The Democrats have a tenuous grip on power in the United States Senate.
And their majority is at risk.
Now Chuck Schumer faced one resignation that could change his life forever.
Missouri Republican Senator Roy Blunt announced in a video posted to social media that he would not seek a third term in 2022.
“In every job Missourians have allowed me to have, I’ve tried to do my best,” Blunt stated. “In almost 12,000 votes in the Congress, I’m sure I wasn’t right every time, but you really make that decision based on the information you have at the time.”
Blunt noted his undefeated record in Missouri elections, but said he would not run again for re-election.
“After 14 General Election victories — three to county office, seven to the United States House of Representatives, and four statewide elections — I won’t be a candidate for reelection to the United States Senate next year,” Blunt added.
Blunt is the fifth Republican senator to announce they would not seek re-election next November.
Alabama’s Richard Shelby, North Carolina’s Richard Burr, Ohio’s Rob Portman and Pennsylvania’s Pat Toomey also announced they would not seek re-election.
These resignations change the calculus for both Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
All five of these states are trending Republican so having an open seat race in a midterm election where a Democrat is president might be the ideal environment for the GOP to face this many resignations.
Historically the party out of power gains seats in a midterm election, so Republicans would enter all five races with strong chances to win these races.
But Chuck Schumer is counting on expensive and bloody primaries between Mitch McConnell-backed RINOs and America First conservatives endorsed by Donald Trump to fracture the party beyond repair and hand Democrats a leg up in the general election.
Burr, Toomey, Portman, Blunt, and Shelby are all establishment-aligned Republicans that do not care for Donald Trump.
McConnell will back similar ideologically aligned candidates in primaries whereas Donald Trump and his supporters will judge these five states as prime opportunities to elect “Make America Great Again” loyalists to the Senate and further reshape the Republican Party in Trump’s image as a working class and nationalist conservative party.
If the Republican Party is able to unite around Senate candidates that are broadly acceptable across the party spectrum and support Donald Trump, then the GOP stands a strong chance of winning back the Senate given the history of how out-of-power parties perform in midterm elections.
But if Mitch McConnell tries to stage a “my way or the highway” power play in Republican primaries it could alienate the base and create a path for Democrats to cling to power.
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