Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Bob Casey Is In

This news does not exactly come as a surprise, since he's been making all the usual moves, but Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) made it official yesterday, announcing that he will run for a fourth term in 2024.

This is, of course, good news for the Democrats. Pennsylvania is a swing state, and incumbents have a big edge, especially these days (recall that last year, zero incumbent senators went down to defeat). Republicans saw this as a pickup opportunity, but maybe they should be rethinking that. Casey once lost a gubernatorial primary (to Ed Rendell), but is 6-0 in statewide elections (three times as senator, twice as auditor general of Pennsylvania, once as treasurer of Pennsylvania). He's also pretty popular, and has won his three Senate elections by 16, 9 and 7 points. And 2024 is an election year, and those tend to favor Democratic candidates.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the aisle the Pennsylvania GOP is in disarray right now, and looks to be headed for another ugly battle between an establishment candidate and a loony candidate. In fact, as soon as God weighs in, the Republicans will probably be recycling one of the looniest candidates of 2022, namely Doug Mastriano. It's also an expensive state to contest, since it's got several large media markets, most obviously Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Recall that the Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA)-Mehmet Oz tilt burned up more than $300 million, making it the most expensive Senate race in history.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is no fool and knows all of this. So, he will likely focus his resources on cheaper and/or more competitive states, like Montana and Arizona. His problem is that it's hard to steer voters away from unelectable Trumpists, and so he could be in for another cycle of candidates who make him pull his hair out. (Z)

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