Democratic Sen. Bob Casey braces for 'toughest' re-election battle yet in Pennsylvania

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PHILADELPHIA — Democrats are facing a tough set of Senate races in 2024. From his perch in perhaps the nation’s most important swing state in recent years, Sen. Bob Casey argues his contest is a must-watch.

“It’ll be a close, tough race,” Casey told NBC News during a day shadowing him recently on the campaign trail. “But look, there’s a lot on the line every time. Every time I’ve run for public office in Pennsylvania, I’ve had to earn the vote and the trust of the people. And I got to do that, again.”

Pennsylvania dominated the political world in 2022 with the marquee Senate race between Republican physician Mehmet Oz and Democrat John Fetterman, who won. Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro’s race got national attention, too. And former President Donald Trump’s fortunes rose in Pennsylvania in 2016, and then fell in 2020.

This time around, Casey’s race could decide control of the Senate, while a Trump rematch with President Joe Biden could decide who controls the Oval Office. And the issues voters most care about here — economic concerns, election integrity and abortion access, as well as Biden’s performance as president — reflect the list of national priorities, making the state a microcosm of the national landscape.