Sen. Rob Portman cited partisan gridlock in his decision not to run for reelection, which leaves 3 Republican-controlled Senate seats open in 2022.
Video clip of Portman’s announcement:
Rob Portman announces he won’t run for reelection in 2022 which makes 3 Republican-held Senate seats that will be open. pic.twitter.com/mqkFoGj4ap
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) January 25, 2021
Sen. Portman said:
I don’t think any Senate office has been more successful in getting things done, but honestly, it has gotten harder and harder to break through the partisan gridlock and make progress on substantive policy, and that has contributed to my decision.
We live in an increasingly polarized country where members of both parties are being pushed further to the right and further to the left, and that means too few people who are actively looking to find common ground. This is not a new phenomenon, of course, but a problem that has gotten worse over the past few decades. This is a tough time to be in public service.
The conventional Beltway wisdom has been that Democrats may only have control of the Senate for two years, but the map in 2022 is not looking good for Republican pickups. Outside of Sen. Warnock in Georgia, there are scant few Republican opportunities to pick up seats, and it is very possible that Sen. Pat Toomey’s seat in Pennsylvania flips to Democrats.
Republicans were already defending more Senate seats than Democrats in 2022, and now they will also have to run the table and keep three open seats to even have a chance of winning back the majority.
Depending on how the early Biden presidency goes, Portman might not be the last Republican incumbent Senator to head for the exits.
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Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association