Mitt Romney sat in stunned silence after his staff handed him this one report

Photo by Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Flickr,

Incumbent U.S. Senators almost never find themselves in political trouble.

They only have to face voters once every six years.

And Mitt Romney sat in stunned silence after his staff handed him this one report.

2017 is the last time an incumbent U.S. Senator lost a Primary, and before that it was 2012.

Extremely rare for an incumbent U.S. Senator to lose in a Primary challenge

Despite the political upheaval in the nation and the growing distrust of politicians, incumbents went largely unscathed in 2022. 

While some House seats flipped in 2022, it was not nearly as many as predicted.

Democrat Steve Sisolak of Nevada was the only incumbent Governor defeated and not a single incumbent Senator lost their seat.

In fact, no sitting U.S. Senator has lost a Primary race in any of the last five regular elections. 

Alabama Republican appointee Luther Strange lost to Roy Moore in 2017, but that was a Special Election.

The last incumbent Senator to lose a regular Primary was in the 2012 cycle, when long-serving Indiana Senator Richard Lugar lost to Richard Mourdock.

Mitt Romney could break the streak

But looking ahead to 2024 and one notable Senator is very vulnerable for the same reasons Richard Lugar lost in 2012.

Despite the history showing incumbent Senators are hard to knock off in primaries, Utah GOP Senator Mitt Romney could very well prove that wrong.

While many incumbent Senators thought to be vulnerable have stepped down, Romney seems oblivious to the trouble he is in with voters in Utah.

Long-serving Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has announced her retirement after growing questions about her advanced age and mental faculties.

Senator Kyrsten Sinema chose to leave the Democrat Party and opted to become an Independent to avoid a contentious Primary.

Feinstein and Sinema were considered the top two most likely to lose a Primary in 2024.

According to Larry Sabato of the prestigious University of Virginia Center for Politics, this means Mitt Romney is the most vulnerable Senator up for re-election.

Romney, according to Sabato, has made enough enemies in the GOP to put himself in real electoral danger.

Utah’s conservative voters disgusted with Romney’s left-wing record

While Mitt Romney has not yet announced his 2024 plans, he is considered by Sabato and most political experts as the most vulnerable in his Party’s nomination.

He is part of the Senate’s centrist bloc that has voted for gun control, huge spending increases, and Joe Biden’s radical appointees. 

According to Sabato, “Romney may have frustrated state partisans last year, as he was not seen as a ‘team player’ — he was the only sitting Republican senator who did not endorse his home-state Sen. Mike Lee (R) for reelection.” 

Lee, a popular conservative stalwart who was elected in 2010, is the most recent U.S. Senator who beat an incumbent in a nominating contest.

However, in his case it was a convention, not a Primary.

Lee defeated the late Senator Bob Bennett at a convention. 

And now Romney could face the same fate as Bennett.

Romney placed second at the Utah GOP State Convention in 2018 but was able to petition his name on the ballot and win the seat.

Bryan Metzger of Insider recently put out an article on Romney’s chances where he quoted an unnamed Utah Republican consultant who said polling shows him in the low 40s in a hypothetical Primary. 

It is still early and Romney has not announced whether he is even running.

But if he does run, he could face an uphill battle for the seat.

Patriot Political will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.