While Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz are setting themselves up as the chief spokesmen for challenging certification of the Electoral College vote, aligning themselves with President Donald Trump, Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton and Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse are staking out the opposite turf. Other Republicans, like Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott and Vice President Mike Pence, are playing it safe and saying little…

“It very much does look like the opening salvo of a Republican presidential primary campaign, at least a very early litmus test of where potential candidates are on a very important question to Republican voters as we sit here today,” said Lanhee Chen, a top adviser on Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign…

Cotton’s decision could help him make inroads with mainstream Republicans who are repulsed by Trump’s quest to overturn the election. While Cotton has ingratiated himself with the president, he has also been privately courting the party’s set of establishment donors. The Arkansas senator has drawn fundraising support from billionaire investment banker Paul Singer, who opposed Trump’s nomination in 2016.