Skip to comments.House GOP fears retirement wave will lead to tsunami (2020)
Posted on 07/30/2019 6:12:30 AM PDT by yesthatjallen
House Republicans plotting to win back their majority in Congress fear they are on the brink of a massive wave of retirements that could force them to play defense in a high-stakes presidential election year.
Three House Republicans said last week they would not seek another term next year, catching party strategists off guard. Those announcements came earlier than in a typical election cycle, when members who are ready to hang up their voting cards usually wait until after the August recess or after the Christmas break.
Republicans in Congress strategizing to win back the House say the rush to the exits reflects the depressing reality of life in the minority and a pessimistic view of the GOPs chances of regaining the majority.
We are in the minority. That is never much fun in the House, said one senior Republican member of Congress, who asked for anonymity to provide a candid assessment. The odds are against us retaking the majority.
Transitioning from the all-powerful majority to the back-bench minority can refocus ones outlook on public service, said Tom Davis, a former Virginia congressman who ran the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Moving from the majority to the minority changes your mindset about why am I here? Am I getting things done? Davis said. Its a very frustrating life for some of these members right now. Theres been no pay raise for 11 years. Youve got to maintain two households.
The job of serving in Congress itself has changed in recent years. Members of Congress now routinely skip town hall meetings to avoid being confronted by angry constituents, they are frequently asked to defend President Trumps Twitter habits, and the House Republican conference is increasingly influenced by a small group of hard-right conservatives.
Serving in the era of Trump has few rewards. He has made an already hostile political environment worse. Every day there is some indefensible tweet or comment to defend or explain. It is exhausting and often embarrassing, the member of Congress said. Even if Republicans were to win back the majority, our edge would be narrow which means we would live under the tyranny of the Freedom Caucus. Frankly I wonder if this conference is capable of governing.
Republican strategists say they are bracing for a new wave of exits after members check in with their families over the August recess. Two dozen Republicans won their reelection bids in 2018 by fewer than five percentage points; another 25 won by fewer than ten points.
There are going to be a lot more [retirements] to come, said one consultant who works for House Republicans. Between people finding themselves having to actually work hard for the first time in their long, lazy careers and members who came in in the majority and now hate life in the minority, it's just getting started.
Two of the members who announced their retirements last week Reps. Paul Mitchell (R-Mich.) and Martha Roby (R-Ala.) represent deep-red districts where their successor will almost certainly be chosen in the Republican primary.
But a third, Rep. Pete Olson (R-Texas), holds a seat that is likely to be competitive. Olson won election to his final term by just five percentage points in 2018, and Democrats have signaled that districts like his, in the rapidly-growing Houston suburbs, are their prime targets.
Six Republicans have now said they will not seek reelection next year. Two more, Reps. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.) and Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.), are running for a different office.
The National Republican Congressional Committee is keeping a close eye on members who represent potentially vulnerable districts through its Patriot Program. Chris Pack, a spokesman for the NRCC, said they do not anticipate a rush of departures in the coming months.
"It's just a matter of keeping the conference engaged, and that's what Chairman [Tom] Emmer (R-Minn.) is trying to do," Pack said.
Democrats will try to make life uncomfortable for those Republicans who won the narrowest races in 2018. Already, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has highlighted 19 Republicans they say are on their retirement watch list including two, Olson and Rep. Rob Woodall (R-Ga.), who have said they wont run again.
The next tipping point could come in September, when voters in North Carolina head to the polls in a special election meant to fill a vacant seat.
Republican Mark Harris won the seat in a 2018 election marred by absentee ballot fraud, an election the state Board of Elections overturned. Private polling shows a close race between state Sen. Dan Bishop (R) and Iraq war veteran Dan McCready (D).
Expect more [retirements] if Republicans lose NC-09, said another Republican strategist involved in House races.
History argues against House Republicans chances of winning back their majority in a presidential year. The last time a party lost the majority in a midterm only to win it back two years later came in 1948, when Harry Truman won election to a full term and carried the House with him.
