WASHINGTON – Senator Ron Johnson, well into his second term from Wisconsin, has been taking hits for his view that rioters who invaded the Capitol in January actually were anti-Trump people masquerading as Trumpers. Now he’s outspoken against pandemic relief legislation. He acknowledges being a pariah. “I think it’s obvious that I’m Target Number One,” Johnson told CNN. “People are out to destroy me.” In a perverse sense, CNN said, he seems to enjoy being a target.  Johnson’s outlier views come at a critical point in his political life. His current U.S. Senate term is up in the 2022 election. Johnson rode a Tea Party crest to a 52% victory in 2010 the Trump movement to a 50.5% Wisconsin victory in 2016. Now he’s the only remaining Republican bolding a statewide office from Wisconsin.

Earlier: Analysis: Wisconsin U.S. Senate seat in play?

Retirement prospects

Johnson’s wife Jane of 43 years has said she would prefer that he retire. He’s 65. In his 2016 re-election campaign Johnson said that a second term would be his last, but he has backed off. Time and again in recent months he’s said he’s undecided.