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The Road to a Republican Senate

The Road to a Republican Senate

Republican chances of winning control of the U.S. Senate improved Wednesday when a Washington Post poll showed Larry Hogan (R., Md.) trouncing his potential Democratic opponents by double digits. The popular former governor, known for his independence and common sense, has been supporting Israel as his Democratic rivals squabble for left-wing votes. Though Hogan remains the underdog to replace retiring Sen. Ben Cardin (D.), his successful record and unique profile will force Democrats to play defense in a blue state that they normally would be expected to win without breaking a sweat.

The Democrats have reason to be nervous. The 2024 Senate map endangers their 51-seat majority like no other recent election. Democrats hold most of the contested seats this year, including in states that Donald Trump won twice. They also hold all three seats that the Cook Political Report with Amy Walter rates as toss-ups. The most at-risk Republicans are Sens. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) and Rick Scott (R., Fla.)—and their seats are both considered “likely” holds in red states.

The geography of this Senate cycle has always favored Republicans. But recently the number of potential GOP gains has increased, thanks to President Biden’s dismal job approval and to candidates such as Hogan. The decline in split-ticket voting, with…

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