Chuck Schumer barely escaped the 2022 midterms with his position as Senate Majority Leader still intact.
However, New York’s senior Senator knows the 2024 Senate map poses far more challenges.
And now Schumer is sweating bullets because his whole political future is coming down to this one small state.
Heading into the 2022 Midterm cycle, the U.S. Senate seats considered to be competitive included: Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Florida.
In five out of those eight races, the GOP was playing defense, meaning if they could hold all those seats, which included three open races, due to Republican retirements, the best outcome the red team could have possibly hoped for would have been a net gain of three seats.
But with the power of incumbency, the more likely outcome was always Democrats picking up two seats.
Despite the optimism of a red wave sending Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to the minority, in the end, the blue team actually gained a seat.
And while New York’s senior Senator was all smiles about the 2022 results, that smile faded as soon as he looked ahead to the next election cycle.
In 2024, it’ll be Democrats who are playing defense.
The only red seats currently considered as possible pickups are Ted Cruz’ seat in Texas and Rick Scott’s seat in Florida.
Both Cruz and Scott have announced they will run for reelection, so at least for now, the GOP doesn’t have to worry about defending any open seats in swing states.
And Texas and Florida aren’t exactly purple states.
As for Democrats, 2024 got off to a rocky start early, when incumbent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona – who is up for reelection next year – left the party and enrolled as an independent.
Then Democrat Sen. Debbie Stabenow announced she would retire rather than face Michigan voters again on the ballot.
Meanwhile, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Jon Tester of Montana, Jacky Rosen of Nevada, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Tim Kaine of Virginia, and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin are all Ds up for reelection.
And there’s one more – incumbent Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
Manchin has very real reason to worry about winning reelection in the ruby red state of West Virginia.
Donald Trump scored nearly 70% of the state’s vote in both 2016 and 2020.
And Manchin’s popularity in the Mountaineer State has waned in recent years as his independent streak as a supposed “Blue Dog Democrat” has trended more in line with the far-left nature of his party.
And Manchin is facing stiff competition from the Grand Old Party.
Gov. Jim Justice is in the race, and he’s looking good in the polling.
A new survey from Emerson College Polling shows Justice leading Manchin by 13 points.
In the poll, 41% of respondents favored Justice, compared to a mere 28% for Manchin.
According to the survey, Justice also enjoys a plus-14 approval rating in his home state.
Compare that to the Democrat President Joe Biden, who is sitting at a negative 52 approval rating in West Virginia.
WEST VIRGINIA POLL
U.S. Senate Matchups
Jim Justice (R) 41%
Joe Manchin (D) 28%
Someone else 15%
— Emerson College Polling (@EmersonPolling) October 13, 2023
And the bad news doesn’t end there for Manchin.
Justice is facing Rep. Alex Mooney in the GOP Primary.
While Justice is the favorite to come out on top, the more conservative Mooney also fares well against Manchin.
Though Manchin leads Mooney 37%-31% in the Emerson poll, there remains 31% of voters up for grabs.
The incumbent Democrat sitting well under 40% in such a red state is not a good sign for Biden, Schumer, and Manchin.
And Manchin knows his days in the Upper chamber could be numbered.
That could be why he’s released trial balloons about a potential third-party Presidential bid.
Manchin still has not officially announced his 2024 reelection bid but has hinted a decision, one way or the other, will come in December.