Projecting the outcome of the 2024 presidential election requires a variety of assessments involving data that does not yet exist. However, the Senate, now controlled by the Democrats, provides a vast array of points for both analysis and rough prognostication. And for a number of sitting senators, the following year will no doubt be a time of worry and late-night number crunching.
Liberty Nation is proud to present our first analysis of the Senate seats most likely to flip in 2024.
A Snapshot of Senate Numbers
There will be 33 Senate elections in 2024 (barring any vacancies that arise during the 118th Congress). Of these, ten are presently held by Republicans, 20 by Democrats, and three by independents who caucus with Democrats. The GOP has an automatic advantage in this cycle, as the party is defending half as many seats as their opposition colleagues. In contrast, the 2022 cycle saw 35* seats on the ballot, 14 held by Democrats and 20 by Republicans – that election handed the majority to Joe Biden’s party.
Also of note is that several senators are hanging up their hats, which could seriously curtail the incumbency advantage. Four Dems and one GOPer have so far announced they are not seeking to run again for their current spots. Only one of these races, that of Debbie Stabenow (D) of Michigan, is considered a toss-up.
The last time this Senate class was up for election (2018), six seats changed hands; four went to the GOP and two to the Democrats.
The Potentially Magnificent Seven
Arizona: Presently held by Kyrsten Sinema, who won as a Democrat but now sits as an independent, this seat is seen as a potential pick-up for the GOP. And yet a lack of party discipline in getting a candidate to commit could upset the electoral math and make this recently purple state a light blue stronghold.
Early polling from February was based on a three-way race between Sinema as an independent, Rep. Ruben Gallego for Democrats, and Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, who has since announced he will not mount a bid. The poll from OH Predictive Insights suggested the final result would be 37 (D), 27 (R), and 17 (I). Without Ducey in the race, the GOP slot could be a deciding factor, especially if a significant portion of the Democrat vote goes to Sinema.
The Cook Report rates the Grand Canyon State as a “toss-up.”
Michigan: With Dem Stabenow stepping down, the Senate contest is considered a battleground to watch. Since opting for Bill Clinton in 1992, Michigan has chosen the Democratic contender in every presidential election – with the notable exception of Donald Trump in 2016 – and has not elected a Republican senator since 1994. Democratic Party leadership was initially confident it could retain the seat held by Stabenow, but her imminent retirement presages a potentially dirty internecine fight. On the other hand, the GOP has yet to pick a candidate.
Something to consider: Democrat Rep. Elissa Slotkin has apparently been weighing a campaign, as well as former Detroit Police Chief James Craig (R). Polling between these two suggests the closest Michigan Senate race in decades, with just a one-point advantage currently going to the Democrat.
Montana: This is seen as one of the GOP’s best chances to pick up a new seat courtesy of incumbent Democrat Jon Tester. In 2018, Tester eeked out a victory over Republican Matt Rosendale by just 3.5% in a state that went for Trump in 2020 in a 16-point blowout. Hoping to challenge Tester is Republican Tim Sheehy, who was twice decorated for valor in combat and is considered a significant threat to the vulnerable Dem.
Rosendale also has indicated that he wants a rematch to win the Senate seat and would likely win the nomination if he enters the race. Analysts suggest that Tester won in 2018 largely riding on the back of what many considered a blue wave, something that is almost certain not to materialize again with Joe Biden on the ticket.
Nevada: Picking the right shade of color for Nevada has become somewhat of a fool’s errand. In 2019, all of Nevada’s six statewide elected officers were Republicans. Now, all but one are Democrats. Of Nevada’s six members of Congress, five are Democrats. During the most recent midterms, Democrat Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto beat Adam Laxalt by less than 8,000 votes, whereas Republican Joe Lombardo managed to seize the governor’s mansion by just under 16,000.
Incumbent Sen. Jacky Rosen faces her first re-election bid in a climate far different from the windy blue storm front that got her into office in the first place. This seat is wide open.
Ohio: The Buckeye State has been turning a bright crimson over the last decade, a fact that must surely be worrisome to incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown (D), who has been sitting pretty in office since 2006. Trump carried the state by roughly eight points in both 2016 and 2020, and counties have been shifting red at a pace that should alarm Democrats.
Add to the mixture Republican J.D. Vance defeating former Rep. Tim Ryan (D) for Ohio’s other Senate seat in 2022, and this could well be a big win for whichever of the GOP primary candidates faces the electorate.
