Another retirement spells even more trouble for House Democrats

在星期一, 纽约民主党众议员. Tom Suozzi announced he plans to leave his 3rd District seat behind to run for governor in 2022.

Asked about whether control of his seator the House more generallymattered much in his decision, Suozzi said itwasn’t a big factor.
Which is all well and good for him! But Democratic strategistsfrom House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on downdon’t have the luxury and Suozzi’s retirement is simply the latest in a series of body blows for the party’s majority chances in recent weeks.
    Suozzi is the 18th Democrat in the House planning to retire or run for higher office in 2022. 相比之下, Republicans have only 11 members retiring. For context, at this point in the 2020 election cycle, only eight Democrats had called it quits as compared to 20 共和党人.
      The more you dig into the numbers, the worse they look for Democrats.

        的 18 Democratic open seats, fully one third are in districts where former President Donald Trump won or lost narrowly (5 points or less) 在里面 2020 选举. 和, that total doesn’t even include seats like Suozzi’swhere President Joe Biden won by 11 点入 2020 but where Hillary Clinton prevailed by only 6 points four years earlier.
        Even in a neutral national environment, those seats would be very hard for Democrats to hold. In an environment like this onethe first midterm of a presidency with Biden’s approval numbers stuck in the low 40snot only are seats that Trump carried in danger but also seats like Suozzi’s could be too. (Suozzi was on a February list of 47 民主党人 that Republicans planned to make serious runs at next year.)
          Remember that Biden carried Virginia by 10 点入 2020 while Republican Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin won the state by 2 points earlier this month. Meaning that the electorate was roughly 12 points more Republican in Virginia in 2021 than it was in 2020. If that sort of trend holds, there are a whole lot of Democratic seatsincluding Suozzi’s that could well be in danger.
          (值得注意: Democrats control the redistricting process in New York. And the line-drawers had designs on pinching Republicansmost notably in Lee Zeldin’s 1st District and Andrew Garbarino’s 2ndon Long Island. An open seat in Suozzi’s 3rd District could well complicate that plan.)
          What’s equally troubling for Pelosi and her colleagues is that the rate of retirements within their ranks has increased significantly in recent weeks.
          在最后 13 天, five House Democrats have said they will retire or run for higher office next year. It began on November 16 with California’s Jackie Speier retiring, followed two days later by North Carolina’s G.K. Butterfield and then two days after that by TexasEddie Bernice Johnson. Two days after that Vermont Rep. Peter Welch said he was running for the state’s open Senate seat. 进而, 在星期一, came the Suozzi decision.
          It’s important to not lump all of these retirements into one blobas most of these members have extenuating circumstances influencing their decision. Welch, 例如, has had his eye on Sen. Pat Leahy’s Senate seat for years and was always going to run when it came open. Butterfield found himselfthanks to Republican redistricters in the statein a very tough district. Bernice Johnson, 在 85, had been rumored as a potential retirement for the last several election cycles.
          So there’s no reason why all of these Democrats are suddenly retiring. 但, you can be absolutely sure that the sum total of their retirements has an impact on their colleaguesand how they think about their own futures. Already two committee chairs (Bernice Johnson and Kentucky Rep. 约翰·雅姆斯) have made clear their plans to retire. That doesn’t usually happen if there is a belief within the caucus that they will continue to hold the majority.
          Even Suozzi’s decision suggests a desire to get off the ship before it sinks. He is getting into a very crowded Democratic primary that already includes two titans: 政府. Kathy Hochul and state Attorney General Letitia James. That Suozzi sees that race as a better option for him than staying in the House is tellingand worrisome for Democrats desperately trying to keep their majority come next November.
            The problem for Democrats is all of this feeds on itself in a negative cycle. Members retire because they think the political landscape looks bleak, which makes the political landscape bleak(er), which leads more members to retire, which makes the political environment — 好, you get it.
            Suozzi’s retirementin and of itselfisn’t the problem. But it’s a symptom of Democratsbroader issues heading into next year.

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