The three targeted seats are in Arizona, West Virginia, and Ohio.
As the 2024 presidential primary season revs up, it’s easy to lose sight of House and Senate seats that the GOP needs in order to regain control of both houses of Congress. This is important no matter who wins the 2024 presidential election.
The current Senate is split 51-49 because the GOP lost ground in the disappointing 2022 midterm election cycle, but 2024 is a promising year for Republicans who are defending only 10 Senate seats while the Democrats are defending 23.
With that in mind, the GOP is reportedly targeting three particular Senate seats in its bid to win back control in the U.S. Senate. The three targeted seats are in Arizona, West Virginia, and Ohio.
The Arizona seat is held by Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who left the Democratic Party to become an independent but has yet to officially say whether she’ll seek reelection.
Sinema doesn’t have a clear GOP challenger yet, but Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego is seeking the Democrat nomination.
Personally, I don’t really mind Sinema in the Senate. She’s a Democrat at heart, sure, but she’s also more liberal than leftist/progressive on things that matter in the Senate (the filibuster, for instance), but it would be far better to have a solid (i.e. not Trump-picked) Republican run for and win that seat.
Just the News continues:
West Virginia’s incumbent Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin is also up for reelection but has yet to officially announce his intentions.
Manchin, a moderate, arguably faces the toughest reelection bid. He’ll likely face popular GOP Gov. Jim Justice in a state with one of the most conservative-leaning electorates in the country.
A poll in May showed Justice leading Manchin 54-32% in a hypothetical matchup.
Just the News continues:
In Ohio, incumbent Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown announced early, saying in November 2022, “I’m running in 2024 and I run to win.”
Republicans have recently turned the traditional swing state red, with Donald Trump winning there in 2016 and 2020, and J.D. Vance winning in 2022 to keep Ohio’s other Senate seat for the GOP.
Brown is one of those ho-hum interchangeable Democrats: Couldn’t pick him out of a line-up, can count on him to vote (D) no matter what is at stake, and just goes along to get along. Removing him from office should be a no-brainer, but the GOP is a mess, and Ohio is all over the map in terms of elections, thus its “swing state” status.
Meanwhile, the hard-core Democrats at Huff-Po are alarmed that the GOP has a chance to win . . . dare we think it? . . . a supermajority in the Senate.
For Senate Democrats, 2024 has long loomed as Year Zero.
That’s when the party faces the daunting task of defending seats across nearly half of the country — in reliably red states, light blue states and states with suddenly wide-open races.
For Republicans, it’s a chance to capitalize on a once-in-a-generation map that massively empowers their base of rural white voters to build a sustainable GOP majority that could take a decade or more for Democrats to reverse.
The Stupid Party, however, is—as noted above—going to target just three Democrat-held seats for a flip. So the Huff-Po folks breathe a sigh of relief.
The GOP, however, is already suggesting its focus may be much, much narrower.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told CNN in May that the party is concentrating on a relatively small number of races where its chances of victory are greatest: Montana, Ohio and West Virginia — states where former President Donald Trump won by eight percentage points or more in 2020 — and Pennsylvania, where party operatives believe former hedge fund CEO Dave McCormick, who lost last year’s primary to Mehmet Oz, could make a formidable challenger to Democratic Sen. Bob Casey.
The rest of the map is at risk of becoming irrelevant.
“I don’t think anyone sees a real possibility for us in Michigan, Wisconsin and Nevada of winning those races,” said a Republican who has worked on Senate races and requested anonymity to speak candidly, referring to three presidential swing states where Republicans should, theoretically, be in contention.
McConnell, always known for choosing his words carefully, left the impression the party was all but giving up in some perennial battlegrounds, either because their benches are too MAGA or because McConnell can’t find the recruits that fit his preferred profile — a boardroom Republican with a business or military background who also has millions available to self-fund a campaign.
With just two seats standing between McConnell and a GOP Senate majority, the Kentucky Republican may not have to think that big to get what he wants.
Good old Mitch McConnell doesn’t want a (potential) GOP supermajority that can make an actual difference; he just wants to eek out three flips and call it a day. Pathetic.
But then, maybe the GOP is playing it smart given that many of the 2024 Democrat seats “lean blue” per Cook’s.
Jessica Taylor, the Senate and governors editor at the Cook Political Report, cautioned that more candidates will make the jump in the coming months, potentially changing the outlook for Republicans in some second-tier states. Cook has so far rated Arizona, Ohio and West Virginia rated as toss-ups, and the remainder of the frontline Democratic seats as “leans blue” less than a year out from the first 2024 primaries.
“You kind of have to work with what you’re given,” she said, “and if you can’t get candidates in who would make the race more competitive, you’re sort of hamstrung.”
No matter who wins the White House in 2024, control of the Senate is going to be key to either blocking or supporting the president’s agenda.
A Republican president with a Republican Senate can get a lot more lasting agenda items accomplished than a Republican president with a Democrat or split Senate. Likewise, a Democrat president with a Republican Senate, particularly with a GOP supermajority, can be shackled, even over-ruled on America-destroying Democrat policy and agenda items.
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