As the 2024 Senate races approach, the political atmosphere in the United States is intensifying, raising concerns about the future party control of the upper chamber.
Let’s examine five Senate seats that are highly likely to change hands next year, potentially shifting the balance of power in the legislative body that Democrats currently hold by a narrow margin.
Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, a prominent figure from West Virginia, is facing a significant challenge from Republican Governor Jim Justice. Current polling data indicates a strong inclination towards Justice, signaling potential trouble for Manchin’s re-election prospects. If this trend continues, a crucial Democratic Senate seat might soon be won by the Republicans.
In Montana, retired Navy SEAL Tim Sheehy has emerged as a formidable contender to unseat Democrat Senator Jon Tester. Sheehy’s impressive military background and entrepreneurial experience present a robust Republican alternative. However, first-time millionaire candidates have often faced skepticism from voters, and Sheehy will need to overcome this challenge to earn the trust of Montana’s electorate.
According to a report from The Hill, another Senate seat that Republicans are likely to flip is in Ohio, where they believe Senator Sherrod Brown is vulnerable. Despite securing narrow wins in previous elections, Brown has proven to be a difficult opponent for Republicans. However, Ohio has shifted further to the right, with former President Trump winning the state by 8 percentage points in 2020.
Whether this shift is sufficient to unseat Brown remains uncertain. So far, State Senators Matt Dolan and Bernie Moreno are the only declared Republican candidates, but Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose is expected to enter the race in July, potentially creating a challenging three-way contest for Brown’s seat.
Arizona presents an intriguing Senate race that could favor Republicans next November. Representative Ruben Gallego is the leading Democratic choice to challenge Kari Lake, the Republican candidate, and the incumbent Senator Kyrsten Sinema, who has left the Democratic Party and now registers as an Independent caucusing with Senate Democrats. Sinema has yet to announce her intention to run for re-election as an independent. Gallego, who launched his campaign in January, has garnered strong support with a $3.7 million fundraising haul in the first quarter, surpassing Sinema’s contributions by $1.6 million during that period.
This fundraising success has instilled hope in the Democratic Party that they can retain the seat. Gallego also received an endorsement from Representative Nancy Pelosi. Kari Lake, a former broadcaster and likely Republican candidate, has yet to make a formal declaration. During a visit to Washington in mid-May, Lake met with several GOP senators. Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb has also joined the Republican primary.
Lastly, in Wisconsin, Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin will seek a third term while Republicans seek their strongest candidate to prevent her from serving another six years in the Senate. Baldwin has proven to be a formidable opponent for Republicans in her previous Senate bids, securing victory over former Wisconsin Gov.
Tommy Thompson in 2012 and winning by a substantial margin in 2018. Baldwin’s dedication and 15 winning campaigns make her a challenging candidate to defeat. Eric Hovde, a former hedge fund manager who narrowly lost the 2012 Senate primary, is considered the leading Republican candidate. With a substantial campaign fund and experience in running statewide campaigns, Hovde stands as a strong contender. Additionally, relatively unknown businessman Scott Mayer is expected to make a decision after Labor Day, as noted by The Hill.