The 2018 election cycle has started and Republicans find themselves in an interesting place. On the one hand, the tables are turned as they will get to play offense. There are 33 races in 2018 and Democrats will defend 25 of those seats while Republicans will defend just eight of them. In 2012, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried five states where Democrats will be defending seats. On the other hand, though, 2018 will be a midterm election, and the party in power almost always loses seats in a midterm. In this case, that would be Republicans. This is where only having eight seats up will be helpful because only two of them seem potentially vulnerable: U.S. Dean Heller in Nevada, a state that Obama carried by seven points in 2012, and U.S. Jeff Flake in Arizona. Romney carried Arizona by nine points in 2012, but Trump only won it by five points, making it a more competitive state. Democrats will be hard-pressed to make the other six seats competitive since all are in states that Romney carried by 12
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