In November 2024, a total of 34 U.S. Senate seats will be up for election, with Democrats holding 20 seats, independents holding three, and Republicans holding 11. Among the 20 Democratic-held seats, at least eight are in states considered competitive, including three in states won by former President Donald Trump in 2020: West Virginia, Montana, and Ohio. The 11 Republican-held seats are all in states rated as securely red, although Texas is seen as a battleground state where a Democratic candidate could be competitive. The independent senators, Angus King of Maine and Bernie Sanders of Vermont, are heavily favored for reelection, while Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, who left the Democratic Party, hasn’t announced her intentions for 2024.
Based on these numbers, Republicans may have confidence in their ability to gain control of the Senate, which is currently led by Democrats with a slim majority of 51-49. However, previous election cycles have shown that predictions can be unreliable. In both 2012 and 2018, Democrats were expected to lose seats but ended up gaining two and losing two, respectively.
Several Senate seats are expected to be highly contested in 2024. In West Virginia, incumbent Democrat Joe Manchin, who has opposed President Biden’s policies, would likely face an uphill battle in a state that heavily favored Trump. In Arizona, if Kyrsten Sinema seeks reelection, it could be a tight three-way race, with strong candidates from both the Democratic and Republican parties. Ohio, a purple state that has become more Republican-leaning, will see Democrat Sherrod Brown seeking reelection, with three Republicans already declared as candidates.
Montana, traditionally a red state, has seen Democratic Senator Jon Tester elected three times. He will seek a fourth term, and while no other Democrats have filed, two Republicans have already declared their candidacies. In Pennsylvania, Democrat Bob Casey, the longest-serving Democratic U.S. senator in the state’s history, will seek a fourth term. Thus far, he faces no opposition within his party, but Republicans are expected to field strong candidates to challenge him.
Nevada, another battleground state, will see Democrat Jacky Rosen seeking a second term. Republicans are still coalescing around candidates for the primary, and all election rating services predict a competitive campaign. Michigan is an open seat, as Democrat Debbie Stabenow is not seeking reelection. Democrat Elissa Slotkin has declared her intent to run and is currently favored to win her party’s primary.
While these races provide a glimpse into the competitive landscape for the 2024 Senate elections, it’s important to note that the campaign season is still in its early stages, and much can change in the coming months. Past election cycles have shown that initial predictions may not always hold true, making it crucial for candidates to campaign effectively and adapt to evolving circumstances.