Republicans in the Senate could be within reach of a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate in 2018, but so could Democrats.
Sixty seats in the Senate would allow Republicans to push through laws and appointees without fear of Democrat opposition, while 60 seats for the Democrats would be a powerful way for Democrats to check the power of the GOP, according to an analysis by The Los Angeles Times.
The odds are stacked against either party achieving that number, however, the Times report noted.
Republicans now hold a 52-48 majority over Democrats. They are already in a strong position: Only nine GOP seats are up for reelection in the Nov. 6, 2018 vote, while Democrats must defend 25 seats.
Democrats would need to gain three seats in 2018 to win back the Senate while successfully defending all 25, The Times reported.
Democrats may face uphill battles in ten of the 25 Democrat contests, since they are in states that President Donald Trump won. Some of those wins were by double-digit percentages, including West Virginia, North Dakota, Montana, Indiana, and Missouri, according to The Times.
Historically, the party in charge of the White House loses seats in the midterm elections, but that happens more often in the House of Representatives than the Senate. The majority party lost Senate seats in six of the last 10 elections, but lost House of Representatives seats in nine of the last 10, the Times report said.
Based on election results from the past 60 years, the Times said that gaining eight Senate seats would be a major accomplishment. The closest time that happened was in 2014 when Republicans picked up nine, but that was when a president of the opposing party, Barack Obama, was in office.
The difference in how many seats each party must defend is dramatic because Senate terms last six years. In 2016, Republicans had to defend 24 seats and the Democrats only 10, the Times report said.
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