Utah Sen. Mitt Romney can’t say for sure whether he’ll seek another term in the U.S. Senate come 2024.
But he is considering it, according to a recent interview with Politico, where the Utah Republican said, “I haven’t made a decision, finally.”
“And probably won’t do that anytime in the immediate future,” he said.
When asked if he could win, Romney said that’s “frankly, not a question in my mind.”
“I’ve faced long odds: Getting the nomination in 2012 was a long shot, becoming a Republican governor in one of the most liberal states in America, Massachusetts,” he told Politico “... So I’m convinced that if I run, I win. But that’s a decision I’ll make.”
Romney has frequently made headlines since his 2018 win, bucking the Republican Party line on a number of issues.
He voted to impeach former President Donald Trump twice, making history as the only senator to attempt to remove a president of the same party. He supported the massive $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, one of 19 GOP senators to do so. He’s a prominent Republican voice in the Senate when it comes to climate change legislation, reaffirming his support for a price on carbon earlier this month.
Still, despite his ongoing feud with Trump, Romney voted in favor of the former president’s policies more than his conservative colleague Sen. Mike Lee. On Tuesday, Romney reaffirmed support for finishing the U.S.-Mexico border wall and keeping “Remain in Mexico” in place, both controversial Trump-era policies.
In Utah, Romney’s approval rating hovers around 49%, according to the latest Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics poll, with roughly 47% of respondents saying they disapprove.
But when asked whether he should seek another term in 2024, 51.3% of voters said definitely not or probably not. That’s compared to 47.4% who said he should definitely or probably run again.
Utah’s conservative voters are skeptical of Romney. Nearly 80% of self-identified “very conservative” voters say he shouldn’t run, with a little over 50% of “somewhat conservative” respondents saying the same, according to the poll. He’ll likely see a primary challenge coming from the right, with Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes reportedly gearing up for a Senate run.
But in Washington, D.C., Romney has the support of some of the GOP’s most influential members, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who told Politico he’s “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. It’s important for the Republican Party and the country that he runs again,” said McConnell, who told Politico he’s willing to spend millions through his super PAC to help Romney’s chances, as he did with Alaska moderate Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski.
“I hope by the time Mitt really gets into full swing on the campaign, we’re not talking about the influence of Donald Trump,” Murkowski said during a Politico interview.
With the Democrats solidifying control in the Senate and the House shifting to a Republican majority, Romney says the coming months will weigh heavily on his decision to run again.
“It’s like, what should I do in the time I have left? You know, I’m 75. I’ve spent 25 years now in public service. And so what comes next? What do I want to accomplish? And, what can be accomplished?” he said.