Electing Women Bay Area hosts women candidates for President, US Senate, Governor, and competitive US House races in California.
The 2024 cycle will be the “Year of the Woman (Senate Incumbent)” with a majority of Democratic women in the Senate up for re-election this cycle. We are pleased to be supporting seven women incumbents for US Senate, as well as women running in the upcoming competitive Democratic primaries in California and Michigan.
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (WI) will face one of the toughest races this cycle, in a state where Sen. Ron Johnson (R) was narrowly re-elected in 2022. Baldwin, the first openly gay senator in the U.S, is known for her work on the Affordable Care Act and Respect for Marriage Act. Altough she has won her last two races by wider-than-expected margins for a swing state — close to 6 points in 2012 and by more than 10 points in 2018 – Wisconsin remains the closest purple state in the nation.
Sen. Maria Cantwell’s (WA) race is currently rated as Solid-D by Cook Political Report, but that may change as we see what challengers (particularly any self-funders) enter the race. In 2022, Sen. Patty Murray was re-elected by a closer margin than expected, so we’ll be keeping an eye on Washington to see how this race develops.
While many consider New York a safe Democratic Senate seat, Republicans had a strong showing in the state in 2022 and former Rep. Lee Zeldin, the Republican gubernatorial candidate in 2022, has indicated he may run for Senate. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) also has to worry about a primary from the left and she noted at our EWA Convening, there is no lack of “New Yorkers with ambition.” This is why we plan to support her early in 2023 – early money helps fend off both primary challengers and strong general election candidates.
We expect Sen. Mazie Hirono’s (HI) race to be one of the safer races this cycle, but she’ll still need our support to get her message out to constituents in a state with a unique media market.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (MN) is one of four female incumbents up for re-election in a battleground state. Minnesota was the closest state won by President Biden in 2020 and Republicans have long targeted the state. While Sen. Klobuchar famously runs ahead of other Democrats in Minnesota, elections are always close in this purple state.
Given the incredibly close margin of the 2022 Nevada Senate race, Sen. Jacky Rosen (NV) is one of the most vulnerable incumbent Senate Democrats. This is another race where early money is key; we can help scare off top tier challengers and the quality of her Republican opponent could make all the difference.
We expect Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA) to have a relatively safe race, as she won re-election in 2018 with 60.8% of the vote. However, it’s possible she could face a primary challenge from a more moderate Democrat, as we saw in 2020 when Sen. Ed Markey fended off a primary challenge from Rep. Joe Kennedy III.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (MI) unexpectedly announced in early January 2023 that she would not seek re-election in 2024. This puts a critical seat in a battleground state up for grabs, in both the Democratic primary and the general election. Michigan has a deep bench of qualified women to be the second and third. Reps. Elissa Slotkin, Haley Stevens, Debbie Dingell are considering bids and Attorney General Dana Nessel, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, and State Sen. Mallory McMorrow have also been mentioned as possible candidates. (Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Sec. of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, a new Michigander, have both ruled out runs.)
Meanwhile in California, Rep. Katie Porter became the first candidate to announce a formal run for Senate in California in 2024, kicking off what is certain to be a lively and competitive contest. Rep. Adam Schiff, known for his role in the first Trump impeachment trial, recently jumped in as well. We expect that other women, including Rep. Barbara Lee, will also enter this Senate primary. As is our custom, EWBA plans to support Rep. Porter, Rep. Lee, and any other qualified, credible women who run while providing information and guidance about the candidates and the dynamics of the race. In addition to Rep. Lee, Bay Area Rep. Ro Khanna is a potential candidate as well. California has a top-two primary and our current goal is to elevate two women to the general.
While 2022 was a major cycle for gubernatorial races, with historic wins for women, we expect less action on the gubernatorial front this cycle for women. Stay tuned for updates as we see what women emerge in competitive gubernatorial races this cycle.