In 2024, the Democratic party will face challenges in the Senate with 23 seats up for re-election and several vulnerable senators in competitive states. Senator Gary Peters of Michigan, who leads the Senate Democratic campaign committee, has stated that the DSCC will actively target these closely contested races.
He has been closely monitoring West Virginia, where Senator Joe Manchin has not yet declared his intentions for re-election and has suggested the possibility of a third-party run for president.
Peters informed CBS News’ chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett that should Joe Manchin decide to run, he will be victorious.
Peters has been encouraging the re-election bid of the two-term senator from West Virginia, urging him to run as a member of the Democratic party. Despite Peters’ backing, Manchin would face a challenging race in the general election. Congressman Alex Mooney and Governor Jim Justice of West Virginia are both vying for the Republican nomination.
The lottery for the Covid vaccine and the coal mining company owned by his family were both mentioned.
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Besides West Virginia, there are at least six other Democratic Senate seats at risk in the upcoming 2024 election that could impact the majority in the upper chamber. Peters pointed out that states that are crucial in presidential elections are also key battlegrounds for the Senate, except for Ohio and Montana, which he described as particularly difficult races.
Senator Sherrod Brown from Ohio has announced his intention to run for a fourth term in the year 2024. Three Republican opponents have emerged so far, including businessman Bernie Moreno, state Senator Matt Dolan, and Secretary of State Frank LaRose. Dolan has begun a campaign of attack ads targeting Brown’s stance on immigration, with the goal of defeating the Democratic candidate in Ohio.
Sen. John Tester in Montana is also being challenged by Republicans such as Reps. Matt Rosendale and Ryan Zinke, and former Navy SEAL officer Tim Sheehy. Steve Daines, the chair of NRSC, is also involved in the race.
He backed Sheehy.
Peters thinks that the caliber of candidates, or their absence, will have an impact on the Senate elections of 2024.
The speaker expressed confidence that Kari Lake, who is expected to be the Republican nominee, will be beneficial for Arizona. They also believe she will not perform as well in the Senate race as she did in the gubernatorial race.
It appears that Lake will potentially compete against Arizona Representative Ruben Gallego. Senator Kyrsten Sinema, who was elected as a Democrat in 2018, declared in December that she would be switching her party affiliation to Independent. Sinema has not yet announced if she plans to run for reelection.
The Democratic party will need to safeguard their Senate positions in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Michigan, all of which were narrowly won by President Biden in the 2020 election.
Peters playfully stated, “I can guarantee you, as the leader of the DSCC and the senator representing Michigan, we will not let Michigan slip away under my watch.”
Although Democrats were successful in maintaining control of the Senate and even gaining one seat in the 2022 election, their efforts may be challenged in 2024. This is because Republicans, who are aiming to secure a majority, only need to defend 10 seats in predominantly conservative states.
When questioned about whether Peters would support Democratic candidates in Texas or Florida instead of battleground states, he replied, “I will inform all candidates that if they are guaranteed to win or lose their race, I will not provide any financial support. However, if they are in a close race and have a chance to win, we will be fully committed to helping them with all our resources.”
On Wednesday, tune in to CBS News’ “America Decides” to see Major Garrett’s interview with Sen. Gary Peters.