More than half of Iowans hope that Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, their state’s senior senator, decides against running for reelection next year, according to a Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll.

Just 28 percent of Grassley’s constituents hope he decides to pursue what would be his eighth term in the Senate, compared to 55 percent who said they hoped he didn’t. Among Republicans, more than one-third — 35 percent — said they hoped he would not seek another term, compared to more than three-quarters of Democratic respondents, according to the Des Moines Register.

Grassley has not yet said whether he intends to seek another term. The 87-year-old is the senior-most member of the Senate, having been first elected in 1980, and his retirement would add to a group of already consequential races to decide control of the chamber, which is currently split 50-50 with Vice President Kamala Harris serving as a tiebreaking vote.

Five Senate Republicans have said they will not seek another term, creating the potential for more competitive races, especially in the swing states of Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Ohio.

The Senate pro temp emeritus has been considered particularly difficult to beat. In his most recent contest in 2016, Grassley won 60 percent of the vote, besting Democratic nominee Patty Judge by 24 points.

The Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll showed Grassley’s favorability rating at 48 percent, holding steady from recent polls dating back to June. However, compared to previous Iowa Polls going back to 1998, his favorability in the state has been on a slow but steady decline, dropping 12 points since 2019.

The Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll of 775 Iowa adults was conducted March 7-10 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

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