No party has gone from the minority to the majority in a presidential election year since Republicans won a narrow majority in 1952, the year Dwight Eisenhower won the presidency.
More immediate historical precedent suggests Republicans might fall even farther into the minority. President Trumps approval ratings remain mired in the 40s, and some Republicans in Congress quietly worry he is headed for defeat next year. Others are simply tired of being asked to answer for every tweet.
Its way too early to tell what the [political] dynamic will be, but Trump doesnt seem to be adding to the equation at this point. Hes doing a lot with his base, but he needs to get beyond that base, Davis said. President Trump promised to be a change agent, and he is. Hes torn up the old rule book, and a lot of members arent used to playing by these rules.
Davis said the political climate would weigh on members minds as they contemplate their futures.
Nobody, he said, wants to go out the hard way.
You can't win the war if your men aren't willing to fight.
speaking of beaches, remember folks, taking a dog named shark to the beach is not a good idea
No one expects anything from the GOP.
When has the GOP every done anything other than lose and fail?
This is concerning. So far, only Loebsack (IA-2) and a NY crook have said they aren’t running. Most of our retirements are in deep red areas, but so were a lot of those specials that we barely held in 2017.
I think the DemoKKKrats are gonna hold on one more cycle in hopes of getting Trump.
Also, the DemoKKKrats are outraising the GOP big-—although when you don’t have a named candidate yet that tends to be a big factor.
The GOP is loaded with cowardly quitters. They all need to jump the border in seek asylum in Mexico, Honduras or El Salvador. I hate quitters.
So much for patriotism. Looking forward to their cushy taxpayer-funded retirements, 42 Republican cowards bailed out in 2018, causing the House to go to the Democrat Socialists. If enough Republican Senators retire now, the Senate will go to the Dems as well, and Pres. Trump’s presidency will be finished even if he wins re-election.
It happened in 2018 and we lost the House. Cowards jumped ship. If it gets worse then Trump will be impeached. If the Senate is lost it’s over.
“Theres been no pay raise for 11 years. “
There will be a Tsunami.
OF GOP WINS!.................................
The Repubicans have no one to blame but themselves. This is what happens when you belong to a weak team that won’t stand up and firght for what is right and good for the country every
single day when it really counts.
Scanned quickly and thought it read "cowardly queers."
Were they told to walk by monied interests or are they looking at polls?
who will these Republicans be who win their primaries?
Who will be sure best GOP makes it out of a primary( in some states a run off)
The cost of living in DC and metro DC has skyrocketed in recent years.
Why? Because the size of government and the shadow government (contractors, grantees, lobbyists, etal) in the DC area has exploded.
The Republicans failed to stop it from happening—now they get to pay the price—literally.
Dat, My FRiend, is de plan. If the Republicans and Democrats can give the Democrats a veto proof majority in both Houses,the Democrats can begin implementing their agenda while President Trump finishes his last four years. If just a simple majority in both Houses, they can prevent President Trump from carrying out a lot of his plans for the Country,and us. See how the Republican Party and Democrat Party work together to line their pockets and harm the Country?
DJT has exposed the Rs for the cowardly frauds that they are. In the long run I view this as more Swamp draining, and wherever it take us will be better than the nonsense they have been selling for decades.
I am not worried about retirements, yes it creates an OPEN contest, which is always better, in the general case, for the party that didn’t hold the seat. Imcumbents win on average 85-90% of the time.
Even when a seat is OPEN, the party that held the seat before usually holds it after an open election.. With the party that held the seat winning the seat around 60% or more of the time.
The big swing in 18, was due to a lot of factors, but the biggest probably was the simple fact that the CAP on SALT and MTG deductions turned some high income districts in deep blue states. (Economics drive voting more than any other factor, period).
Of the D pickups 34 or something like that were in districts Trump won in 16.
I fully expect a net gain in 2020 for Republicans, they SHOULD, unless they are REALLY STUPID.. and I never under estimate the stupidity of the GOP, particularly the ESTABLISHMENT GOP... regain the house... Trump’s going to have some HUGE coattails.
Yep. Just another wretched hive of scum and villainy.
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