The election is now just a mere 354 days away. While this cycle’s 34 Senate races got off to a slow start compared with recent elections, they began to ramp up over the summer and into the fall. The Senate race landscape is now much clearer, even if the overall political environment isn’t yet. The basics: Republicans must defend 24 of the 34 seats up next year, while Democrats only have to worry about 10 seats. There are five open seats: three currently held by Democrats (California, Maryland and Nevada) and two by Republicans (Florida and Indiana), but unlike 2014, most aren’t competitive. In fact, only Nevada and Florida present pick-up opportunities. The numbers alone mean that Democrats get to play offense this cycle. They are further helped by the fact that this is a presidential election year, which means that the composition of the electorate tends to be friendlier to them. In fact, the presidential election may be the most significant factor when it comes to Senate races, but it’s also the biggest unknown factor right now. In the

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