Sen. Joe Manchin, DW. Virginia, holds a press conference on energy permit reform at the Capitol in Washington on Tuesday, September 20, 2022.
Bill Clark | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images
The Democrats have increased their majority in the Senate in 2022. They will be lucky to maintain these gains in 2024.
Republicans, who took control of the House after November’s midterm elections, hope to replicate that success in the Senate next year. They have reason to be hopeful: Democrats face a daunting 2024 Senate map that puts them on the defense in 23 of 34 races in the cycle, including several seats considered ripe for GOP challenges.
In some of the most vulnerable contests, Democrats are trying to hold onto Senate seats in states that voted for former President Donald Trump over President Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.
The gloomy outlook has some Senate Democrats are considering retirement, even after the caucus reached a 51-49 majority after a better-than-expected midterm performance.
Here are some of the best Senate races to watch:
Sen. Joe Manchin may be one of the most conservative Democrats in the Senate, but his party affiliation still jeopardizes his reelection chances in dark red West Virginia, which favored Trump by nearly 40 points. percentage in 2020.
Perhaps that’s why Manchin still hasn’t announced whether he intends to run again — or why he’s resisted even acknowledging he’s a Democrat in public.
Manchin’s potential Republican challengers aren’t waiting for the incumbent to reveal his plans. Rep. Alex Mooney, whom Trump backed for his successful 2022 home run, has already scored a $10 million pledge of support from the conservative Club for Growth for its Senate primary race.
Manchin’s campaign had $9.7 million in cash at the end of March, according to FEC filings show.
But Manchin’s biggest possible rival for the GOP could be West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, who is said to be the state’s richest man and one of its favored contenders for the Senate race.
Election analysts at Sabato’s Crystal Ball in January gave West Virginia a “Lean R“, making it the most vulnerable Democratic-held Senate seat in the cycle.
Manchin, who won his 2018 The Senate race by about three percentage points has recently put some distance between him and his fellow Democrats. He even swore to vote for repeal the Cut Inflation Act, Biden’s signature spending bill that Manchin helped pass, while complaining on Fox News that the administration had broken its word.
Democrats and Republicans are targeting the Arizona seat held by Senator Kyrsten Sinema, who at the end of 2022 left the Democratic Party to become a independent.
Sinema’s switch, which continues to caucus with Democrats, allows him to skip a potentially deadly Senate primary fight and run directly into the general election.
But this decision does not guarantee him a path to victory in the state, which is considered a throw in the air and a great takeover opportunity. Sinema has yet to announce whether she will run again in 2024.
Once considered a progressive Democrat, Sinema has taken a moderate approach in recent years. She drew criticism from some members of her former party on her vote against an increase in the minimum wage and its opposition to change the filibuster.
She now faces a potential challenge from her left in Democratic Representative Ruben Gallego, who would have outmoded Sinema as he fights for his job.
Republican Sheriff Mark Lamb also entered the race. He could face off in a GOP primary against Kari Lake, the former TV news anchor who lost to Democrat Katie Hobbs in Arizona’s 2022 gubernatorial race and is now considering a Senate bid.
If Sinema runs, the Arizona Senate race could become a three-way game. It’s far from clear who would have the advantage in the swing state, which Biden won over Trump in 2020 by less than a percentage point.
Senator Jon Tester is one of three Democrats in the 2024 cycle defending a seat in a state that voted for Trump in the last presidential election. The Republican ex-president won Montana by about 16 points in 2020.
The tester’s seat is considered a draw by Sabato’s crystal ball, although Cook’s political report said the seat tilts in favor of the Democrats.
Tester decision running again is good news for Democrats, who otherwise would have lost the incumbent advantage in a solidly red state.
But he could still face a formidable threat from his eventual Republican challenger. Former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Rep. Matt Rosendale and Gov. Greg Gianforte were to the eyes as possible suitors.
Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown has held his seat since 2007 and he has already announced his plans for a fourth term.
But the 2024 Senate race in Ohio is currently considered a draw, as Republicans did. significant gains in the state over the past two election cycles.
Trump won Buckeye State by more than eight points in 2020, and the GOP candidates he endorsed, now including Sen. JD Vance and Gov. Mike DeWine won midterm.
Matt Dolan, a state senator and partial owner of the Cleveland Guardians baseball team who competed in the 2022 Republican Senate primary, is in progress for Brown’s seat in 2024. Bernie Moreno, another Republican candidate for the Senate seat, drew attention when he suggested there should be repairs for the descendants of Union Civil War soldiers “who died to save black lives”.
Democrats in 2024 will defend an open Senate seat in Michigan, a swing state that voted for Trump in 2016 and Biden in 2020.
Democrats won significant gains in Michigan midterm in 2022, taking control of the State House and Senate and securing another term for Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
Republicans Michael Hoover and Nikki Snyder have so far entered the race for Stabenow’s Senate seat.
On the Democratic side, Representative Elissa Slotkin, who won a tough fight for re-election to the House midterm, is seen as the leading contender for the seat. Slotkin was endorsed in 2022 by former Rep. Liz Cheney, a Republican whose vocal criticism of Trump following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot sparked a rift with her party’s leadership and much of her ranks in the House.
Sabato’s Crystal Ball and Cook’s Political Report both say Michigan’s Senate race leans for the Democrats.
Unlike most of the other races on this list, in the California race there is no doubt that the Democrats will retain the Senate seat which is expected to open in 2024.
Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, who held the seat for three decades, at 89, announced she would retire at the end of his current term.
By this time, several Democrats had already launched their campaigns for his work. The list of declared candidates so far includes Representatives Adam Schiff, Katie Porter and Barbara Lee, with more potentially on the way.
Feinstein, the longest serving member of the US Senate, took a month off in the spring due to health problems. Concerns over Feinstein’s fitness for office quickly became a point of contention among Democrats, with some openly calling for the senior senator’s immediate nomination. resignation and others who defend it. Feinstein’s absence from the Senate Judiciary Committee slow motion Democrats’ efforts to advance Biden’s judicial nominees.
Asset closely lost Nevada to Biden in 2020, and its hand-picked Republican nominee Adam Laxalt lost an even tighter race for Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto’s seat in 2022.
Now the state’s other Democratic senator, Jacky Rosen, is while searching re-election in 2024. His list of potential Republican challengers seems slim so far.
Laxalt’s name has emerged as a potential 2024 Senate candidate, but the former Nevada attorney general signed on in April to help lead a super PAC encouraging Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to run for president in 2024.