Texas Republicans see the writing on the wall as fifth House GOP member from the state has announced that he will not be running for reelection in 2020.
CNN reported, “GOP Rep. Bill Flores announced Wednesday his plans to retire from Congress at the end of his term, becoming the fifth Texas Republican to do so this election cycle. Flores won his first election in 2010 by defeating a Democrat during President Barack Obama’s first midterm election and rose to become a chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee. While Flores’ district between Dallas and Austin is now reliably Republican, Democrats have centered their efforts to expand their House majority by picking up several other seats in the suburbs of the Lone Star state. President Donald Trump won Flores’ district in 2016 with 56% of the vote.”
Republicans are retiring in districts that Trump won by large margins
Rep. Flores is retiring in a district that Trump won with 56% of the vote in 2016. He is the 12 House Republican to announce to either leave the body or announce they won’t be running for re-election. Democrats have mounted an aggressive effort in Texas that along with the state’s changing demographics is putting a lot of pressure on Republicans in the state, but there are two other larger factors in play.
First, House Republicans are pessimistic about taking back the House in 2020. This pessimism is fueled by a lack of fundraising, quality candidates, and the strength of the Democratic operation under Nancy Pelosi. The second large factor is the unpopularity of Donald Trump. Many Republicans see that Trump has no reelection strategy and that what the president is running on is making the entire party less popular.
House Republicans are facing two potentially likely outcomes. Even if Trump wins a second term, it is likely that they will not take back the majority, and there is the possibility that Democrats take back the White House and keep the House which would leave them with a minimum of two more years of irrelevance.
Neither option is appealing, which is why so many Republicans are getting out now.
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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