Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt's announcement Monday morning that he won't seek re-election makes him the fifth retirement of the cycle so far. It's all Republicans who are heading for the exits, elsewhere in Alabama, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

But it's not a threat of defeat in a general election or even a primary that seems to be motivating these GOP retirements, especially when their party could very well re-capture the majority in 2022. Rather many establishment, institutional senators like Blunt — the 4th ranking Republican who is close with Leader Mitch McConnell — simply may not want to contend with the influence Donald Trump still clearly has over their party and its base, especially as the former president seems hellbent on inserting himself into GOP primaries across the country in 2022.

And if Trump decides to endorse in what could well be a crowded Republican primary in Missouri, his blessing would certainly carry weight. It's a state he won by 15 points last November, and Democrats have run high-profile candidates in recent years for both Senate and

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