West Virginia: Undoubtedly one of the most watched races in the country, sitting Sen. Joe Manchin has long been a thorn in the side of his Democrat colleagues. A lone blue spark in an otherwise red night sky, Manchin has his party worried for a number of reasons. First, he has yet to declare if he is again running for his Senate seat. And, second, he has been making speeches for the third-party outfit No Labels, leading many to believe he could be plotting his own run for the White House. If he takes the presidential path, he could not only hoover up votes from more moderate Dems but also leave his Senate seat as the most likely to flip.
Remember, Trump carried this state by almost 39%, taking all 55 counties along the way, a feat only exceeded by WV’s other senator, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, who stormed to a 43% victory.
Battling for the GOP win will most likely be Gov. Jim Justice. According to the latest ECU poll, in a hypothetical match-up between Justice and Manchin, the former takes the “W” by a whopping 22 points.
Wisconsin: The very definition of a swing state, Wisconsin went for Trump in 2016 by a super-slim margin and for Biden in 2020 by a similarly tiny sliver. Democrats hope that Sen. Tammy Baldwin will re-create her six-point and ten-point victories of 2012 and 2018, respectively, but so far she has stubbornly refused to answer whether she will even participate in the contest.
In 2022, voters handed pro-Trump Ron Johnson (R) another term in the Senate, defeating now-former Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes by a single percentage point. Anything can happen in the Badger State – and it usually does.
Two for the Show!
Texas: Unlikely as it seems, Democrats hope to flip longhorn country in the upcoming cycle. While polling indicates that – as per the norm – no Democrat can win statewide office, plucky Rep. Colin Allred feels he has the right stuff to bring down Sen. Ted Cruz. Texas has sent Democrats to the Senate only a handful of times in the last 60-plus years, most notably one Lyndon B. Johnson. It seems that Cruz is destined to be the destroyer of young Texas Democrats.
In 2018, Beto O’Rourke – beloved by the nation’s left-leaning media – had his hopes crushed (a situation that was soon to be repeated at the hands of Gov. Greg Abbott). In 2012, another rising star of the party went head-to-head with Cruz, and despite four out of five of Texas’ major papers endorsing Paul Stadler, he lost by almost 16%. Allred has his work cut out for him if he wants to beat Cruz.
Despite all this, many media outlets are salivating at the possibility.
Pennsylvania: President Joe Biden seems to be making a habit of visiting Pennsylvania; as the Philadelphia Enquirer notes, this week marks “the sixth time Biden has come to the city this year and at least the 13th since he took office in January 2021.” What could he possibly be doing there?
Despite John Fetterman taking down Dr. Oz in 2022, his continued health issues have not gone away, and his speech and communication issues appear to have become more pronounced. Set against this backdrop, PA residents might feel slighted by the media’s attempts to cover for the new senator and therefore deny them a rigorous voice in the upper chamber. It seems the Democratic Party is expecting a backlash that only numerous visits from POTUS can calm.
A Midterm Penalty Outside of the Midterms?
It’s almost axiomatic that a sitting president suffers losses during a midterm cycle, most likely because voters are either not enthused or want to send a message to the incumbent and his party. However, with Biden facing near-historic disapproval ratings, these same two factors could rear their ugly heads in the presidential election. In fact, Biden has received a total of just five positive job approval ratings since the beginning of 2022 – to reiterate, out of 469 polls carried out, 464 gave him a negative rating.
Former President Donald Trump achieved 11 favorable job approval results out of 539 during the corresponding period of his presidency; Democrats netted three seats during the subsequent presidential election, gaining control of the Senate thanks to VP Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote.
If past is prologue, regardless of the presidential election’s outcome, it will be a Sisyphean challenge for Democrats to once again snatch control of the Senate. The White House may be within their grasp, but what will happen to the radical-left agenda if all Biden has is a pen and a phone?
*There were two additional special elections held during this cycle on top of the standard 33 in this class.
Liberty Nation Today:
Fishing for Facts at Japan’s Fukushima - The giant tsunami in 2011 spewed radiation, so is it safe to eat the fish now? - Read Now!
Ron DeSantis’s Fateful Decision - The Florida governor took on Trump - and all he’s gotten is blows to his once-impeccable reputation. - Read Now!
Government Shutdown: Probably Not - Dire warnings of disaster could be just political bombast. - Read Now!
Did Trump Break the Two-Party System? - Voting may never be the same again. - Watch Now!
Biden and Trump Compete for Union Support - 45 and 46 invade Michigan to capture UAW’s votes. - Read Now!