As the countdown to the 2024 elections begins, the Democratic strategists are not just focusing on President Joe Biden’s reelection. Equally crucial are their efforts to maintain the slim Senate majority and regain control of the House. The stakes are high, especially in battleground states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Arizona, and the Senate races are drawing particular attention.
An interesting twist in the 2024 Senate saga is the impact of GOP primaries, particularly if they produce a slate of far-right, conspiracy-driven candidates. This could be the silver lining for Democrats. Names like Jim Marchant in Nevada, Kari Lake in Arizona, and Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania, who represent the more extreme factions of the Republican party, could make the Democratic task of holding the Senate somewhat less daunting.
With a fine balance to maintain, Democrats cannot afford to lose more than one seat across numerous red and purple states. However, if they can pit themselves against ultra-conservative or Trump-aligned candidates, their chances look brighter. The party is keen to avoid the pitfalls of 2022 when a hands-off approach allowed Trump’s endorsement power to dictate many of the GOP’s nominees.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has previously voiced concerns about the “quality” of Republican Senate candidates, both in 2022 and looking forward to 2024. In a candid admission, he acknowledged the GOP’s capacity to “screw this up,” attributing losses in Georgia, Arizona, and New Hampshire to uncompetitive candidates.
Notably, in Nevada, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Steve Daines is backing military veteran Sam Brown, believing him a stronger contender against Democratic incumbent Sen. Jacky Rosen than Marchant.
In Arizona, a three-way race could be on the cards, with Rep. Ruben Gallego, a Democrat, vying for the Senate seat currently held by Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, a former Democrat turned independent. Should Gallego secure the Democratic nomination and Sinema run as an independent, they could face off against Lake, assuming she decides to run and secures the nomination.
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Gary Peters encapsulated the situation succinctly: “The folks who win Republican primaries tend to be the extreme candidates. And that will be an opportunity for us.”
The 2024 Senate races will undoubtedly be an intense battle, and the outcome could hinge on the GOP’s primary choices. If the party continues to lean towards far-right candidates, it could provide an unexpected advantage to the Democrats. Ultimately, the fight for the Senate will play a crucial role in shaping America’s political landscape. The stakes have never been higher, and millennials have a crucial role to play in demanding accountability and progressive change.