Control of the U.S. Senate is up for grabs next year. The current split in the upper chamber is 48 Democrats to 49 Republicans, with three independent senators who typically vote with the Democrats and helped elevate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to his leadership role.

If Democrats want to maintain their narrow control of the Senate in 2024, they don’t have much room for error.

But, while Republicans were playing defense in 2022, Democrats are on the defense in most of the competitive races next year. They’ll have to try to protect incumbent senators, or open seats, in several purple states.

Here are the eight Senate races expected to be the most competitive next year, according to the nonpartisan Cook Political Report:


Since leaving the Democratic Party to become independent late last year, incumbent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema hasn’t officially announced she’s running for reelection, but if she does, it could trigger a potentially competitive three-way race. Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego has announced he’s running, as has Republican Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb. The state is closely split between registered Democrats, independents and Republicans.


Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow announced earlier this year that she won’t seek reelection, giving the swing state an open contest. Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin, a former CIA analyst who’s won reelection in a district that voted for former President Donald Trump, is running for the seat and faces a potential primary challenge from actor Hill Harper, according to Politico. On the Republican side, potential candidates include former Reps. Mike Rogers and Peter Meijer, and New York Stock Exchange vice chair John Tuttle, according to Politico.


Democratic Sen. Jon Tester is one of his party’s most vulnerable incumbents running next year in a deep red state. Republican Tim Sheehy, a former Navy SEAL and business owner, announced last week he’ll challenge Tester, and two other Republicans could also enter the race, the state’s two U.S. Reps., Matt Rosendale and Ryan Zinke.


Democratic Sen. Jacky Rosen is up for reelection for the first time since beating former Sen. Dean Heller in 2018. Former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt, who narrowly lost to Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto in last year’s U.S. Senate race in Nevada, said he won’t run again next year, but Republican Sam Brown, a retired Army captain, is expected to announce his campaign as soon as next week, according to NBC News.


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Republicans held their U.S. Senate seat in Ohio last year after Sen. J.D. Vance defeated Democrat and former Rep. Tim Ryan, but if they want both of Ohio’s seats, they’ll have to unseat incumbent Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown next year. First elected in 2006, Brown could face Matt Dolan, a Republican state senator who announced his campaign in June, businessman Bernie Moreno or potential candidate and secretary of state Frank La Rose, according to NBC News.


Republicans hoping to challenge Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., will need to raise a lot of money. Casey raised more than $4 million in the last quarter and has $6 million on hand, according to The Associated Press. Republican David McCormick, a former hedge fund CEO who lost last year’s Republican primary to Dr. Mehmet Oz, is reportedly considering another run.

West Virginia

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., is up for reelection next year and Republicans are lining up behind a few favored candidates to take him on. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is hoping for West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, a former Democrat who left the party to become a Republican in 2017, while the group Club for Growth is pushing for Rep. Alex Mooney, a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, according to NBC News. Mooney announced he’d run for the seat immediately following the 2022 midterms, while earlier this year, Justice said he’d run as well. Manchin hasn’t said whether he’ll seek another term, but he said he’ll make his decision by the end of the year.


No Republican candidate has yet announced they’ll challenge Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin next year. Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wisc., who was considered a potential candidate, said last month he won’t run. Wisconsin is one of five states Trump won in 2016 then lost in 2020.

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