On Monday, Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Indiana, announced that he will not seek re-election this year. With Democrats defending five open seats and Republicans with six open seats in the Senate, the CNN Fact Check Desk wondered how this election measures up to the past.
Fact Check: How many open-seat races have there been in the Senate in the recent past?
- So far, there will be 11 open Senate races this year.
- According to Congressional Quarterly's (CQ) Online Press Library, since 1980, only two election years had more open races: 13 in 1996 and 12 in 1992. Those were the only years in the double digits.
- 2006, 1984 and 1982 had the smallest number of open races, at four each.
- The other years ranged between five and nine open races.
Bottom Line: The number of open Senate seats is unusually high this year. In the last 30 years, only the 1992 and 1996 elections had a higher number.
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