Senate Republicans, with a few exceptions, are hoping that former President Trump does not announce his intention to run again for president.
These GOP senators definitely don’t want to see Trump announce a bid before the 2022 midterm elections, fearing that could sink their hopes of winning back the Senate.
More broadly, they’re generally reluctant to see him on the ballot in 2024 at all because of his track record with independent and swing voters.
Several Republican senators, who requested anonymity to discuss Trump frankly, said they don’t want to see Trump return as the party’s standard bearer.
“I think we’re better off when he’s not part of any story,” said a Republican senator, who said his view is widely shared in the GOP conference.
“He’s a clinical narcissist. He threw away the election in the debate with Biden and he threw away the Senate out of spite,” the lawmaker added, referring to Trump’s first against Biden, which many Republican senators viewed as a disaster, and his influence on Republican voter turnout in the Georgia special election.
One thing is crystal clear: Most GOP senators think Trump announcing a bid before the midterms would hurt them.
“The 2022 election ought to be about the Biden administration and its rolling disasters so anything that would detract from the public being focused on what Democratic governance is doing to this country would be ill-advised,” said Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), a Trump ally, when asked about the possibility Trump could announce his campaign in the next year.
Johnson, a top Democratic target next year, hasn’t decided whether to run for reelection, but expects Democrats to make the Wisconsin Senate race all about Trump.