Election forecaster releases initial ratings for 2024 Senate races: Three tossups

Author: Yuvi January 25, 2023

Nonpartisan elections forecaster Cook Political Report released its initial predictions for the 2024 Senate battle, placing three members who caucus with Democrats in the ‘toss-up’ category. 

The Senate’s powerful moderates of last Congress – Kyrsten Sinema, Ariz., and Joe Manchin, W.Va., now both find their ‘toss-up’ seats in jeopardy. 

Neither has yet announced a re-election bid. Democrats are anxiously awaiting Manchin’s decision as he is likely the only one from their party who can win in red West Virginia. 

Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat of Ohio, is running for reelection for his ‘toss-up’ seat. Ohio Democrats failed to secure a win in 2022 as retiring GOP Sen. Rob Portman was replaced by another Republican, Sen. J.D. Vance. 

Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who recently switched her affiliation from Democrat to Independent, has been coy about her future plans, but some believe she left the Democrats to avoid a primary. 

Another five seats, all occupied by incumbent Democrats, start out the gate in the ‘lean Democratic’ category. 

Among them is Montana Sen. Jon Tester’s seat, another top target of Republicans in the next election cycle. Former President Trump comfortably won Montana by 16.4 points in 2020. 

Others include Michigan, where there will be an open Senate seat, and the seats of Nevada Sen. Jacky Rosen, D, Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey, D, and Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D.

Republican Sen. Rick Scott of Florida is defending a seat in the ‘likely Republican’ category.

The Senate’s powerful moderates of last Congress – Kyrsten Sinema, Ariz., and Joe Manchin, W.Va., now both find their ‘toss-up’ seats in jeopardy

Rep. Ruben Gallego officially jumped into the race for Sinema’s seat on Monday 

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, D, is defending his seat in 2024 

Democrats currently control the upper chamber by a 51-49 margin. But in 2024, they’ll have 23 members up for reelection compared to 11 Republicans. 

But thanks to Manchin and Sinema who refused to sign on to abolishing the filibuster, the Senate still needs 60 votes to pass most legislation.  

On Tuesday the GOP Senate’s campaign armed unveiled a 30-second ad paining ‘Maserati Manchin’ as out of touch with West Virginia values. The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) has released a spate of ads calling on Manchin, Brown and Tester to ‘retire or get fired.’ 

Asked by DailyMail.com when the public could expect to hear more about his 2024 plans, Manchin deadpanned: ‘Probably 2024.’  

On Monday Sinema formally got a Democratic challenger in Rep. Ruben Gallego. Sen. Chuck Schumer refused to commit to backing incumbent Sinema or Democrat Gallego while speaking with reporters on Tuesday. 

Schumer called Sinema an ‘excellent’ senator. ‘She has done a lot of good things here. But it’s much too early to make a decision’ on who to support, he said. 

Meanwhile, Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., praised Sinema for upholding the filibuster along with Manchin and relished in the Democratic in-fighting over whether to back her. 

‘It’s a big dilemma for the Senate Democratic majority to decide whether to support her or to support somebody running on the Democratic ticket.’ 

Sen. Gary Peters, Mich., chair of Senate Democrats’ campaign arm, also told reporters it’s ‘real early’ to decide on who to support for the Arizona Senate seat. 

‘I don’t know what her intentions are. We’ll have to wait and see what happens,’ he added.

Sinema has a solid ally in fellow moderate Manchin. ‘Whatever she wants to do, I support her,’ he told reporters. 

25 January, 2023, 5:26 am
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