Despite winning back the House of Representatives in 2020, the Republican Party could not do the same with the Senate. Although they only needed to flip one seat and retain their seats, Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania results decreed a clean majority for Democrats, 51-49. Mitch McConnell expects to be majority leader again in 2024 and has already envisioned the more vulnerable Democrats.
The Senate electoral map in 2024 could not be more favorable to the GOP. Of the 34 seats that will be up for grabs, only 11 are held by Republicans, and if that were not enough of an advantage, almost none of those are considered vulnerable seats. Before 2022, some Democrats looked fondly at the seats held by Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rick Scott (R-FL), but they appear out of reach after the 2022 results.
On the opposite side of the aisle, the caucus led by Chuck Schumer will put 23 seats at stake (twenty Democrats and three independents). Far from being a friendly map, there are seven competitive seats to be defended tooth and nail: West Virginia, Montana, Ohio, Arizona, Wisconsin, Nevada and Pennsylvania.
McConnell does not assign all of these seats the same odds of victory. As he confessed in an interview with CNN, they will compete "heavily" in four: West Virginia, Montana, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
As for the candidates to be recruited to carry out this task, the Kentucky senator revealed that the leadership and the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) will only recruit people with a chance of prevailing in general elections.
"We'll be involved in any primary where that seems to be necessary to get a high-quality candidate, and we'll be involved in every general election where we have a legitimate shot of winning — regardless of the philosophy of the nominee," McConnell added.
His statements come after some Republicans have questioned the standing of candidates who ran in critical 2022 elections, such as Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire, where the GOP was defeated despite a favorable national trend.
Finally, McConnell argued that there are two other states, Arizona and Nevada, where again, their fate will depend on selecting the "right" candidates. "But as of right now, the day that you and I are talking, I think we know that we are going to compete in four places heavily, and that would be, Montana, West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania," the senator finished.