With Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) announcing he won't run for re-election in 2022 -- joining four other GOP incumbents who have already announced they will be stepping down -- Republican campaign consultants are worried about more Senate losses after losing control during Donald Trump's last year in office.
In an interview with U.S. News and World Report, one Republican insider looked at some of the potential candidates expected to run for the open nominations and worried they might be unelectable.
In addition to Blunt's seat in Missouri, Republican-held Senate seats in Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Alabama are also opening up meaning the Republican Party will lose the built-in advantage of incumbency, meaning more work and money will have to flow into the races than normal.
Case in point, Missouri, with GOP campaign consultant Rick Tyler stating, "Any time you lose an incumbent, it's bad news. Missouri's not necessarily a safe state for Republicans. Democrats have won there."
"Several Missouri Republicans are expected to seek the nomination to replace Blunt, but none will be more divisive than former Gov. Eric Greitens, who resigned in 2018 amid the fallout of a sex scandal and ethics investigation. Missouri's Republican base has since rallied behind him, believing he was unfairly prosecuted," the report states. "Greitens was considering running for the GOP nomination even before Blunt's announcement. He is expected to announce his candidacy as soon as Tuesday morning."
Steven Law, CEO of the Senate Leadership Fund and an advisor to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell stated he is worried Republicans will repeat the mistakes they made in 2010 when they missed a chance to take control of the Senate.
"We have an opportunity to win back a majority," Law said. "But in 2010, that opportunity was lost on the Senate side because of unelectable candidates who got nominated."
Most vexing to campaign consultants would be a slate of candidates who win primaries by catering to supporters of ex-president Donald Trump.
The report goes on to note that the five GOP senators who have already announced they won't seek re-election may see their ranks swell as Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) is hedging his bets and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has refused to say what his plans are.
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MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, an avid supporter of former President Donald Trump, has repeatedly claimed the 2020 presidential election was rife with fraud.
But the latest place he is looking for fraud is an odd choice: Alabama, a state Trump won by 25 points and where Democrats do not control a single statewide office. Lindell's plans in the state were detailed by Al.com on Friday.
"MyPillow founder and Donald Trump adviser Mike Lindell plans to conduct "tests" on Alabama's voter rolls after purchasing the list, said Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill, who along with Gov. Kay Ivey met with Lindell on Friday," reported Howard Koplowitz. "Lindell, the founder and CEO of MyPillow who is Trump's main attack dog in the former president's battle contending the 2020 presidential election was stolen, is going to comb through the list of Alabama voters to determine whether the state has any ineligible people on it, including deceased residents."
"Lindell, who set up the meeting with Merrill after attending Trump's 'Save America' rally in Cullman in late August, heaped praise on Alabama's election procedures, ranging from the state's voter ID law to how votes are tabulated in the state, according to Merrill," noted the report.
Lindell is currently facing a defamation suit by Dominion Voting Systems after he repeatedly claimed that their voting equipment was illegally switching votes. To this day he has provided no credible evidence of this accusation. In the wake of his controversies, Lindell has lost contracts with retailers to sell his pillows, and even Fox News is refusing to be involved with him, which has led him to denounce the right-leaning television network.
Donald Trump's demands to see the "routers" used by Maricopa County hit a dead end on Friday evening.
"Why won't the RINO Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in Arizona give the routers? What are they trying to hide?" Trump asked in a July 19th statement to reporters.
Trump returned to the issue during a speech in Phoenix a few days later.
Trump speaking of “routers” here is a reference to a MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell conspiracy theory which alleges the… https://t.co/m0EMD15UG3— Zachary Petrizzo (@Zachary Petrizzo) 1627175927.0
But the Cyber Ninjas audit will not receive the routers, KPNX-TV political correspondent Brahm Resnik reported Friday evening.
"Maricopa County Board settles with Senate GOP over subpoena for computer routers. County faced loss of hundreds of millions in revenue after GOP AG Brnovich ruled subpoena was valid," Resnik reported. "enate drops subpoena but won't get routers."
"Maricopa County will eat the $2.8 million it spent to replace ballot-counting machines it said were irreparably damaged by Senate contractors. County had filed notice of claim with senate to obtain payment for machines," he explained. "A 'special master' - former GOP Congressman John Shadegg - appointed to oversee router review w tech experts, to answer Senate GOP questions."
All four Republicans on the board, whom Trump had complained were "RINO" or "Republican in Name Only" voted to approve the settlement.
BREAKING Maricopa County Board settles with Senate GOP over subpoena for computer routers. County faced loss of hun… https://t.co/mofnOYrqEC— Brahm Resnik (@Brahm Resnik) 1631928294.0
Pennsylvania Republicans hit with 53-page lawsuit over 'fishing expedition for clearly partisan purposes'
On Friday, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Pennsylvania state Senate Democrats have filed a lawsuit against the GOP's planned "audit," which will seek to gather information on voters.
"Democrats had said they would sue within days after the Republican-controlled Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee voted Wednesday to issue a subpoena for detailed state election records, including the names of who voted in last year's presidential election, their birth date, address, driver's license number, and the last four digits of their Social Security number," said the report. "The 53-page lawsuit, filed by all 21 Senate Democrats, contends that the Senate Republican bid to investigate the election illegally treads on the court's duties, violates state law over election audits and seeks information that is barred from public disclosure."
"The unprecedented maneuver of collecting the sensitive personal information of millions of voters without their consent, including Social Security information and driver's license, for political purposes is unjustifiable and a gross misuse of taxpayer resources," said Senate Democrats in a statement. "The fact that they will not share how that personal information will be stored, used or who will have access to it is astonishing."
Democrats used harsh language to describe what they see as motivating the subpoena.
"Simply put, Senate Republicans seek to go on a fishing expedition for clearly partisan purposes, despite the fact that the Secretary of the Commonwealth, working in concert with the county Boards of Election, has undertaken a thorough review of the election, as has the bipartisan Senate Special Committee on Election Integrity and Reform," they charged.
The move comes as Arizona Republicans wrap up their controversial partisan "audit," which drew national scrutiny as the pro-Trump Florida-based "Cyber Ninjas" company conducting the checks pursued conspiracy theories like hunting for bamboo fibers in ballots to prove they were Asian forgeries.
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