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Democrats will be defending a slim Senate majority in 2024. Here’s an early look at the states that will likely be in play for both political parties.


Manchin TesterSens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, left, and Jon Tester of Montana.

Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call

  • The 2024 Senate elections — which will run concurrent with the presidential race — are approaching.
  • Democrats will have to defend several vulnerable incumbents in swing and GOP-heavy states.
  • However, the party has held their own in the last three cycles in navigating tough Senate races.

In the 2022 midterm elections, Democrats defied political expectations by holding on to their Senate majority, with every incumbent securing reelection and Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman flipping the open seat being vacated by retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey.

Not only will Democrats retain control of the chamber in January, but the upper chamber will shift from a 50-50 split — with Senate control currently resting on Vice President Kamala Harris’ tiebreaking abilities — to a 51-49 majority led by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York. Despite Arizona Sen. Kyrsten switching from the Democratic Party to register as an Independent, she will continue to retain her committee assignments through her former party, and the lawmaker herself downplayed any notion that she would change her voting habits.

However, the class of senators who were elected and reelected in 2018 — a Democratic wave year that saw several vulnerable red-state members of the party win and lose — will face a challenging map in 2024.

A lot of the party’s performance will be tied to President Joe Biden, who has not yet announced if he is running for reelection, though it is expected that he will do so. But former President Donald Trump — whose political brand took a huge hit last month after he endorsed multiple candidates who lost their races — has already thrown his hat into the race.

In 2024, 34 senators will be up for reelection: 20 Democrats, 11 Republicans, and three Independents.

Here are some of the key states that both parties will likely target:

Arizona

Sinema’s party switch gave Democrats jitters while they were still rejoicing Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock’s runoff victory, but members appear assured that her decision won’t impact the party’s ability to control committee assignments and approve judicial nominations. But Sinema’s election itself is another matter; she has not yet announced whether she will run for reelection in 2024. If she runs again — along with a candidate like Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego — they could very well end up in a three-way race with a Republican candidate.

Such a scenario would not only complicate Sinema’s standing in the Senate, but force Democrats to decide whether they will back her candidacy or get behind a Democratic candidate. Democrats have made major inroads in Arizona in recent years, and the party would like to keep the seat out of GOP hands.

Debbie StabenowSen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan.

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Michigan

Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow won reelection to a fourth term in 2018 by 6.5% against now-Republican Rep.-elect John James, which was her closest race since she was first elected to the Senate in 2000. Republicans would very much like to flip this seat, but Michigan Democrats had a banner year in November — sweeping the top statewide offices and retaking control of the full legislature — and Biden is expected to compete hard in the state if he runs for reelection.

Montana

Democratic Sen. Jon Tester is a political survivor, having first won in conservative-leaning Montana in 2006 before winning tough reelection contests in 2012 and 2018. He has not yet decided if he will run in 2024, but Republicans have been eyeing his seat for years. Despite the GOP orientation of the state, Tester has a solid political brand and has been able to appeal to many of the state’s Independents and Republicans in past elections.

Nevada

Democratic Sen. Jacky Rosen is running for a second term in office in one of the most competitive battleground states in the country. In 2018, Rosen, then a first-term congresswoman, ousted then-GOP Sen. Dean Heller by 5 points.

In 2024, Rosen will be running for reelection when Nevada will be a top target for the eventual presidential nominees of both parties.

Sherrod BrownSen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio.

AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib

Ohio

Sherrod Brown, who was also elected to the Senate in 2006, has maintained a strong populist connection with his constituents despite the continued reddening of Ohio, which was once the nation’s premier swing state. Republicans will target this seat, but Brown has proven to be an effective candidate and one who has been adept at winning over Independents and even a slice of GOP voters.

Pennsylvania

Bob Casey Jr. has won all three of his Senate races with relative ease since first being elected to the upper chamber in 2006. If he runs again, he’ll have the benefit of running as a Democrat in a presidential year where turnout in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are likely to be very high. However, Casey has also generally done well in many of the state’s working-class town and cities, and could post an electoral performance similar to Fetterman.

West Virginia

Sen. Joe Manchin has not yet announced his intentions for 2024, but he is likely the only Democrat who can hold the seat in such a challenging state for his party. West Virginia was Trump’s second-best performing state in the 2020 election, so Manchin will have to win a lot of ticket-splitters to secure another term in the nation’s capital. But he has done it before, winning in 2018 despite Republicans going all-out to defeat him.

GOP Rep. Alex Mooney has already announced that he will run for the seat.

Tammy BaldwinSen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin.

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Wisconsin

Sen. Tammy Baldwin has not said whether she’ll seek a third term in the upper chamber, but even in politically-polarized Wisconsin, she has been able to win over many rural and exurban voters in addition to racking up large margins in the Democratic-heavy population centers of Milwaukee and Madison.

Republicans will almost certainly try to field a strong candidate, but Baldwin has been able to navigate the divides in her state in a way that has bedeviled members of both parties.

Read the original article on Business Insider