Democrats have known all along that 2024 would be an uphill battle to take back total control of Washington, D.C.
But recent developments suggest that it could be a far more difficult task than they anticipated.
And now Chuck Schumer is circling the wagons around these two top Democrats as his last defense against losing the Senate majority.
Democrats’ difficult path to victory in 2024
Democrats are clinging to an extraordinarily thin 51-49 Senate majority that could very easily be upended in what is shaping up to be a difficult path to victory for Democrats in 2024.
After Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced his retirement, six Democrat Senators are now facing re-election in states won by former President Donald Trump in at least one of the past two Presidential elections.
This includes states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin that are shaping up to be crucial battleground states.
Since all 34 Senate races in 2016 and 34 out of 35 Senate races in 2020 were won by the Party who carried that state’s Presidential race, defending those six Senate seats in states won by Trump is reason enough for Democrats to be nervous.
But to add complexity to Democrats’ situation, there are no Republican Senators facing re-election in states lost by Trump in either 2016 or 2020.
This means that the GOP should be in a position to easily defend most of the seats they currently hold while also investing heavily in races where a vulnerable Democrat is running in a Republican-leaning state.
As a result, Democrats are in a position where they are going to have to be very careful with how they allocate resources to their campaigns or else they could be in a position where they waste tens of millions of dollars defending an incumbent Democrat whose state wants nothing to do with them.
Democrats are apparently undeterred by that reality.
Circling the wagons
In a press release, the Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) announced that it would be spending tens of millions of dollars to help protect top Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and Sharrod Brown (D-OH) from facing the wrath of voters in their respective states.
Despite the fact that Montana has long been a Republican-led state and Ohio has become a relatively solid red State in recent years – Trump won both states by large margins in both 2016 and 2020 – the DSCC is pouring eight-figure sums into both of these races.
“The DSCC’s investments in sustained, effective grassroots organizing will lay the groundwork for our campaigns to win tough races,” DSCC Chair Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) said. “This election will determine the future of our country, and we look forward to joining with voters, volunteers, and community leaders to defend Democrats’ Senate majority that is fighting for the priorities that matter most to hard working Americans.”
The press release went on to note that the eight-figure sum will go towards “field organizing,” “field training programs to increase volunteer capacity,” “data and analytics,” “voting access and protection,” and “building meaningful outreach to communities of color and specific constituencies,” meaning they are leaving the door open to spend even more money on TV and digital ads.
According to the Cook Political Report, both Tester and Brown’s seats are classified as “toss-up” races due to the fact that both Democrat Senators have successfully survived multiple re-election bids throughout their nearly two decades in office.
But this could be the election that changes everything, especially when it comes to Senator Tester’s seat in Montana.
Tester survived a strong push from Republicans in 2018 to take back the seat in what turned out to be yet another GOP Midterm election disappointment when Matt Rosendale (R-MT) – with Trump’s endorsement – fell 3.5% short of defeating the Democrat Senator.
Betting on the wrong horse
Rosendale is considering another bid for the Senate this year.
And with polls looking much more favorable for Trump, this could prove to be the time to oust Tester.
Meanwhile, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown has won each of his three Senate races by at least 6% and polls continuously indicate that he has a strong lead over what seems to be a lackluster field of Republican candidates.
Republican businessman Bernie Moreno, State Senator Matt Dolan, and Secretary of State Frank LaRose, have all thrown their hats into the ring to challenge Brown.
However, based on the most recent polling from Emerson College and WJW-TV, none of them come within 3-points of the Democrat Senator.
That same poll also showed Trump’s candidate of choice, Moreno, with the largest deficit to Senator Brown.
But polls also show Trump continuing to hold strong leads in both Ohio and Montana.
And with voter sentiment continuing to turn against Democrats, it’s going to be difficult for both Tester and Brown to hold on to their seats.
The Democrats’ decision to dump tens of millions of dollars into their campaigns could very well come back to bite them when the rubber meets the road this fall.
Patriot Political will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.