Senate Republicans are focused on Georgia, where, in a second runoff, Sen. David Perdue is trying to hold off Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff. If the Democrats are victorious in both runoffs, they will win the Senate by virtue of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’s tie-breaking vote. Once complete, the GOP will turn its attention to a 2022 Senate map that will feature contests for GOP-held seats in Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
In Florida, Rubio is running for reelection, Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio is likely to do the same, a boost for Republicans in each race. Unknown is what Sen. Ron Johnson plans to do in Wisconsin and what Sen. Chuck Grassley, 87, plans to do in Iowa. If he seeks an eighth term, that race is over. In North Carolina and Pennsylvania, Republicans are defending open seats.
With Biden in office, Republican insiders are confident of holding the Senate majority or winning it back if Loeffler and Perdue fall in Georgia. At the outset of the 2022 election cycle, the wild card in their projections is Trump. Some party operatives worry Trump will be ubiquitous on the national scene, elevating Biden’s image and generating headwinds for Republicans where there should be tail winds.
“If he’s in the news, that’s good for Democrats,” a Republican strategist said.