If the Republicans want to gain control of the Senate in 2024, they must win West Virginia. The good news is that West Virginia is very winnable.
The first thing you should know is that Joe Manchin is the only Democrat in WV that can possibly win. The second thing you should know is that if Democrats run a candidate in that race, they are dead meat.
There are a lot of scenarios that could play out and all of them favor Republicans.
Manchin runs as an independent and the Democrats run their own candidate. Manchin steals votes from the Democrat and Republican Jim Justice wins in a romp.
Manchin doesn’t run and Justice kills the Democrat by a huge margin. Manchin and the Democrat both vote for Jim Justice and it is unanimous. No Republican runs for the Senate and they still win.
A report from UVA’s Center for Politics stated:
“Overall, the GOP appears well-positioned in West Virginia, their top target. If they flip that state and hold everything they currently have, they just need one more seat to get to 51, an outright majority no matter what happens in the presidential race.”
Jim McLaughlin, president and partner of polling firm McLaughlin and Associates claims:
“West Virginia is a must. The good news is Manchin is done. His numbers are horrible right now in West Virginia.”
“It’s simple math, West Virginia is an overwhelmingly conservative, Republican state. Donald Trump won by nearly 40 points, Sen. Caputo won by 53 points and Jim Justice won the governor’s race by 33 points. It’s one of the most Republican states in the country.”
Kyle Kondik, managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics said:
“Hypothetically, Republicans could win the Senate without West Virginia. But it is clearly their best target, and if they are losing it, that probably means things have more broadly gone haywire for them.”
The 2024 West Virginia Senate race could decide whether or not the GOP takes back the Senate majority for the first time in four years, and the GOP looks poised to flip the seat red, according to the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. The group has placed West Virginia in the “Leans Republican” category, indicating their belief that the GOP can win the state.
The seat is currently held by Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, who was first elected in 2010 and previously served as the governor of the state. Manchin has not announced whether he will be seeking reelection, and has not ruled out running for president on a third-party ticket.
Incumbent Republican West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced his candidacy for the Senate seat in April. There will be a primary election as Republican West Virginia Rep. Alex Mooney is also seeking the nomination.
Ohio, Montana and Arizona are still classified as toss-ups, according to the predictions made by the Center for Politics. The authors of the report noted that more electable candidates who could pose a real threat to Democratic incumbents are being recruited by the GOP.
They also noted that the NRSC has new leadership, as Montana’s Republican Sen. Steve Daines is charting a new path forward for 2024. Daines has emphasized recruiting better candidates and developing a more coherent strategy, according to the Center for Politics.