Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Senate Races Are Heating Up

The 2024 Senate contests are heating up. Here is our initial take on the 2024 Senate races. We will update it as new developments happen, usually without noting it on the front page unless the development is significant. You can check it whenever you want to by clicking on the "All Senate Candidates" link to the left of the map above.

Politico is also starting to cover the Senate races in detail, noting that candidates are already jumping in right and left. Most voters don't even notice Senate races until the ads start hitting them, and then only start really paying attention just before a primary or general election, but there is already plenty to write about.

Incumbent senators who are up in 2024 need to decide if they will run again—and soon. If they wait too long, it paralyzes their side while the other side is hard at work trying to defeat them. So far the only announced retirements are Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Mike Braun (R-IN), though Californians are acting as if Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has already announced she is retiring (when, in fact, she has said nothing on the subject yet). Some incumbents, including Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Bob Casey (PA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Elizabeth Warren (MA), are officially running for reelection. Two of the most vulnerable Democratic senators, Jon Tester (MT) and Joe Manchin (WV), haven't announced their plans yet. Manchin is probably waiting for Democrats to say how much they actually love him and all the bad things they have said about him almost daily for 2 years were in jest and they certainly didn't mean any of it. Of the most vulnerable three (Brown, Tester, and Manchin), Brown is the least vulnerable because his state is more pink than deep red and he is a very good match for it.

The DSCC and NRSC are hard at work raising funds and deciding which states will need the most love. The Committee chairs, Gary Peters and Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT), respectively, also have to decide whether they will get involved in primaries, and if so, which ones. There is an open seat in Peters' own state of Michigan, and he will probably work behind the scenes to get his preferred candidate to run and try to get everyone else to stay out. Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) are exploring a bid. Politics aside, Peters knows that Dingell is 69 and Slotkin is 46, and that could play a role in his thinking since it generally takes 20 years before a senator has real power (i.e., becomes chair of a major committee, or a part of Senate leadership).

Daines has to worry about Trumpist candidates winning primaries and then going down in flames in November 2024. He saw plenty of examples in 2022. On the other hand, if Daines (i.e., the establishment) opposes some candidate and that candidate wins the primary and also the general election anyway, as a senator, he is going to be a loose cannon since he knows he can defy the establishment and still win. That would make him unmanageable. Mitch McConnell really doesn't want a bunch of J.D. Vance clones in his caucus. Just as Peters may intervene in his home state, so may Daines. Both of Montana's representatives, Matt Rosendale (R) and Ryan Zinke (R), are likely to run for the GOP nomination to oppose Tester. Both are extremely Trumpy. Against the moderate and folksy Tester, they could well lose. After all, Tester has shown that he can win Senate elections in red Montana by doing it three times already.

Among the official Republican candidates already in are state Sen. Matt Dolan in Ohio, Rep. Alex Mooney in West Virginia, and Rep. Jim Banks in Indiana. Former Indiana governor Mitch Daniels is close to an official announcement. Democratic Reps. Katie Porter and Barbara Lee are officially running in California. More candidates are expected to jump in soon all over the country. (V)

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