'Extreme' fringe GOP candidates could help Democrats hold the Senate in 2024

'Extreme' fringe GOP candidates could help Democrats hold the Senate in 2024
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Next to getting President Joe Biden reelected, Democratic organizers' top goals for 2024 include holding their small effective U.S. Senate majority and retaking the U.S. House of Representatives. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) will be paying close attention to Senate races in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona and other key swing states.

In an article published by Politico on May 15, journalists Burgess Everett and Holly Otterbein stress that GOP primaries will be a major factor in whether Democrats hold or lose the Senate in 2024 — especially if Republicans nominate a lot of conspiracy theorists and far-right fringe candidates. The possible Senate candidates who Democrats believe could make it easier for them to hold the Senate, according to Everett and Otterbein, include Jim Marchant in Nevada, Kari Lake in Arizona and Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania.

"Keeping the Senate blue will be a brutally difficult endeavor that requires losing no more than one seat in more than a half dozen red- and purple-state races," the Politico reporters explain. "If Democrats can run against ultra-conservative or (Donald) Trump-aligned candidates in those races, though, they believe they have a much better chance. Republicans are maneuvering to avoid the pitfalls of 2022, when the party's campaign arm took a laissez-faire approach and essentially let Trump's endorsement power pick many of their nominees."

READ MORE: Mitch McConnell 'not confident' GOP can retake Senate in 2024: report

In 2022, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) expressed concerns about the "quality" of Republican Senate candidates. And he is concerned about 2024 as well.

During an early May interview with CNN's Manu Raju, McConnell said he was "not" confident about the GOP's ability to retake the Senate.

McConnell acknowledged, "We do have the possibility of screwing this up, and that gets back to candidate recruitment. I think that we lost Georgia, Arizona and New Hampshire because we didn't have competitive candidates (in 2022)."

Everett and Otterbein note that in Nevada, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Steve Daines (R-Montana) is promoting military veteran Sam Brown as a Senate candidate — believing that Brown would be more competitive against Democratic incumbent Sen. Jacky Rosen than Marchant.

READ MORE:Doug Mastriano is 'inducing panic' among Republicans — including Trump — over possible PA Senate run: report

Meanwhile, in Arizona, Rep. Ruben Gallego is running for the Senate seat presently held by Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, a former Democrat turned independent. If Gallego is the Democratic nominee and Sinema runs for reelection as an independent, it is possible that they could go up against Lake (assuming she runs and is nominated) in a three-way race. The Wall Street Journal's Eliza Collins, on April 7, reported that Sinema, according to sources, was "preparing for a reelection campaign."

DSCC Chairman Gary Peters (D-Michigan) told Politico, "The folks who win Republican primaries tend to be the extreme candidates. And that will be an opportunity for us."

READ MORE: 'Bad politics': Conservative editorial warns GOP after Kari Lake courts NRSC ahead of likely Senate run

Find Politico's full report at this link.

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