Sen. Tammy Baldwin is latest swing state Dem seeking reelection
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.
- She won reelection in 2018 by 11 percentage points, making her one of the strongest performing candidates that cycle.
- Last year she championed the Respect for Marriage Act, a bill to codify protections for same-sex and interracial marriage, which was signed into law.
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.
- Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wisc.), who chairs the House's China select committee and has ruled out supporting Trump for president in 2024, is seen as a top potential recruit for Republicans.
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.