G. McConway
December 27, 2023

Schumer Holding Majority in Senate Depends on 8 Key Races

During this cycle, there are a total of 34 Senate seats that will be up for grabs.

Of those races, most are going to have a predetermined outcome by party, but there are still eight seats that will hold the key to who holds the power in the Senate.

Democrats are defending 23 seats, while the Republicans are defending 11, with the most competitive seats currently being held by Democrats.

The Struggle for Power

At the top of the list is the seat that is being vacated by Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.V.). Without an incumbent vying for that seat, Republicans are drooling over the opportunity to flip a longtime blue seat to red.

Senator Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) caucuses with Democrats and there is a Democrat in the lead for that race currently, but this could tighten up considerably during the election if Kari Lake, who is endorsed by Trump, can manage to rally voters around her. Lake is a true wildcard, having just lost the gubernatorial election.

Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) is also at the top of the list for Republicans, who feel very strongly that they can oust Tester after having removed anti-Trump Rep. Liz Cheney (R-MT) from her seat. Tester is likely to face former Navy SEAL Tim Sheehy. Keep in mind, Trump carried Montana by 16 points in 2020, so Tester, even though he has been in office since 2007, is definitely at risk here.

Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is in a tough race in a state that has been getting redder and redder with each election. He will likely be taking on Bernie Moreno, who has already landed the endorsement of Donald Trump.

Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) is going to face off against highly recruited Dave McCormick, who lost his last primary to Dr. Mehmet Oz, who was backed by Trump in that election. McCormick has always been the preferred candidate of the RNC, so the party feels very strongly that with the right support, McCormick can flip that seat.

Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) is in a state that Biden won by only two points, so this will not be an easy defense. The RNC wants Army veteran Sam Brown, but Trump has already endorsed Jeff Gunter, his former Ambassador to Iceland.

Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) is in a state that always seems like a coinflip, so there is no reason to expect this race to be any different than the one we just saw with Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) in the last cycle. The RNC wants Eric Hovde as the candidate, but former Sheriff David Clarke is rumored to be interested, and he would likely get the endorsement of Trump.

Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) has decided to retire, which is good because Republicans have not fared well in Michigan, and not going up against an incumbent will be helpful. Mike Rodgers would appear to be the Republican of choice, but he is going up against a stacked field, so winning this seat will be a chore.

I can definitely see Republicans taking three of these races, but they will need five of them if they are going to flip the Senate. I believe the Michigan race is a loser, and I am very worried about Lake’s chances of winning after having lost the gubernatorial election.

The rest of those races, however, are very winnable if the candidates get the right support, something Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) failed to do in the last election cycle.


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