House Republicans are retiring in waves because they think that Trump is leading the Republican Party to defeat in 2020.
Five incumbent House Republicans have announced their surprise retirements in the past two weeks, and the AP did some digging to find out why:
But other Republicans in the Capitol and outside it — several speaking on condition of anonymity to avoid alienating colleagues — say the frustration runs deeper. They describe worries that they won’t win back the majority in 2020, which would mean two more years of legislative futility, and exasperation over Trump’s outbursts, including his racist tweets taunting the four Democratic women.
“The White House isn’t helping the atmosphere up to this point for these guys. They’re having to answer every day for things they didn’t say or do,” said former Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va. “That’s not a good place to be.”
“People are beyond exhausted,” said former Rep. Ryan Costello, R-Pa., who didn’t seek reelection in 2018, citing frustrations with Trump. “You’re not able to get your own message out. It’s very difficult to have your own brand with this administration, it just is.”
Republicans Think They Are Going To Lose in 2020
Incumbents don’t retire if they think that their party is going to win back the majority. As DCCC Spokesperson, Cole Leiter said in a statement provided to PoliticusUSA, “Republicans in Washington can’t escape their deeply unpopular health care repeal agenda, and the five surprise retirements in the last two weeks are a good indication that everyone in the House GOP caucus has seen the writing on the wall that they’re not escaping life in the minority any time soon.”
House Republicans are eyeing the political landscape and coming to the conclusion that with Trump at the top of the ticket, they and the president might be toast in 2020. The incumbents would rather retire now than run for reelection and either lose their seat or be trapped in a House minority with no power.
If they believed Trump could carry them to victory, they would stick around, but their retirements are a sign that wheels are about to fall off for Donald Trump.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association