This week three Republican Senators publicly began trying to march Donald Trump toward the door, for a grand total of just three Republican voices. Two guys who aren’t running for reelection, and one guy who says he’s probably terminally ill, are bravely taking on Trump while the other forty-nine Republican Senators aren’t saying much of anything. But that could soon change, because certain GOP Senators are in a much better position to speak out than others.
Let’s start with the unspoken but obvious: these aren’t the only Republican Senators who aren’t seeking reelection. They’re just the three we know about. Bob Corker and Jeff Flake are up for reelection a year from now, so they have a duty to inform their party now that they’re not running, so the party will have time to find potential replacements. Various other Republican Senators aren’t up for reelection until 2020 or 2022, and even if they’re leaning toward not running again, there’s no need for them to say so.
The 2022 crew in particular are in a position to take shots at Trump now, and then gamble that he’ll be long gone by the time they’re finally running again, meaning he won’t be able to screw with them during the primaries. So which Republican Senators are up for reelection in 2022? Let’s start with the full list: Lisa Murkowski, John Boozman, Marco Rubio, Johnny Isakson, Mike Crapo, Todd Young, John McCain, Chuck Grassley, Jerry Moran, Rand Paul, John Kennedy, Roy Blunt, Richard Burr, John Hoeven, Rob Portman, James Lankford, Pat Toomey, Tim Scott, John Thune, Mike Lee, and Ron Johnson. Now let’s narrow it down.
We already know where John McCain Stands. Lisa Murkowski has already taken multiple stands against Trump. Chuck Grassley is unlikely to seek reelection based on his age, and could go in any direction when it comes to Trump. Ron Johnson has already announced he’s not running again and has nothing to lose. Rand Paul despises Trump. Marco Rubio will likely be urged to run for President again in 2020, and his best shot at setting that up would be to attack Trump now.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report