For some strange reason, Republican Senators in safe seats are declaring that they will not run for re-election in 2022:
To date, five Republicans senators — Blunt, Richard Shelby (Alabama), Richard Burr (North Carolina), Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania) and Rob Portman (Ohio) — have all announced that they will not seek another term next November. It’s not a coincidence that all five are considered remnants of the Republican Party of George W. Bush and have struggled to adjust to the new Trump-led GOP.
“The rash of GOP retirements, likely to avoid Trump madness in the primaries, shows you Trump still isn’t done destroying the party,” tweeted conservative commentator (and CNN contributor) Amanda Carpenter after Blunt’s retirement announcement. “Onwards we go.”
The trend is hard to dispute.
Blunt, prior to Monday morning, was not seen as someone even considering not running again. He had spent a lifetime in politics — including a stint in House leadership — and is a close ally of Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (Kentucky). And with the Republican trend in Missouri, Blunt’s path in a general election in 2020 is probably clearer than in either of his past two Senate bids.
They’re probably being told not to run, but by whom?