On November 2, 2010 voters in 36 states will be choosing a United States Senator. Currently holding these seats are 18 Democrats and 18 Republicans. Among the eight retiring Senators, five are Republican. All but two of these races will decide full six-year Senate terms.
The election in Delaware fills the last four years of Vice President Joe Biden’s unfinished term. Appointed incumbent Democrat Ted Kaufman is not seeking reelection to that seat. The election in New York fills the last two years of Secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s unfinished term. Appointed incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand does intend to run.
In addition, an off-cycle election will take place on January 19, 2010 in Massachusetts to fill the final two-plus years of deceased Sen. Ted Kennedy's term. Appointed incumbent Democrat Paul Kirk is not seeking reelection to that seat.
Finally, incumbent Texas Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison is expected to resign before the end of 2009 with a special election to be held three to four months later.
Currently, Democrats have a so-called filibuster-proof 60 - 40 majority which includes two independents - Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Joe Lieberman of Connecticut - who caucus with the Democrats.