Democrats in the House of Representatives are dropping left and right – creating a massive problem for the left-wing party heading into 2022 midterms.
Three Democrat House Reps – Stephanie Murphy of Florida, Lucille Roybal-Allard of California, and Albio Sires of New Jersey – all announced last week they were planning on retiring at the end of next year instead of running for midterm reelections in 2022.
These announcements brought the total number of retiring House Democrats to 23 – endangering the party’s chances of defending its already tight majority in the House.
The GOP needs a net gain of just five seats in the 435-member chamber next year to regain the House majority it lost to the Democrats in the 2018 midterms.
History favors the Republicans headed in to midterms given that the party that wins the White House has typically lost 25 house seats on average in the following midterm election.
Congressional redistricting process is also expected to favor the GOP, as Republicans control more state legislatures and governors’ offices.
Making matters even harder for the Democrats is the catastrophic presidency that Biden has had which has turned even the most hardcore Democrat voters against the party. Biden has seen a five-month consecutive downward polling spiral.
But even before Biden’s approval ratings began to crater, House Republican leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy forecast the current wave of Democratic retirement announcements.
“Once you get past Thanksgiving and members go home, and they’re Democrats and they’ve been challenged before and they’re going to get beat up, Congress is not that great,” the longtime GOP lawmaker from California told Fox News during an interview in August.
Pointing to the redistricting process, McCarthy noted that House Democrat would have “new lines where they have to go meet new people.”
And looking ahead at the time to the Thanksgiving break and the Christmas through New Year’s holiday, McCarthy predicted that House Democrats are “going to make a decision to retire, that’s the best time so they can go get another job. When we get that retirement number up higher, into double-digit figures, the whole thing becomes a different play.”
The last time the House flipped, amid a blue wave in the 2018 midterms, there were 23 GOP retirements compared to just 10 among House Democrats. Competitive seats become even more vulnerable without a well-known incumbent with a healthy war chest running for reelection.
“Only members themselves know why they decide to retire. But if there’s an imbalance of retirements toward one party or another, it sometimes can tell us something about what the party with a lot of retirees thinks might happen in the midterms,” Kyle Kondik, the managing editor of the nonpartisan political handicapper Sabato’s Crystal Ball said.
This time around, only 13 House Republicans to date have announced or indicated they’re retiring or seeking another office in 2022. Only six are retiring from elective politics, while seven of those 13 running for statewide offices.
Author: Derrick Carlson