Republican senators could be stuck in the minority 'for the rest of the decade' if GOP doesn't flip chamber in 2024, campaign chair warns
The head of the Senate GOP's campaign arm spoke this week about the stakes of the 2024 Senate races.
Sen. Steve Daines said his party could be in the minority for the "rest of the decade" if they don't win in 2024.
The GOP struggled in 2022 with "candidate quality" issues, and Daines is hoping to change that.
The chairman of the Senate GOP's campaign arm said this week that Republicans could end up stuck in the minority in the chamber for the next several years if the party isn't able to flip the chamber in 2024.
In an appearance on the conservative "Ruthless" podcast, Republican Sen. Steve Daines of Montana said that it was crucial for Republicans to win Senate elections next year in Montana, Ohio, and West Virginia, which he described as "red states" with Democratic senators.
He noted that there were no "red states" with Democratic senators up for re-election in 2026 or 2028, making this year a particularly ripe opportunity for the party.
"We either deliver a majority in '24, or we are in the minority as Republican Senate for the rest of the decade," said Daines. "That has profound consequences."
In 2024, a series of Democratic senators — including Jon Tester of Montana, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, and Joe Manchin of West Virginia — are facing re-election in states that former President Donald Trump won handily in 2016 and 2020.
"It is a generational moment," Daines later added.
In addition to those states, the GOP has potential pick-up opportunities in swing states like Arizona, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Democrats currently hold a 51-49 majority, meaning Republicans must pick up at least 2 seats to regain the majority.
Yet despite a general geographical advantage in the Senate, Republicans have struggled to attain a lasting majority. In 2022, despite political headwinds, Democrats managed to expand their majority due to what Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell famously described as "candidate quality" issues among GOP candidates.
This year, Daines has vowed to take a more interventionist approach in GOP primaries in order to avoid a repeat.
"We've got to find candidates that can win not just primary elections but can win general elections," said Daines.
In 2026 and 2028, the GOP's best pick-up opportunities may be in states like Georgia and Arizona, which were once consistently Republican-leaning but have become increasingly fertile ground for Democrats since 2020.
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