Although Democrats narrowly increased their U.S. Senate majority in the 2022 midterms, they are worried about keeping it in 2024. Some Democratic strategists fear that if centrist Sen. Kyrsten Sinema runs for reelection as an independent next year and goes up against Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego — who is seeking his party's nomination in that Senate race — she could become a spoiler. Another fear is that if Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) doesn't run for reelection, they will have a hard time finding another Democrat who can win in that deep red state.
But Republicans have their worries about the U.S. Senate as well. National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) Chairman Steve Daines (R-Montana) fears that Democrats will keep their Senate majority for the rest of the 2020s if Republicans do not flip that chamber in 2024.
During a late March appearance on the conservative podcast "Ruthless," Daines told fellow Republicans, "We either deliver a majority in '24, or we are in the minority…. for the rest of the decade. That has profound consequences."
Daines argued that 2024 is the Republican Party's best chance to retake the U.S. Senate because there will be no Democrats running for reelection in "red states" in either 2026 or 2028. Democratic senators seeking reelection in 2024 in states that former President Donald Trump won in 2020 include Ohio's Sherrod Brown and Montana's Jon Tester.
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"It is a generational moment," Daines commented. And he urged Republicans to avoid picking primary candidates who will fare poorly in the general election.
"We've got to find candidates that can win not just primary elections, but can win general elections," Daines told listeners.
In the 2022 midterms, Senate candidates endorsed by Trump lost in Arizona (Blake Masters), Pennsylvania (Dr. Mehmet Oz) and Georgia (Herschel Walker). And Pennsylvania could be problematic for Republicans again in 2024.
Centrist three-term Democratic Sen. Bob Casey, Jr. is up for a fourth term, and far-right State Sen. Doug Mastriano — the conspiracy theorist and QAnon ally who lost Pennsylvania's gubernatorial race by double digits in 2022 — appears to have a good shot at winning his party's nomination if he decides to run.