Chuck Grassley, the most senior Republican in the U.S. Senate, tweeted early Friday that he would seek reelection in 2022.
It’s 4 a.m. in Iowa so I’m running. I do that 6 days a week. Before I start the day I want you to know what Barbara and I have decided.— Grassley Works (@GrassleyWorks) September 24, 2021
I’m running for re-election—a lot more to do, for Iowa. We ask and will work for your support. Will you join us? #GrassleyRuns #GrassleyWorks pic.twitter.com/cwv8yu9wkx
According to the Des Moines Register, "His decision is a victory for national Republicans who have made it clear they wanted Grassley — who has repeatedly been reelected by double-digit margins — to run for an eighth term. A Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll released this week showed him leading Democratic challenger Abby Finkenauer by 18 percentage points, 55% to 37%, in an early test of the race."
Grassley won by nearly 25% over Democrat Patty Judge in 2016.
2022 Senate Elections
34 Senate seats are up for election in the 2022 midterms, including 20 Republicans and 14 Democrats. With the chamber evenly split at 50-50, the GOP needs a gain of one seat to take control. The party's best prospects are in four battleground states with first-term Democratic incumbents: Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and New Hampshire. All those are currently rated Leans Democratic.
Of course, flipping one of these seats doesn't get the job done for the GOP if they lose one under their control. While Grassley's decision shores up Iowa, there are other seats at risk for the party, particularly in states where the incumbent is not running.
Five Republicans have announced their retirements, including Richard Shelby (Alabama), Roy Blunt (Missouri), Richard Burr (North Carolina), Rob Portman (Ohio) and Patrick Toomey (Pennsylvania). All but Alabama are on the competitive radar, with North Carolina and Pennsylvania currently seen as toss-ups. Republicans are favored in Missouri and Ohio, although that could evolve depending on who the party nominates.
Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Ron Johnson (Wisconsin) have not made their 2022 plans known as of yet.