Senate Republicans hopeful they can unseat Democrat Senator in 2024

By Jen Krausz on
 January 30, 2024

Senate Republicans are hopeful that they can unseat at least one Democrat in the 2024 race, Sen. Tammy Baldwin (WI) even though they have failed to do so two previous times. 

The reason for their optimism is that businessman Eric Hovde plans to enter the race next month with the potential to spend $20 million of his own money on the race.

“Wisconsin is going to be one of the top states. It’s a battleground for the presidential race. It’ll be a battleground state for the Senate. Eric Hovde … would be a great candidate,” National Republican Senatorial Committee Chair Steve Daines (R-MT) said.

“He’s been involved in a big campaign before, and it looks like he’s doing a really good job of preparing for the battle,” he continued. “That race is going to be really competitive.”

Obviously worried

Hovde last ran for Wisconsin Senate in 2012, when he lost the primary to previous Governor Tommy Thompson. Thompson lost to Baldwin in the general, however.

The power of incumbency is strong, but a battleground state like Wisconsin is the perfect place to attempt a flip.

Democrats have already started attacking Hovde as a "MAGA extremist" and for "cruelty" as a real estate developer, but Hovde brushed off the attacks in December as “silly and stupid.”

“Most of them are lies,” he said at the time. “Obviously they are very worried given I haven’t even announced anything.”

A Republican majority

Republicans have the advantage in taking the Senate majority in 2024, given that they only have to defend 11 seats while Democrats are defending 23.

If they can win the presidential election and the seat in West Virginia being vacated by Sen. Joe Manchin (D), they could gain the majority with the vice president as the tiebreaking vote even if they don't flip any other seats.

A total of eight Democrat Senate seats are considered vulnerable in 2024, however, so if they flip a few more it will give them breathing room in case they get a dissenter the way Manchin functioned for Democrats in many scenarios.

Only one Republican seat, Sen. Ted Cruz in Texas, is considered even slightly vulnerable.

Why is it important?

If a Republican wins the presidency, a Republican Senate will allow them to move judicial and other nominees smoothly through the process.

If a Democrat wins, a Republican Senate will be a check on more extreme nominees by that party.

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