Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonGOP senator: Buying Treasury bonds 'foolish' amid standoff over debt ceiling, taxes Internal poll shows Barnes with 29-point lead in Wisconsin Democratic Senate primary Wisconsin Democratic Senate candidate facing 4 felony charges MORE (R-Wis.) said he may not be the best candidate for the 2022 midterms, ahead of what is expected to be a competitive Senate race in the Badger State.
"I want to make sure that this U.S. Senate seat is retained in Republican hands," Johnson told conservative talk show host Lisa Boothe on Wednesday.
"You see what the media’s doing to me. I may not be the best candidate. I wouldn’t run if I don’t think I could win if I don’t think I was the best person to be able to win," he continued.
Johnson went on to describe Washington as "incredibly frustrating," citing what he was "dysfunction" within the political scene. The senator also revealed that he did not think his time on Capitol Hill has been "particularly successful," pointing to issues that he campaigned on tackling, including rising debt and abolishing the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
The senator has yet to formally announce whether he is running or not. Rep. Mike GallagherMichael (Mike) John GallagherBipartisan House group introduces legislation to set term limit for key cyber leader 20,000 Afghan evacuees housed at military bases in five states: report Absent Democrats give Republicans new opening on Afghanistan MORE (R-Wis.), former Rep. Sean DuffySean DuffyFirst lady's press secretary calls on Rachel Campos Duffy, Fox News to apologize for host's comments Wisconsin GOP quietly prepares Ron Johnson backup plans Ron Johnson: 'I may not be the best candidate' for 2022 midterms MORE (R-Wis.), former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, and Marine veteran and former Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson have been floated as potential GOP Senate candidates in the case that Johnson does not run.
Meanwhile, the race is heating up on the Democratic side of the race. Milwaukee Alderwoman Chantia Lewis (D) became the latest Democrat to enter the primary on Wednesday, joining Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes (D), state Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry and Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson.
Wisconsin's Senate seat could prove to be one of the most consequential of the 2022 midterms, given that Democrats and Republicans hold a 50-50 tie in the Senate with Vice President Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisStefanik in ad says Democrats want 'permanent election insurrection' Live coverage: California voters to decide Newsom's fate Florida woman faces five years in prison for threatening to kill Harris MORE serving as a tie-breaking vote.
The Cook Political Report rates the race as a "toss-up."