Amid the surge in the number of House Democrats failing to run for next year’s midterm election as their party tries to retain its fragile House majority, the GOP leader, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, predicts that there will be many more to come.
Longtime Democratic Reps David Price of North Carolina and Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania announced Monday that they will not stand for re-election in 2022. Their news came just days after their fellow Democrat and chairman of the budget committee of the House Representative John Yarmuth of Kentucky also said he would step down from Congress after his current term ends.
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This brings to seven the number of House Democrats who are retiring rather than running for re-election in 2022, with five more seeking state-wide or other positions rather than bidding for reelection in 2022. two more years in the House. And we have yet to hit the traditional peak season for Congressional retreats.
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 Democrats midway through 2018. Republicans have it. History on the other hand – on average, the party that wins the White House in a presidential election loses more than 25 House seats in the midterm elections that followed. And the decade-long congressional redistribution process – which is underway – is expected to favor the GOP, as Republicans control more state legislatures and governors’ offices.
As the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years holiday season approaches – when federal lawmakers about to retire take stock of their lives and discuss their future as they reunite with friends and their families – McCarthy expects more House Democrats to announce their retirements in the coming months.
“Once you’ve got through Thanksgiving and the members go home, they’re Democrats and they’ve already been challenged and they’re going to get beaten up, Congress isn’t that great,” said to Fox News the longtime California GOP lawmaker.
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Highlighting the redistribution process, McCarthy argued in an interview in August, “They have new lines where they have to go to meet new people and they will still have the White House. They will make the decision to retire, c ‘This is the best time for them to find another job. When we increase the number of retirements, to double digits, everything becomes a different game. “
Doyle, Price and Yarmuth all represent secure Democratic seats that are currently not expected to be competitive midway through next year.
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A veteran Democratic consultant has warned against overreading the trio of retirement announcements over the past week.
“Not all retirements mean the same. Those Democrats who pull out of secure seats have no impact on the path to majority,” said Jesse Ferguson, who has held leadership positions. on the Congressional Democratic campaign committee during the 2012 and 2014 cycles. Fox News.
But of the seven House Democrats retiring, four are from highly competitive neighborhoods. They are Representatives Ann Kirkpatrick from Arizona, Cheri Bustos from Illinois, Filemon Vela from Texas and Ron Kind from Wisconsin. And Rep. Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania – who is running for the Senate – and Rep. Charlie Crist of Florida – who is running for governor – were narrowly re-elected last year. While all of these seats can be changed during the redistribution, they are heavily targeted by House Republicans as they aim to win back the majority in the House.
McCarthy marked the announcement of Kind’s retirement in August as a pivotal moment.
“When you sit down and watch and want to know when the barometer was, when you really felt like you knew the majority was at stake and you had the capacity to win – when Ron Kind said that he was retiring, ”said McCarthy.
Nine House Republicans are not seeking another term, with six of them running for statewide office. But only one of them – Representative Lee Zeldin from New York – won reelection in 2020 with less than 10 points.
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Retirement is often seen as a first barometer of things to come in the medium term. The last time the House rocked, amid a blue wave midway through 2018, 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 competing for re-election.
“Only the members themselves know why they decide to retire. But if there is an imbalance of pensions towards one party or another, it can sometimes tell us something about what the party with many retirees thinks. that it could happen midway through, ”Kyle Kondik, Crystal Ball editor-in-chief of Sabato, a non-partisan political handicapper, told Fox News.
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