Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, of Iwoa, said last month that he hasn’t made up his mind about whether to run for an 8th term in 2022. But according to a new Des Moines Register poll, Iowa voters have made the decision for him: It’s time for him to retire.
The poll that showed 55% of Iowans want Grassley to end his political career next year as compared to just 28% who said they would like to see him run for another term.
Most remarkable — and concerning for Grassley — is that more than 1 in 3 self-identified Republicans (35%) say they think the time has come for him to retire.
At 87, Grassley is the second-oldest member of the chamber — only California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein is older — and if he did run and win an 8th term, Grassley would be 95 by the time it ended.
“What you have in these numbers are Republicans caught between their desire to hold the seat, which Grassley almost certainly gives Republicans their best chance to do, and the belief that running for reelection in 2022 at age 89 is a bridge too far — regardless of party,” J. Ann Selzer, who conducted the poll, told the Des Moines Register.
Grassley has said of late that he won’t make his mind up about running again until sometime this fall. But these poll numbers have to give him some pause about that decision — even if asking about whether he should retire is not at all the same thing as polling that shows him badly trailing possible Democratic opponents.
If Grassley does call it quits, he would be the sixth Republican senator (at least) to do so — following other longtime establishment stalwarts, such as Sens. Rob Portman of Ohio and Roy Bunt of Missouri, to the exits.