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Tipsheet

Will Dave McCormick Have a Better Chance in 2024?

AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

It's undeniable that the 2022 cycle was a disappointing one for Republicans, especially in the Senate. Democrats actually grew their majority, with retiring Sen. Pat Toomey's (R-PA) seat being filled by Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA). Candidate quality has come up as a reason for the disappointment, including and especially in Pennsylvania, where Fetterman--for all of his many faults, liabilities, and concerns--defeated Republican candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz. When it comes to the 2024 cycle, though, which looks to be much more favorable map for Republicans, a familiar face may be running again.

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No, we're not talking about Dr. Oz. The man who narrowly came in second place in the Pennsylvania primary, though, Dave McCormick, has made news for his potential run. After McCormick called for a recount in the primary, he conceded after it was revealed that Oz won with 31.2 percent to McCormick's 31.1 percent. 

As Julia Manchester covered on Thursday morning for The Hill, it's "Republicans across the party’s spectrum" who want McCormick to run, and "are painting McCormick as a consensus builder who can attract moderate and swing voters while keeping the more conservative factions of the party under his wing."

She also writes:

“Whereas there was a lot of division and thought of who should be the Senate and governor candidate in 2022, in 2024 every corner of geography and ideological persuasion in the Republican Party universally believe they’ve got to encourage Dave McCormick to run,” said John Brabender, a veteran GOP consultant with experience in Pennsylvania politics.  

...

Strategists say that McCormick’s recent Senate bid along with his public profile are the key ingredients to a ready-made 2024 campaign.  

“He’s tested now. Running statewide for the first time is tough,” Brabender said. “Dave starts with a campaign that could start immediately and that is a big advantage.”  

McCormick’s supporters also say that he is the makings of a political candidate who anyone would think is an attractive contender in the state, pointing to his military background and western Pennsylvania roots that would provide a contrast to Casey, who hails from the northeastern part of the state. 

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McCormick, should he run and become the nominee this time, would go up against Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D-PA), who steadfastly defended Fetterman's poor debate performance. Casey was recently in the news over his prostate cancer diagnosis, though he's said he has an "excellent prognosis."

When it comes to that 2024 map, the Pennsylvania race has been included in Max Greenwood's piece, also for The Hill, of the eight Senate seats most likely to flip. All favor Republicans. Manchester's coverage, however, focuses on how Casey may be a tough incumbent to beat, and mentions that the Cook Political Report's most recent rankings consider the race to be "Lean Democratic."

McCormick has not declared yet, nor has Casey formally announced he is running for reelection, which his focus being on his health. McCormick is heavily promoting his new book, though, "Superpower in Peril: A Battle Plan to Renew America," and has made appearances at political events, as Manchester and McCormick's Twitter feed reveal. 

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