Senate Democrats will need to keep incumbents Jon Tester of Montana and Sherrod Brown of Ohio in their seats in 2024 to keep a majority in the upper chamber, Politico reported Monday.
With West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin retiring, the party is looking to retain the only two incumbents on the 2024 ballots, hoping the red states they represent will fall their way, so they keep a narrow 52-48 majority.
"Ohio and Montana are states where every elected statewide official is a Republican. Except for the two Democratic senators. Those are clearly the races they will have the toughest time defending," Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., told Politico. "There's a reason why, in Montana, Tester's already up full-blown on TV."
According to a CNN breakdown of the 2020 election, former President Donald Trump won both states over Democrat President Joe Biden by 16 percentage points in Montana and 12 percentage points in Ohio.
Current polling by the FiveThirtyEight website has Brown leading all of his Republican challengers in Ohio, but state polls are evenly split for Tester and his GOP challengers in Montana.
Senate Democrats campaign arm Chair Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan told Politico that 2024 presents "real opportunities" for a Democratic Senate offensive, and he is "confident" they will maintain the majority.
"But I'm very confident we're going to be at 50 by holding all of our incumbents and we win the White House. Having battle-hardened candidates is a real strength," Peters said in the report.
Tester and Brown won their second terms under former Democrat President Barack Obama and won reelection again in 2018 despite both states going to Trump by double digits in 2016, according to the report.
Top Senate Democrats are not underestimating the importance of these two races in the 2024 cycle and will be eyeing them closely when it comes to allocating campaign funds to them.
"I take all the races seriously, but those two are particularly challenging," Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., told the news outlet. "We're dedicating the resources and attention to them."
According to Politico, the races could reach $500 million in campaign spending between the primary and general elections.
"[We are] going to make sure voters in Montana and Ohio understand the choice they face next November," J.B. Poersch, who runs the Democrat-aligned Senate Majority PAC, said in the report.
Charles Kim, a Newsmax general assignment writer, is an award-winning journalist with more than 30 years in reporting on news and politics.
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