Republicans nonetheless smarting from their disappointing midterm efficiency are dealing with a number of challenges of their bid to take again the Senate in 2024 regardless of a good map.
The occasion solely must defend 11 seats, whereas Democrats have to defend 23, a few of that are in crimson states.
However challenges nonetheless loom for Republicans, who have been broadly anticipated to carry out properly up and down the poll in 2022.
Listed here are 5 hurdles the occasion faces in its bid flip the higher chamber.
GOP skepticism of mail-in voting
For years Democrats have championed early and mail-in voting in an effort to spice up their base’s turnout in elections. Republicans, alternatively, have relied on in-person Election Day turnout.
That reliance will be attributed, partially, to former President Trump stoking skepticism about mail-in voting in 2020. Trump continued to rail in opposition to mail-in voting after final month’s midterms, writing on Fact Social that “you’ll be able to by no means have honest & free elections with mail-in ballots.”
Now, Republican leaders are calling on their voters to embrace early and mail-in voting to spice up turnout in 2024 and past.
“If you happen to wait till Election Day, you’re beginning a race the place you’re 30 yards behind,” Home Minority Chief Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) advised Fox Information earlier this month.
Republican Nationwide Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel echoed this sentiment in an interview on Fox Information earlier this month.
“Our voters have to vote early. There have been many in 2020 saying don’t vote by mail, don’t vote early, and now we have to cease that, and perceive that if Democrats are getting ballots in for a month, we will’t anticipate to get all of it executed in at some point,” she mentioned.
However it is going to in the end be as much as the occasion’s voters, who seem to have largely listened to Trump’s message. In response to a examine from Pew Analysis performed final yr, 62 % of Republicans mentioned voters ought to solely be allowed to vote early or absentee if they’ve a documented motive.
November’s midterm elections demonstrated how Trump was a drag on the GOP’s possibilities this cycle, with a variety of his endorsed candidates dropping election bids up and down the poll.
Trump intervened in a number of Republican Senate primaries, together with in Georgia and Pennsylvania, which his critics say performed a task in additional electable normal election candidates dropping their primaries.
In response to a Harvard CAPS-Harris Ballot survey launched after the election, 20 % of voters named Trump because the clear loser after the midterms, whereas 14 % mentioned the identical about “MAGA Republicans,” a reference to Trump’s “Make America Nice Once more” slogan.
And Trump has been grappling with a slew of unfavorable headlines since asserting his third presidential bid for 2024. The previous president confronted backlash after assembly with the rapper Ye, previously referred to as Kanye West, and white nationalist chief Nick Fuentes at Trump’s residence in Palm Seashore, Fla. On high of that, he drew criticism from inside and out of doors of the GOP for saying earlier this month that he needed to terminate components of the Structure.
Whereas Republicans sought to make rising inflation, crime and the movement of migrants over the southern border high marketing campaign points this cycle, abortion entry within the wake of the Supreme Courtroom’s overturning of Roe v. Wade was a galvanizing issue for Democrats.
Twenty-seven % of voters mentioned that abortion was an important concern in deciding their vote, solely behind inflation at 31 %, based on exit polling.
The difficulty can also be thought to have turned the tide in pivotal Senate races, together with Pennsylvania, the place Democratic Sen.-elect John Fetterman campaigned on it, notably in Philadelphia’s suburbs.
Over the weekend, McDaniel attributed a few of GOP candidates’ losses to ignoring the difficulty.
“It was most likely an even bigger issue than lots of people thought,” McDaniel advised host John Catsimatidis on “Cats Roundtable.” “We’ve received to get conversant on that.”
In 2022, Democrats continued to outperform Republicans with Black voters, which helped the occasion win key races.
Georgia was one of many strongest examples of this dynamic, the place Republicans hoped Senate candidate Herschel Walker, who’s Black, would increase the occasion’s standing with the state’s voters. Nevertheless, a CNN ballot printed days earlier than Georgia’s Senate runoff discovered that 96 % of Black voters within the state mentioned they might forged their poll for incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, whereas solely 3 % mentioned they might forged theirs for Walker.
Nationwide exit polling additionally confirmed Black voters overwhelmingly supporting Democrats. Nevertheless, in a possible vivid spot for Republicans forward of 2024, Black voters did shift barely to the proper from the 2018 midterms by 4 factors.
Democrats additionally largely benefited from the participation of voters belonging to Era Z in 2022, presenting one other problem for Republicans going into 2024.
The truth is, Gen Z voters could also be largely liable for thwarting the crimson wave. In Pennsylvania, Fetterman received the Gen Z contingent by 46 factors. In the meantime, in Georgia’s Senate runoff, voters below 30 forged 156,000 early votes within the runoff. Greater than 90,000 Gen Z voters forged their ballots early or absentee within the race.
Gen Z’s giant turnout within the midterms presents a future downside for Republicans, with the voting bloc saying they favor Democratic stances on points like gun management and abortion entry.