Apr 12, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Sen. Tammy Baldwin is latest swing state Dem seeking reelection

Sen. Tammy Baldwin, wearing a black suit over a black shirt, speaks at a microphone in the Rayburn Room of the Capitol.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) on Wednesday announced she’s running for reelection in 2024.

Why it matters: The two-term senator's decision means Senate Democrats will maintain the advantages of incumbency in one of the many swing states where they are playing defense this cycle.

  • Republicans, by contrast, are trying to hold onto just two states that didn't vote for former President Trump by double digits in 2020.

Driving the news: In a statement on Wednesday morning, Baldwin said, "With so much at stake, from families struggling with rising costs to a ban on reproductive freedom, Wisconsinites need someone who can fight and win."

  • It's a signal that abortion, which has been a boon to Democratic campaigns since Roe v. Wade was overturned, will be a signature focus of her campaign.

The backdrop: The first openly gay senator, Baldwin was first elected in 2012, defeating former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson by more than 5 percentage points.

The other side: Baldwin is a "reliable vote for the far left, not a senator Wisconsin can count on," said National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesperson Tate Mitchell in a statement.

The big picture: Baldwin is the latest in a string of Democratic senators running for reelection in purple or deep red states.

  • Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), both of whom represent states that went for Trump by substantial margins in 2020, have announced reelection bids.
  • So has Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), with Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) announcing his run for a fourth term on Monday.
  • Just one swing state senator, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), has said they're retiring this cycle.

What we're watching: All eyes are on Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), whose state went for Trump by nearly 40 points in 2020.

  • The two-term senator, who won reelection by just three percentage points in 2018, could face a strong challenge from West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice. He's signaled an announcement could be a long way off.
  • Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) has also been characteristically circumspect about her 2024 intentions, though Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) is already running for her seat.
Go deeper