Today’s Senate Shapshot

While when we get to the bottom line not much has changed since the last time, I felt it was time to take another look at the 2024 Senate races. The biggest change I made was to add a new category.
The basics remain the same. The Democrats enter the contest with a one seat “lead”. If the new race ends up in a tie control goes to whichever party wins the White House (despite the polls I still favor Joe Biden and thereby the Democrats but only by the thinnest of margins). The Republicans have 11 seats to defend and the Democrats 23.

I still strongly feel that the Republicans will flip West Virginia. At this point that is the only seat I feel is a sure flip. That alone would bring us to 50-50.

I feel confident that the Republican will defend nine seats (Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, both Nebraska seats, North Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and Wyoming). Their only vulnerabilities are in Florida and Texas which, at this point, they have to be favored to successfully defend.

In Florida Rick Scott has a lot of baggage (which to this point he has been successful in overcoming) and while the Sunshine state has definitely moved from purple to red, I still see the seeds of disunity in their GOP. The issue of choice, which Scott firmly is on the wrong side of, will be on the ballot via Amendment 4. That will bring out voters who will not be Scott supporters. He may still squeak out a victory because it appears the Democrats have failed to recruit a “first round draft choice level” candidate. Also, the Florida Democratic party is far from one of the best state party organizations in America.

In The Lone Star State, despite actually being a bright guy Ted Cruz has been a lousy Senator. Cancun Cruz is much more interested in pontificating than representing his constituents or legislating. Unlike in Florida the Texas Democrats do have a great candidate in Colin Allred. This is the race where I’m the most concerned with post-election voter nullification. I could see Cruz losing the true vote but returning to DC. Watch Harris County!

There simply is no clear Democratic pickup.

I feel confident the Democrat will hold California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont and Washington. That is not to say that all will be easy or inexpensive. In fact, therein lies perhaps the Democrats’ biggest challenge in 2024: the allocation of resources, primarily money.

Next are the five tossup seats. In four cases we have a Democratic incumbent deserving of re-election running in a red or true purple state: Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin, Sherrod Brown in Ohio, Jacky Rosen in Nevada and Jon Tester in Montana. The fifth in this category is the open seat in Maryland which is normally reliably blue but the Republican recruited Larry Hogan who is one of the few, if not the only, Republican capable of winning statewide in Maryland in 2024. I could see going five-for-five but it will be expensive.

Then we have the three tossups that I feel lean Democratic: Bob Casey in Pennsylvania where the Republican nominee appears to be someone who lives in Connecticut. The primary is yet to be held but it appears the Republicans will run someone who is registered to vote in Florida for Michigan’s open seat. That should be enough to favor the Democrat but in there era of Trump who knows? Last in this category is Arizona which will now be an open seat. It appears the GOP candidate will be extremist Keri Lake running against Ruben Gallego. Arizona is a close state with a very extreme Republican party but I have to hope, especially with the choice controversies that Gallego will prevail.

At this point too many races are either too early and/or too close to call; but there is your snapshot, the way I currently see it anyway.

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