The *next* 5 senators who might retire

The surprise impending retirement of Ohio Sen. Rob Portman (R) announced earlier this week and the brief visit by Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy (D) to the hospital on Tuesday night have political Washington on edge, waiting for the next stunner that could alter — in fundamental ways — the balance of power in Washington.

With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of the five senators up in 2022 most likely to call it quits in the coming months. Yes, I know some of the people on this list have said they are planning to run again. Know who else said that? Rob Portman.

These are ranked in the order of retirement likelihood.
1. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa): Grassley, who is 87 years old, has not yet said whether he plans to run for an eighth(!) term. He told CNN’s Manu Raju last Thursday that it would be “several months” before he made up his mind. With Republicans now in the minority, Grassley isn’t a committee chair anymore, which can’t be fun.
    2. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin): During his 2016 campaign, Johnson said he would not seek a third term — although he had hedged on that promise and could still run for Senate, or leave and run for governor in 2022.

    3. Roy Blunt (R-Missouri): Blunt is an establishment Republican in a Trump Republican world. And, at 71, he’s still young enough to have a career outside of elected office (if he wants it) in the lobbying sector. Blunt still hasn’t announced whether he is running again or not — which tells you he is thinking on it.
    4. John Thune (R-South Dakota): On the one hand, Thune is the second-ranking leader among Senate Republicans. On the other, the top leader — Mitch McConnell — just got elected to another six-year term and ex-President Donald Trump is making news about recruiting a primary challenger to Thune. When asked about 2022 last month, Thune seemed downright philosophical.
      5. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont): At 80 and up for a 10th(!!!!) term, Leahy will make every possible retirement list until he makes a formal decision one way or the other — which he says won’t come until the end of this year. If Leahy retires, Republicans would actually have a chance in an open seat if popular Gov. Phil Scott (R) ran.
      The Point: You can bet campaign officials in both parties checked in with every senator on this list following Portman’s shocker. But did they change any minds?




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