One State Could Decide If Republicans Retake The Senate

Republicans are hoping to retake control of the Senate in the 2024 elections, and the GOP is looking at one state in particular where that effort is likely to start – West Virginia.

According to the National Republican Senatorial Committee as well as many pollsters, West Virginia will be key to determining whether the GOP will be able to retake the Senate in 2024.

The Center for Politics at the University of Virginia has said that Republicans have a good shot to capture West Virginia, which could lead to them having control of the upper chamber of Congress for the first time in four years. The group has labeled the state as “Leans Republican,” meaning they believe the GOP could capture the state.

A recent report from the group 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.”

Moderate Democratic Senator Joe Manchin currently occupies the West Virginia seat that will be up for grabs in 2024. While he has been serving in the Senate since 2010 – and was once governor of the state – he isn’t looking like a shoe-in for re-election.

A lot of that is because of what he’s done ever since President Joe Biden took office. He has angered many Democrats for holding up some of the biggest White House priorities, and forcing the Biden administration to pivot away from their massive plans, such as the Build Back Better bill.

While those actions certainly made Republicans happy, the fact is that Manchin is still a Democrat. In fact, he barely won re-election the last time out, and West Virginia is a highly-red state. 

Manchin hasn’t even announced yet whether he’ll be running for re-election to the Senate. He also hasn’t ruled out a third-party candidate run for president in 2024 – which some political pundits say may be his best shot of remaining politically relevant beyond 2024.

If Manchin does run for re-election in the Senate, he’ll face off against two pretty strong Republican candidates. Thus far, both Republican Governor Jim Justice and Representative Alex Mooney have announced their candidacy for Manchin’s Senate seat. The winner of that primary would likely take on Manchin in the general election.

No matter who wins the GOP nomination, they are likely to claim the seat over Manchin. 

Jim McLughlin, who serves as the partner and president of the polling firm McLaughlin and Associates, recently commented on the situation by saying:

“West Virginia is a must [for the GOP]. 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, Senator 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.”