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GOP has ‘best map’ in decade, can win Senate, says campaign chief

Montana Sen. Steve Daines (R), the head of the Senate Republicans’ campaign arm, said the Republican Party has its best recent chance to win the Senate majority in 2024.  

“The good news is: We have the best map in a decade,” Daines said this week in remarks before a luncheon meeting of The Ripon Society, a conservative-leaning think tank.  

“It’s a chance for us to pick up the United States Senate. We’re … more than halfway through this cycle and we’re already halfway to the majority. We need two seats to win the majority,” Daines said.  

The Montana Republican laid out nine states where he sees the GOP is positioned to pick up Senate seats — including West Virginia, where Sen. Joe Manchin (D) isn’t seeking reelection

Daines lauded “great recruit” Tim Sheehy in Montana, where the Republican is looking to unseat Sen. Jon Tester (D), and the controversial Kari Lake in Arizona, where it’s still unclear whether incumbent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema will run for reelection as an independent. 

Daines also pointed to the Senate seats in Nevada, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and New Mexico as potential pickup opportunities.

But Daines also cautioned that “you can’t fall in love with this map,” noting that the Republican contenders face “some very strong incumbent Democrat senators who know how to win in red states.”

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), of which Daines is the chair, has said it’s staying neutral in Ohio, where Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown faces several GOP challengers, but Daines said he thinks they’re “all capable” of beating the incumbent.  

The NRSC has focused on candidate quality in its recruitment efforts for 2024, working to play a more assertive role in making sure its candidates win competitive races in the fall. 

“We want to have people who can actually win in general elections and can appeal to that independent middle of the spectrum, which is where elections are won and lost,” Daines said.  

Daines also noted that the NRSC has “cooperation” and “help” working with former President Trump, who is running to return to the White House in 2024. 

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