Early action electrifies 2024 Senate battle

Candidates scrambled to claim the Michigan battleground after Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow He announced his resignation. Republicans jump into races in Indiana, West Virginia and Ohio. and Chen’s expected retirement. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) creates such a prime opportunity. Kate Porter (D-Calif.) didn’t even wait for the incumbent to announce before launching his campaign.

“People want to have a ‘first mover’ advantage. That’s what you see in every one of these places. People realize they have a good chance to win, so they want to get out and claim it,” said Jason Dillman, executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

It’s a critical moment for Republicans, whose lackluster candidates lost control of the party’s Senate last cycle as Democrats heavily boosted them and GOP candidates struggled to attract independent voters. Republicans are getting a different result this time, hoping part of that formula will be the national Republican senator’s caucus chair. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and GOP leaders dabble in primaries to provide better general election candidates, if necessary.

Ohio State Sen. Porter joins early Republican Senate candidates such as West Virginia Rep. Matt Dolan. Alex Mooney and Indiana Representative. Jim Banks. Former Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-Ind.) will travel to Washington next week to meet with GOP senators, and Dolan is expected to hit the Hill in February for his own round of Senate meetings. And incumbent Sen. Tim Cain (D-Va.) announced his re-election campaign on Friday.

More campaigns in both parties are expected to become official in the coming days and weeks.

“Recruitment in the cycle is a priority for us. So we’re certainly pleased to see so many high-profile candidates already kicking off their campaigns,” Thielmann said. The NRSC is “talking to a lot more people, and I think you’ll only see acceleration,” he said.

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The Democratic strategy is to pitch around the three most vulnerable Democrats: Ohio Sen. Sherrod BrownMontana Sen. John Tester and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin. Only Brown has pledged to run again next fall. Beyond that, Democrats are defending five states that President Joe Biden narrowly won in 2020: Nevada, Wisconsin, Arizona, Michigan and Pennsylvania. That’s a lot of terrain for the Democratic senatorial campaign chairman Gary Peters to protect

“In states that are considered competitive, there is a desire to have as many incumbents running for re-election as possible,” Chen said. Ben Cardin (D-Md.). “Sen. Schumer, I think, has already started it [work].”

Peters will help moderate an open and crowded primary in his home state of Michigan, which has been friendly ground for Democrats of late but could still be a high-profile Senate race. Michigan Democratic Representatives. Debbie Dinkel And Eliza Slatkin There are Looking at the open seatIn addition to Republicans — including Rep. John James (R-Mich.), lost to Peters and Stabenow in the past.

Elsewhere, Sens. Jackie Rosen (D-Nev.) and Tommy Baldwin (D-Wis.) are running for re-election, while Kaine and Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) are preparing to do. Those senatorial races are crucial for Democrats to keep control of the chamber. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) Further He has stepped up his campaign for the third term.

It’s unclear what will happen in Arizona. Sen. Christmas cinema (I-Ariz.), who basically runs with Democrats, is undecided as a delegate. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) is publicly raising his own bid and Rep. Greg Stanton (D-Ariz.) passed the Senate race.

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Republicans could have their own rally if 2022 gubernatorial and Senate candidates Gary Lake and Blake Masters both fail to run for the GOP nomination against more centrist opponents.

The chances of a Democratic pick-up look slim right now. If they win the presidency, Democrats could lose just one seat next year and still maintain control of the Senate.

“Every reporter I talked to in October and November was pretty sure the Democrats were going to be in the minority now. We are not. Actually we took a seat,” said Sen. Chris Koons (D-Del.) said. “Yes, the map in ’24 is challenging. But if the Republicans continue in the direction they already are, I feel better.

Brown’s first announced opponent, Dolan, is from the centrist wing of the party, so he is certain to compete in Ohio. Secretary of State Frank LaRose, Rep. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio) and businessman Bernie Moreno are among conservatives weighing bids.

Still, Dolan is moving quickly to claim the top spot in the September 2021 bid after finishing third in last year’s primary.

“Matt has been actively moving around the state this week,” said Dolan consultant Chris Maloney. “We’ve had requests for meetings in DC and will entertain them in due course.”

Representative Alex Mooney (RW.Va.) first announced he was running for Manchin’s seat two months ago, but many others may soon follow. Gov. Jim Justice (R) said this week he is “seriously considering” the race against Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who lost to Manchin in 2018. Morrissey told POLITICO that he was “seriously evaluating the options.” [and] A route will be decided by April.

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In Montana, Republicans are bracing for a showdown between GOP delegates. Matt RosendaleA Freedom Caucus firebrand, and former Cabinet Secretary Ryan Zinke, who passed a race in 2018, saddled the baggage. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) expressed hope his Democratic colleague could do it again: “He’s Mr. Montana.”

Daines has indicated that he is willing to intervene in primaries if necessary to create viable candidates, which can make for difficult decisions. Meanwhile, Republicans hope Tester and Manchin’s indecisiveness will work to their advantage.

Still, Manchin already has $9.4 million on hand. Even that amount is cheap compared to what Porter would need to win in California, where Feinstein’s safe Democratic party will soon spark the nation’s most expensive race. representatives. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) Both could enter the primary soon.

Banks’ initial splash in the open seat in Indiana precipitated a potential showdown with Daniels over the safe, GOP-held seat left open by GOP Sen. Mike BrownHe is contesting for the post of governor. Banks is already issuing endorsements as the conservative Club for Growth prepares to spend up to $10 million against the former governor.

Dolan, like Mooney and Porter, expects Banks to help seal the deal.

“I’ll be the first person in the race,” Banks said in an interview ahead of his Tuesday start. “I hope other people run as well. I fancy my chances.”

Marianne Levin contributed to this report.

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