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Will He or Won't He? Mitt Romney Considering Whether to Run for Reelection in 2024

Senate Television via AP

The 2024 elections are not only newsworthy for a presidential election that may see former President Donald Trump take office again, but due to a Senate map that is particularly tricky for Democrats. One vulnerable incumbent, Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), isn't sure if he'll run again. It's not just Democrats, though, as it turns out. On Tuesday, POLITICO's Burgess Everett highlighted how Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) is weighing his options when it comes to running for a second Senate term.


As Everett mentions in his piece, Romney has had no problem feuding with Trump. He's gone against his party, and Trump, in another way, by refusing to endorse Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) for reelection against Evan McMullin, who was running as an independent, claiming both candidates were his friends. Lee ultimately lately won last month by a little more than 10 percentage points. 

Romney believes he could win, saying it's "frankly, not a question in my mind." Still, whether he'll run is not a foregone conclusion, even if he thinks winning would be. "So I’m convinced that if I run, I win. But that’s a decision I’ll make," Everett quotes him as saying, also noting that Romney is preparing to run again, and making the necessary steps such as "making sure I have the right people." Romney did nevertheless say "but I haven’t made a decision, finally. And probably won’t do that anytime in the immediate future."



Romney continues to have solid support among Democrats in Utah.

The poll found 72.4% of Utahns who identified as Democrats want him to run again. More than 65% of voters who identified as "very liberal" or "somewhat liberal" say Romney should seek reelection as do more than 62% of "moderate" Utahns, according to the survey.

While Romney may have support from Democrats in the heavily Republican state, that won't exactly help him in the Republican primary, given that Utah is a closed primary state.

The poll was conducted November 18-23 with 802 registered Utah voters and a margin of error of plus or minus 3.46 percentage points.

Figures who certainly do want Romney to run, though, appear to be Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Steve Daines (R-MT), the incoming chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC). As Everett adds:

And McConnell is willing to put money behind it.

McConnell already demonstrated he’s willing to defend an anti-Trump Republican against an intraparty challenge, spending millions of dollars this year through his aligned super PAC to reelect Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). McConnell said in an interview that he’s “absolutely” willing to do the same for Romney, and is pushing his colleague for another bid.

“He’s been a really important part of our conference. People respect his intelligence, his assessment of the era we find ourselves in. And I think his running for reelection would be very important,” McConnell said. “It’s important for the Republican Party and the country that he runs again.”


Incoming National Republican Senatorial Committee Chair Steve Daines (R-Mont.) also backed another Romney run and is planning to meet with him soon to discuss his plans. Still, should he run, Romney can’t expect unified backing from the Senate Republican conference.


Backing from McConnell is a potentially cautious step for the Republican Party. He's meddled in Republican primaries before, to support the candidate more so considered a RINO. McConnell has particularly come under fire for making it such a priority, as he did in Alaska, so as to reelect Sen. Lisa Murkowski there, especially when such resources and effort could have been spent in better ways. 

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