Saturday, January 6, 2024

Republicans Have a Great Chance to Retake the Senate in 2024; 2024 Presidential, Senate and House Election Forecasts

Mandel Ngan/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
WSJ: Republicans Have a Great Chance to Retake the Senate in 2024:
The GOP has an edge in the fight for control of the Senate headed into next year’s elections, as Democrats work to defend key seats in states that former Republican President Donald Trump won decisively in 2020.
But party strategists and political analysts see abortion, the economy, GOP candidate selection and Trump’s legal troubles as wild cards that could affect Republican chances and perhaps enable Democrats to hang onto their narrow Senate majority.
There are 34 Senate races in 2024. Democrats and Democratic-aligned independents occupy 23 of the seats, eight of which are rated competitive or vulnerable by Inside Elections, a nonpartisan publication that analyzes House and Senate races. Republicans are only defending 11 seats, all of them in states won by Trump in 2020. Of those, only the Texas seat held by Sen. Ted Cruz is rated competitive.
“The Senate majority is firmly in play, and Republicans have a great opportunity to win control of the Senate,” said Nathan Gonzales, editor and publisher of Inside Elections. “But we’ve seen Republicans throw away opportunities before.”
It is a familiar tension. Republicans also entered 2022 in a strong position, only to suffer a net loss of one seat because of what Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) called poor “candidate quality.” He alluded to Republicans who triumphed in primaries but proved too extreme or unappealing to win in a general election, costing the party winnable races. Similar problems afflicted the GOP in 2010.
There are 34 Senate contests on the ballot in November; only a handful are highly competitive. Democrats currently hold the majority, 51-49, but are defending two-thirds of the seats up for election this cycle.
Democrats’ hopes of keeping their 51-49 Senate majority took a hit last month when centrist Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin decided not to run for re-election in West Virginia, a state that Trump won by almost 39 percentage points in 2020. Trump has endorsed Republican Gov. Jim Justice in West Virginia’s Republican primary. Justice is dominating polling against Republican Rep. Alex Mooney. The winner of the GOP primary is expected to cruise to victory in the November general election.
With West Virginia seen as off the table, the battle for the Senate is centered on Montana, where Democratic Sen. Jon Tester is running for a fourth term, and Ohio, where Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown is defending the seat he has held since 2007. Trump won Montana by 16 percentage points and Ohio by 8 percentage points in 2020.
Those races might not even matter. If Republicans successfully defend all their current seats and win Manchin’s seat in West Virginia, as expected, and if the party’s nominee also wins the White House, Republicans will control the Senate in 2024, thanks to the new vice president’s tiebreaking vote, without picking up any other seats. --->LOTS MORE HERE
WSJ screengrab
2024 Presidential, Senate and House Election Forecasts:
The outlook for Democrats and Republicans, based on combined ratings from three nonpartisan political analysts
Control of the House, the Senate and the presidency are all up for grabs in the 2024 elections, a rare instance of Republicans and Democrats battling for all three levers of elected power in Washington.
Below are the latest forecasts for each, rated on a scale from safely Democratic or Republican to tossup. This outlook is based on combined ratings from the Cook Political Report with Amy Walter; Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales; and Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.
States rated “likely” for each party aren’t considered competitive but have potential for movement. Those rated as “leaning” one way or the other are competitive, but one party has an advantage.
Presidential electoral votes
The two most recent presidential elections were among the closest in the past century. The 2024 race is set to be another squeaker. The race is likely to be decided by little more than a half-dozen states. --->LOTS MORE HERE
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