Contests for the U.S. Senate aren’t heating up quite as fast as those for Governor in 2018, but that doesn’t mean it will be a quiet cycle. There are 33 races on the ballot, and Democrats will be playing defense this cycle since 25 of their seats are up. Republicans only have eight seats up, although there will be at least one special election assuming that GOP U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama is confirmed as Attorney General. It is possible that President-Elect Donald Trump will select another Republican U.S. Senator to join his Cabinet, creating another special election. It’s also possible that he could tap a Democratic incumbent for a post; he has talked with both U.S. Sens. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia about the possibility of joining his administration. In addition to the raw numbers, Democrats’ bigger challenge is that the map is not especially friendly to them in 2018. Of the 25 Democratic-held seats up, five of them are in states that Trump carried by double digits: U.S. Sens. Joe Donnelly

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