You think ’10 was tough? Check out ’12

For the first time in two cycles, Democrats will have more seats up for grabs than the Republicans, and the party could see its shrunken majority erased altogether.

Several of the senators up for reelection came in on the 2006 Democratic wave, when the party picked up six GOP seats and won control of the chamber.

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Sens. Bob CaseyBob CaseyLive coverage: Senate Dems hold talkathon to protest GOP health plan Ryan Phillippe to visit Capitol Hill to advocate for military caregivers Dem senators seize on Senate press crackdown MORE Jr. (D-Pa.), Claire McCaskillClaire McCaskillMcCaskill attended reception at Russian ambassador's residence in 2015 Senators question need for HHS cyber office Overnight Cybersecurity: Obama DHS chief defends Russian hack response | Trump huddles on grid security | Lawmakers warned about cyber threat to election systems MORE (D-Mo.), Sherrod BrownSherrod BrownMajor progressive group rolls out first incumbent House endorsement Dems push for more action on power grid cybersecurity Senate Banking panel huddles with regulators on bank relief MORE (D-Ohio), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseGraham gets frustrated in public ‘unmasking’ debate Senate panel questions Lynch on alleged FBI interference Judiciary Committee to continue Russia probe after Mueller meeting MORE (D-R.I.), Jon TesterJon TesterOvernight Regulation: Labor groups fear rollback of Obama worker protection rule | Trump regs czar advances in Senate | New FCC enforcement chief Trump's 'regulatory czar' advances in Senate Gianforte causes stir after becoming newest House member MORE (D-Mont.) and Jim Webb (D-Va.) defeated GOP incumbents that year but will have to win reelection in 2012.

And two senators who won special elections Tuesday, Joe ManchinJoe ManchinFood Network star honors veterans with dessert feast Dems face identity crisis This week: Senate races toward ObamaCare repeal vote MORE (D-W.Va.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandSenate Democrats: ObamaCare repeal fight isn't over yet Bipartisan senators seek to boost expertise in military justice system Mattis gaining power in Trump’s Cabinet MORE (N.Y.), will face voters again in two years.

 Democrats lost at least six Senate seats Tuesday, with results in Washington and Alaska undetermined as of press time, but they retained control.

That could change in two years, when Democrats have 21 seats up for grabs, compared to only 10 for Republicans. Also up for reelection are Sens. Joe Lieberman (Conn.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders: FBI inquiry of wife is 'pathetic' attack Why UK millennials voting for socialism could happen here, too WATCH LIVE: Senate Dems hold ‘People’s Filibuster’ against ObamaCare repeal MORE (Vt.), the two Independents who caucus with Democrats — meaning the party has a total of 23 seats to defend.

“The numbers are really working against them, no question about it,” said Jennifer Duffy, a senior Senate analyst at The Cook Political Report. “It will come down to what it always comes down to: retirements and recruiting.”

Many of those Democratic seats up next cycle are in purple or red states, including those of McCaskill, Manchin, Tester, Webb and Sens. Kent Conrad (N.D.), Ben Nelson (Neb.) and Bill NelsonBill NelsonWeek ahead in tech: Lawmakers turn focus to self-driving cars Senate panel unveils aviation bill with consumer protections, drone fix Driverless cars speed onto political agenda MORE (Fla.).

Webb saw several House Democrats in his state lose reelection Tuesday, and McCaskill saw her party lose a Senate pickup opportunity when Roy BluntRoy BluntOvernight Regulation: Senate Banking panel huddles with regulators on bank relief | FCC proposes 2M fine on robocaller | Yellowstone grizzly loses endangered protection Overnight Finance: Big US banks pass Fed stress tests | Senate bill repeals most ObamaCare taxes | Senate expected to pass Russian sanctions bill for second time GOP senator: 'No reason' to try to work with Dems on healthcare MORE (R) won retiring Sen. Kit Bond’s (R-Mo.) seat.

Some senators could opt to retire in 2012. Among those observers will be watching are Ben Nelson and Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.).Nelson is expected to face a difficult race, and Kohl saw his home-state colleague, Sen. Russ Feingold (D), lose on Tuesday.

Casey and Conrad also saw Democratic colleagues lose in their home states on Tuesday. And Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinGraham gets frustrated in public ‘unmasking’ debate Dem senators urged Obama to take action on Russia before election Senate panel questions Lynch on alleged FBI interference MORE (D-Calif.), who’s up in 2012, watched fellow California Democrat Barbara BoxerBarbara BoxerTime is now to address infrastructure needs Tom Steyer testing waters for Calif. gubernatorial bid Another day, another dollar for retirement advice rip-offs MORE fend off a tough challenge from the GOP. 

“It is certainly true that the landscape will be tilted in 2012 in terms of the seats at risk,” said Stuart Rothenberg, editor and publisher of The Rothenberg Political Report. “[Democrats] will be defending more seats, so they could have more losses. On the other hand, it depends on the mood of the public.”

