Five Senate seats 'most likely to flip' Republican in 2024: reporter
Next to getting President Joe Biden reelected, the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) top priority for 2024 is keeping the party's small effective majority in the U.S. Senate. One possible scenario is Biden getting reelected while Republicans flip the Senate, which would make it more difficult for him to win confirmations for nominees for either his administration or the federal courts.
In a listicle published on July 3, The Hill's Al Weaver picks the five U.S. Senate seats he believes Republicans are "most likely to flip" in 2024: West Virginia, Montana, Ohio, Arizona and Wisconsin.
Weaver cites Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) and Sen. Jon Tester (D-Montana) as examples of Democrats who will be fighting for reelection in deep red states. Meanwhile, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) is up for reelection in a state that has been trending more Republican.
"Brown has proven to be a difficult (opponent) for Republicans in each of his reelection fights, which he won by 6 and 6 percentage points, respectively," Weaver explains. "However, Ohio has moved further to the right in that time, with former President Trump carrying the state by 8 percentage points in 2020, despite losing the election. Put simply, the swingiest of swing states has gotten redder than ever, but whether that will be enough to take down Brown remains to be seen."
Weaver notes that in 2024, Arizona could see a three-way U.S. Senate race that would find Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego up against independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema and 2022 GOP gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake — that is, if Gallego is the Democratic nominee and Sinema and Lake decide to run.
During the 1970s and 1980s, Arizona was a deep red state known for being the epicenter of Goldwater conservatism. But Democrats have gained considerable ground in Arizona since then and made it a highly competitive swing state.
A Democratic operative, interviewed by The Hill on condition of anonymity, said of Gallego, "He seems to be doing what he needs to be doing. Head down. Building his brand."
Meanwhile, in Wisconsin, Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin is up for reelection, and Republicans have been "wading through possible options" for a candidate to take her on. Republican Sen. Ron Johnson won a third term in Wisconsin in 2022, but Baldwin, Weaver notes, has "proven to be a real challenge for Republicans in" her previous "Senate bids."
"What will be the key to Republicans ousting Baldwin, though, will be external forces," Weaver observes. "What will Biden's standing be in the state next year? And will the GOP nominate Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) or someone else next year? Those are questions that will weigh heavily on the Senate race."
Al Weaver's listicle for The Hill is available at this link.
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