As Kentucky Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican Minority Leader, returns next week after an extended period of absence due to a concussion and rib fracture after a fall, there is speculation that he might retire from the Senate in the short term.
So the battle for who would replace him has begun, with the “three Johns” competing for leadership of the Republican Party in the Senate moving forward.
These “three Johns” are
John Thune of South Dakota
John Barrasso of Wyoming
John Cornyn of Texas
John Thune has been in the Senate since 2005 and is 62, and is Republican Whip, second ranking position.
John Barrasso has been in the Senate since 2007 and is 71, and is Republican Conference Chairman, third ranking position.
John Cornyn has been in the Senate since 2002 and is also 71, and served in the past as Republican Whip.
If one went by population, which is not a factor, Texas and Cornyn would win with 30.3 million population, as South Dakota and Wyoming are among the five smallest states in population, with South Dakota 5th smallest with 900,000 population, and Wyoming the smallest of all states with 580,000 population.
An educated guess on the part of this blogger is that John Thune may have the upper hand, and the issue of age is not to be ignored, as he is a decade younger than the other two “Johns”, and is more “photogenic” and “charismatic” than they are.
Thune next faces voters in 2028; Cornyn in 2026; and Barrasso in 2024, so longevity is added to age as a factor.
But one never knows what will happen, and when it would happen, so we shall see!