Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, the only Senator in history to vote to convict a president of his own party during an impeachment trial, said recently that he is not sure if he will seek reelection to the upper chamber in 2024, possibly sharing the ballot with former President Donald Trump if he runs for president again.
“I’m going to cross that bridge down the road,” Romney told The Hill after voting to confirm liberal Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court. “I haven’t given a lot of attention yet.”
Romney, 75, who ran as the GOP nominee in 2012 against incumbent President Barack Obama, and was elected to the Senate in 2018, is a critic of Trump, voting twice in 2020 and 2021 to convict him during impeachment trials in that body.
He is also one of three Republicans to vote for the liberal Jackson, appointed by Democrat President Joe Biden to replace retiring liberal Justice Stephen Breyer.
According to The Hill, Romney could be challenged in a GOP primary by Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, who supported Trump’s claims of a tainted 2020 election, and former Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who was also a Trump ally.
“I think that’s why he is giving this some pause,” Brigham Young University professor emeritus of political science Richard Davis told The Hill. “He will have a tough race with the Republican nomination process.”
A February poll by Utah’s Desert News and the Hinckley Institute of Politics found Romney enjoying a 51% job approval rating among both Republicans and Democrats, and a 54% approval rating from unaffiliated voters.
“Right now, Sen. Romney is one of those rare politicians who has support from across the political spectrum,” Jason Perry, director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah told the Desert News in February.
The poll was conducted by Dan Jones & associates from Jan. 20-28 with 815 registered Utah voters and has a margin of error of +/- 3.43 percentage points.
Should Trump decide on another presidential bid in 2024, he would be on the same ballot as Romney, if the first-term Senator decides to seek a second term.
According to The Hill, despite a majority approving Romney’s job performance, his stance in supporting Jackson, and rebuking Trump in a state the former president won by more than 20 points in 2020, means he will not likely win the party’s nomination during the GOP convention.
Instead, he would have to collect signatures to bypass the convention and run in a primary.