With each passing day we see more evidence, from ugly scandals to even uglier poll numbers, that Donald Trump and his Republican Party could be in for a rough go of it in the 2020 election. It’s not a coincidence, then, that with each passing day we’re seeing more Republicans in Congress officially giving up on 2020 altogether.
Republican Senator Johnny Isakson announced today that he’s resigning at the end of 2019. This is a big deal for three reasons. First, he had just won reelection in 2016, and he wasn’t going to be up for reelection until 2022. So he’s bailing early. Second, even though we’ve seen numerous House Republicans announce their retirements of late, Isakson’s departure suggests that this trend may well extend to Senate Republicans as well. Third, this means that both Senate seats in Georgia will be up for grabs next year.
If you’re wondering, Democratic Party rising star Stacey Abrams has already quickly confirmed on Twitter that she’s not planning to run for either seat. Instead she’s going to remain focused on helping the nation overcome GOP voter suppression tactics. But if the Democrats can find two worthy candidates in Georgia, there’s a good chance they can pick up one or both seats in the state – particularly with Trump continuing to drag the GOP down and making traditionally red seats potentially available to the Democrats.
Johnny Isakson’s resignation tweet implies that he’s dealing with health issues. But when politicians need an excuse to resign, they nearly always cite health issues and/or a desire to spend more time with their family. Many of the congressional Republicans who are retiring or resigning have invoked similar verbiage. But the sheer number of them heading for the exit door is a clear sign that they worry their party can’t win in 2020, and they don’t want to get caught up in the seemingly inevitable Trump impeachment proceedings that will precede the election.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report