Johnson Gaining Support Ahead of Senate Vote

by Andrew Stiles

On the homepage, I examine the race between Sens. Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) and Roy Blunt (R., Mo.) for the position of vice chair of the Senate Republican conference. GOP Senators will cast their votes, by secret ballot, at their weekly lunch meeting on Tuesday. The race is being billed by some conservative activists as contest between the Tea Party (Johnson) and “the establishment” (Blunt). More here.

Today, Johnson picked up three more public endorsements in support of his bid — Sens. Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.), Richard Shelby (R., Ala.) and Dan Coats (R., Ind.) — bringing his total endorsement count to 14. The winner will need the votes of at least 24 (of 47) Senators to secure the position. Blunt, who only recently announced his intention to seek the leadership post, has remained quiet with respect to his support within the party. Observers expect a close race.

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