016 election, and Democrats were hoping to win back the state by 5 points.
A lot of Democrats, including Capito’s opponent, Joe Mifsud, are now saying that the West Virginia primary is proof of their political vulnerability, and it’s something the party needs to address.
Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson.
Johnson is a veteran Republican, serving in the Senate from 2003 to 2011.
He won his first election in November, but lost a bid for re-election to a Republican this year, and has been a frequent target of Democrats who say his tenure in the House has not been without controversy.
Republicans have called for his resignation, and Johnson’s chief of staff told The Associated Press last week that Johnson has been “shamed into resigning” over the scandal involving his former staff.
Minnesota Sen. Al Franken.
Franken was the first African American senator from Minnesota to win reelection in 2016, and he’s a member of the Democratic caucus, which he also ran against in the primary.
After the Republican primary, Democrats hoped to take over the Senate in the midterms.
That was a high-profile primary, and Franken was expected to take the Senate seat he won in 2016 and beat the Democrat in the general election.
He lost to Democrat Mark Dayton, and his primary loss has left him with a lot of questions about his ethics.
In his first interview since the election, Franken said he did not plan on resigning his seat and that he didn’t intend to run for reelection at all.
Ohio Sen. Rob Portman.
Portman is the longest-serving member of Congress, serving from 2009 to 2021.
Democrats hoped to pick up seats in the Buckeye State, and they did win several.
Now, the Democratic Party is trying to win over Portman, who has said that he would not run for reëlection if he lost his seat.
It’s an uphill battle for Democrats, and Portman’s opponents have been using his name and image as a campaign tool.