Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News
Maryland Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin’s retirement has some in the highest ranks of the Republican Party talking about a shift in the power dynamics of the U.S. Senate.
Monday, Cardin, 79, announced that he would not seek reelection in 2024, a decision that is likely to result in a cattle call of Democrats looking to replace him and a golden opportunity for Republicans to pick up a seat in their quest to retake the upper chamber of Congress.
“Democrats are quickly realizing that the Senate won’t be any fun for them when Republicans retake the majority in 2024,” National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) spokesperson Tate Mitchell said in a statement.
On Twitter, the NRSC celebrated the news with a single sentence, “Another Senate Democrat hangs it up!”
Another Senate Democrat hangs it up! https://t.co/5yxUiWCALa
— Senate Republicans (@NRSC) May 1, 2023
Democrats currently enjoy a 51-49 advantage over Republicans, if one assumes all three Senate independents continue to caucus and vote with the left.
That advantage can fluctuate given the propensity of Democratic Senators Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Jon Tester (Mont.) as well as independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) to occasionally drift to the right on certain issues.
Conservatives, though, hope to use 2024 to end the era of depending on the moderate leanings of people from across the aisle.
The victory celebration won’t come easy. Maryland is a traditionally blue state, and the Republican who most recently experienced the most prominent success in the state was former Gov. Larry Hogan, a moderate who often drew criticism from the farther right elements of his own party.
Still, where there is a void, there is an opportunity, and Republicans are looking for a strong candidate who would stand a chance in Maryland. In an Axios article, the only name floated on the right was that of Hogan, who has already stated he will not run.
Cardin’s announcement is the latest in a series of Democratic retirements in recent weeks. Longtime Californian Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein has announced she is stepping away from public office and, more recently, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee also announced he would not seek another term.
Feinstein and Inslee’s departures do not, truly, represent much of an issue for the left. If Republicans’ odds in Maryland are long, they are win-the-Powerball-jackpot-like in leftist hotbeds like California and Washington.
While Republicans will no doubt still put up a fight on the West Coast, for now, they are sharpening their sights on a pair of substantially more vulnerable Senate Democrats — Tester and Manchin.
A look at the NRSC and Mitchell’s Twitter account reveals a tendency for anti-Tester and Manchin messaging.
“Jon Tester may be the only person in Montana who thinks the federal government’s reckless spending is sustainable,” a representative tweet from the NRSC reads.
Jon Tester may be the only person in Montana who thinks the federal government’s reckless spending is sustainable. #MTSEN https://t.co/Iqv0MnLUJk
— Senate Republicans (@NRSC) May 2, 2023
Mitchell similarly went after Manchin, who Fox News recently reported had spent more than $50,000 of donor money on travel and dining.