WASHINGTON – The announcement by U.S. Senator Joe Manchin that he will not run for another term has dealt a blow to the Democrats’ hopes of holding on to their 51-49 majority in the 2024 elections, when they will have to defend 23 seats, compared to only 11 for the Republicans.
The following are some of the most competitive races that the Democrats will have to win to maintain their control of the Senate, which has the power to confirm Supreme Court justices:
Manchin’s departure opens the door for Republican Governor Jim Justice, who is popular in the state that has turned solidly Republican in recent years. Justice, who switched parties from Democrat to Republican in 2017, will have to beat U.S. Representative Alex Mooney, a staunch Trump supporter who challenged Biden’s victory in 2020, in the Republican primary. Trump won the state by a whopping 39 points over Biden in 2020.
Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown, a liberal, is running for a fourth term in a state that has also become more Republican. Trump defeated Biden by 8 points in 2020. The Republican field is crowded, with at least four candidates vying for the nomination, including State Senator Matt Dolan.
Democratic Senator John Tester, a farmer with a friendly personality, is used to tight races and 2024 may be no different. Tester is the lone Democrat in the state’s congressional delegation and Trump carried the state by 16 points in 2020. One of his potential challengers is Tim Sheehy, a former Navy SEAL who is running as a Republican.
Democratic Senator Bob Casey, who was first elected in 2006, is expected to run for another term. Biden edged out Trump by a slim margin in 2020 in the state. Casey could face Republican David McCormick, who failed to win the Senate nomination in 2022.
Independent Senator Kyrsten Sinema, who won her seat in 2018 as a Democrat, has not announced whether she will seek reelection. She could face a tough three-way race that may include Democratic Representative Ruben Gallego. The Republican contender could be Kari Lake, a loyal Trump ally who lost the governor’s race in 2022. Sinema is one of three independents who caucus with the Democrats and are part of their 51-49 majority.
Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow is retiring in a state that leans Republican. Biden won Michigan by only three points over Trump and the open Senate seat has drawn several candidates from both parties. Among them are Democratic U.S. Representative Elissa Slotkin and Republican Peter Meijer, a former U.S. House member who voted to impeach Trump for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.