House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has sought to capitalize on her party’s slim majority in Congress — but that tenuous grip on power continues to slip.
As a growing number of Democratic lawmakers announce their intentions to step down from office, three more House Democrats affirmed on Monday that they would not be seeking re-election.
“But who can blame them?”
According to the Washington Times, the latest tally of House Democratic retirements was 23, and the odds are that even more announcements will be announced in the coming weeks and months.
All in all, the trend serves as further evidence that Pelosi’s goal of maintaining control of the House is all but out of reach.
Reps. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), and Albio Sires (D-NJ) made their intentions known on the same day. While the California and New Jersey seats are likely to go to fellow Democrats, the Florida seat could prove to be competitive and might end up in Republican hands.
As Calvin Moore of the Republican Party’s Congressional Leadership Fund explained, the situation within the Democratic Party is making it more difficult for members to justify running for re-election.
“House Democrats are running for the exits so fast they might set a new land speed record,” he said. “But who can blame them? With crises on every front, Democrats see the writing on the wall and know their days in the majority are soon coming to an end.”
“Defunding police, higher taxes, and open borders”
For his part, National Republican Congressional Committee spokesperson Mike Berg called the three retirement announcements this week a “hat trick” for his party.
“House Democrats’ nightmare before Christmas just keeps getting worse,” he said. “Nobody wants to run as a Democrat because they know voters are rejecting their push for defunding police, higher taxes, and open borders.”
As Axios noted, the number of Democratic retirements thus far in this term is nearly twice that of announced GOP departures.
Of the 23 Democrats stepping down, 15 appear to be moving away from politics altogether while eight are said to be seeking a different elected office. Among Republicans, five are retiring outright while seven are running for a different state- or federal-level office.
In addition to the exodus of Democratic lawmakers ahead of the upcoming midterms, FiveThirtyEight recently noted that “President Biden’s poor approval rating, public concern about COVID-19 and inflation plus the GOP’s strong performance in recent elections all augur well for Republicans.”