With more than a year to go before the 2020 election, House Republicans are on pace to set a record for the number of retirements from office.
Still, the spate of House Republican retirements puts them ahead of their pace during the 2018 election cycle, when 34 did not run for reelection. That was the party’s highest number of retirements since at least 1930. In Texas alone, five House Republicans are retiring.
Democrats have a legitimate shot at capturing at least four of the Republican seats, complicating Republican efforts to win back the chamber’s majority. Democrats control the House 235-197, with one independent and two vacancies in North Carolina that are scheduled to be filled in special elections next week.
If Republicans continue to retire at their current pace, they will shatter the record for most retirements in one election cycle.
“Apparently, Washington Republicans didn’t learn their lesson in 2018 and they’re determined to repeat history by pursuing reckless policies to strip away health care from millions of American families,” DCCC Spokesperson Cole Leiter said. “It’s clear the continued drain of having to defend their toxic, unpopular agenda and the misery of serving in the minority is what’s driving Washington Republicans to head for the exits in record numbers.”
Part of the problem is Trump. House Republicans see no reelection coming from the president, and they learned in 2018 that his immigration policies are toxic.
The wave of Republican retirements can also be attributed to the fact that many Republicans see no path to the House majority in 2020, and don’t want to spend at minimum another two years with no power in the House minority.
The overriding sense is that the Trump political ship is sinking, and Republicans are getting out before they get washed away by another blue wave.
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