According to a Politico profile on Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Republican lawmakers' chances of reclaiming control of the Senate and handing the gavel back to now-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) may hinge on whether the longtime Iowa Republican decides to pull the plug on his long career before the 2022 midterm election.
While the senior senator remains popular in his state, the report notes that he would be 95 at the end of what would be his 8th term and he has said he won't announce his intentions until the fall.
That has some Republicans concerned.
According to Politico's Burgess Everett, "If Grassley does seek reelection, Republicans and many Democrats concede the seat is essentially safe. If he doesn't, the GOP's road to the majority gets that much harder," with Everett adding, "And after five GOP retirements this cycle, Grassley is under pressure to save his party from defending yet another open seat as it labors to retake the majority."
According to Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-SD), the party hopes Grassley sticks around.
"He's getting a lot of encouragement. He is the best path we have to keep the seat in Republican hands and take it off the map," Thune admitted.
As for voters, many in Iowa admit they would like to see him retire while at the same time stating they would vote for him once again should he make another run.
According to longtime supporter Ardie Kuhse, "The general feeling of probably the public, on maybe both sides, is that he should retire. That age will be a factor down the road," before admitting that he still has her vote.
Winneshiek County GOP official Thomas Hansen concurred, saying Grassley is still "held in very high esteem ... But to be honest with you, what I have been hearing is, it's time to let new blood into his seat."
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