DemDaily: 2024 Senate Race Ratings. The Update!

May 4, 2023

Now four months into the official campaign cycle, the 2024 US Senate races are taking shape among the ten most vulnerable seats of the nearly three dozen up in the critical presidential year.

While Democrats prevailed against political headwinds in 2022, expanding their razor-thin majority in the Senate to 51-49, the landscape of 2024 will see them defending twice as many seats as the GOP.

34 of the 100 US Senate seats are up for election in 2024, with Democrats defending 23 seats, including three Independents that caucus with the Democrats. Republicans will be defending 11 seats, including one special election held concurrent with the regularly scheduled November 5, 2024 elections.

Democrats are defending the larger share of seats, with 15 considered "safe," including two retirements in deep-blue California and Maryland.

Their remaining eight, however, comprise the top battleground contests of 2024. To maintain control of the US Senate, Democrats must hang on to vulnerable seats in Arizona, Ohio, Montana, Nevada, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Michigan, where Senator Debbie Stabenow is retiring.

Comparatively, Republicans are defending eight safe seats, including the open seat in Indiana -- vacated by Senator Mike Braun to run for Governor -- and the Nebraska special election where interim Senator Pete Ricketts is seeking a full term.

The two remaining GOP Senate seats, in Florida and Texas, offer Democrats some hope in two of the country's largest electoral states.

In Florida, Senator Rick Scott (R), a former governor and Trump ally who unseated incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson by less than 1% in 2018, is vulnerable.

Although no prominent Democratic challenger has come forward as yet, Scott is under fire for a number of controversial policy proposals -- including an initial February 2023 plan to sunset all federal legislation, including Social Security and Medicare, every five years.

In Texas, two-term Republican Senator Ted Cruz, who fended off high-profile Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke in 2018 by less than three points, has drawn his first major Democratic opponent this cycle.

Congressman Colin Allred (CD-3), a former NFL player and three-term member from Dallas and its northeastern suburbs, announced his candidacy this Wednesday.

Also this week, Maryland Senator Ben Cardin (D) announced his retirement, setting off a frenzy for succession to his seat among a crowded field of Democatic contenders.

DemDaily: Cardin Retirement Sets Off Maryland Melee 4/3/23
DemDaily: Justice Jumps Into Senate Race 3/28/23
DemDaily: Update on the Senate Landscape 3/16/23
DemDaily: Measuring Michigan 2/28/23
DemDaily: The Race to Replace Feinstein 2/15/23

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Kimberly Scott

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Sources: Washington Post, CBSNews, CNN, Axios

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