Could be a LOT……
That might give Democrats the hope that could actually hold and enlarge their hair thin majority in that legislative chamber….
Republicans want to know who’s in and who’s out as soon as possible….
Republicans need to flip just one seat next year to win back the Senate majority. But retirements are already complicating their path back to power.
Two of the three toughest GOP defensive states on the 2022 Senate map, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, are already open seats, with GOP Sens. Pat Toomey and Richard Burr not planning to run again. That leaves Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson as the most vulnerable Republican up for reelection, but Johnson hasn’t even decided to run for a third term after previously pledging to serve just two. And he said Tuesday he’s in no hurry to decide.
“There are some that want me to run, some that don’t,” Johnson said of Republican entreaties to recruit him to run for a third term. “From my standpoint, I don’t feel under pressure that I have to decide really quick.”
The effort to retain Republicans who have won races in tough states came into focus on Monday when Sen. Rob Portman surprised Republicans by announcing he won’t seek a third term in Ohio. Republicans will still be favored in the Buckeye State but will now have to contend with a primary that already looks crowded, with a laundry list of Republicans considering or already taking steps towards running.
And there’s already concern that more could join him in running to the exits as the GOP prepares to serve in the minority for the first time since 2013. Next year’s Senate map has enough swing states that Republicans could retake the majority — but they could just as easily lose more seats.
So senior Republicans hope if anyone else is planning to bow out, they announce it soon — like Portman did this year, and not like former Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe did in 2012 when she retired two weeks before the filing deadline….
“After the riot and four years of Trump, what GOP senator up in 2022 hasn’t thought about leaving?”