In a wholly unexpected development, Mississippi’s senior Senator Thad Cochran has announced his retirement from the U.S. Senate effective April 1, 2018.
Cochran was first elected to the Senate in 1978, marking the end of a 40-year tenure. He is the tenth-longest serving Senator in American history.
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He has cited health problems as the reason for his departure, but he joins a long – and growing – list of high-profile Republican departures ahead of what promises to be perhaps one of the most difficult midterm elections for the GOP in modern history.
So far, 39 Republicans have either retired, resigned, announced their resignation, or are leaving office to seek a different position. Democrats need 24 seats to retake the House of Representatives, and only two seats for control of the Senate.
With Trump’s approval rating at the lowest of any president at this point in his presidency in modern history, it should come as no surprise that Republicans are jumping ship en masse. Frankly, however, the GOP should have known better before endorsing and blindly supporting someone so egregiously unfit for office.