 The other Democratic incumbents up next cycle are Daniel Akaka (Hawaii), Tom CarperTom CarperOvernight Energy: Trump White House kicks off 'Energy Week' Senate confirms NRC chairwoman to new term Dems push for more action on power grid cybersecurity MORE (Del.), Jeff Bingaman (N.M.), Maria CantwellMaria CantwellDems push for more action on power grid cybersecurity Overnight Regulation: Labor groups fear rollback of Obama worker protection rule | Trump regs czar advances in Senate | New FCC enforcement chief Dems urge Sessions to reject AT&T-Time Warner merger MORE (Wash.), Ben CardinBen CardinDem: Trump doesn’t have authorization for military action in Syria Lawmakers wary of Trump escalation in Syria Senators urge Trump to do right thing with arms sales to Taiwan MORE (Md.), Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharAmazon primed for merger battle Time to get Trump’s new antitrust cop on the beat Going national with automatic voter registration MORE (Minn.), Robert MenendezRobert MenendezBipartisan group, Netflix actress back bill for American Latino Museum The Mideast-focused Senate letter we need to see Taiwan deserves to participate in United Nations MORE (N.J.) and Debbie StabenowDebbie StabenowSenate Dem: 'We've got to stop the administration from sabotaging the private insurance market' No certainty on cost-sharing payments to insurers Dems express concerns about Trump's proposed rural development cuts MORE (Mich.).

 The 10 GOP senators facing reelection are John BarrassoJohn BarrassoSenate confirms NRC chairwoman to new term A bipartisan consensus against 'big pharma' is growing in Congress McConnell allies confident in healthcare win MORE (Wyo.), Scott Brown (Mass.), Bob CorkerBob CorkerLawmakers wary of Trump escalation in Syria Saudis say Qatar demands are non-negotiable Overnight Finance: GOP divided over welfare cuts in budget | Lawmaker loses M on pharma stock he pitched | Yellen says another financial crisis unlikely in our lifetimes MORE (Tenn.), John Ensign (Nev.), Orrin HatchOrrin HatchRift opens in GOP over budget strategy Overnight Finance: GOP divided over welfare cuts in budget | Lawmaker loses M on pharma stock he pitched | Yellen says another financial crisis unlikely in our lifetimes GOP chairman wants 'robust' tax reform process in the Senate MORE (Utah), Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas), Jon Kyl (Ariz.), Richard Lugar (Ind.), Olympia Snowe (Maine) and Roger WickerRoger WickerOvernight Defense: GOP chairman moves ahead with 0B defense bill | Lawmakers eye 355 ship navy | Senate panel seeks answers on shoot down of Syrian jet The Hill's Whip List: GOP undecided, 'no' votes pile up on ObamaCare repeal bill Lawmakers unveil bill to set 355-ship Navy MORE (Miss.). 

Of that list, the only senator who could be considered in a “dangerous” position is Brown, who represents Massachusetts, a blue state.

Hutchison could retire. She ran for Texas governor in 2010 but lost in the GOP primary. At the time, Hutchison hinted she could resign her seat; she never committed to running again in 2012.

Ensign could leave the Senate if he faces charges stemming from the fallout of an affair he had with a former staffer.

An unknown factor for the Republicans is the Tea Party. The grassroots movement took down several party favorites in GOP primaries this year and has threatened to do the same next cycle.

Already, Rep. Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzSenators urge Trump to do right thing with arms sales to Taiwan Chaffetz calls for ,500 legislator housing stipend Juan Williams: Trump refills the swamp MORE (R-Utah), a Tea Party favorite, has said he’d consider challenging Hatch in the 2012 GOP primary.

Additionally, Republicans could always be doomed on pocketbook issues. If the economy rebounds, President Obama could be credited in the eyes of some voters. If it stays sluggish, voters could blame the GOP.

The top three Senate Democrats launched a strategy on that front on Wednesday, putting Republicans on notice that they expected cooperation now that the minority party is more powerful.

 “We have made the message very clear that we want to work with Republicans,” said Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidDems face identity crisis Heller under siege, even before healthcare Charles Koch thanks Harry Reid for helping his book sales MORE (D-Nev.). “If they’re unwilling to work with us, there’s not a thing we can do about that, but the American people can see that like a very slow curveball.”

Curtis Gans, director of the Center for the Study of the American Electorate at American University, notes that the Republican revolution of 1994, ushered in by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.), dealt a major blow to President Clinton — though Clinton won reelection in 1996.

“My thesis is, we’re going to have a miserable two years, but this time not all the blame will go to the president,” Gans said. “Nobody knows what the climate will be in 2012.”

 Rothenberg agreed, saying much depends on the messaging and issues that will dominate the political landscape over the next two years.

 “There’s probably not likely to be as stark of a choice in 2012 as this year — however, it’s also true that most people think the president’s party runs things. It’s not as easy for Democrats to just say, ‘They share responsibility, too.’ ”