Here's why the GOP House members continue to abandon the ship


Although the 2020 election is still in over 14 months, there are already four times as many Republicans leaving the House as Democrats. It is also interesting to note that only two of the 12 Republicans who announced their retirement at the end of their term of office or, in the case of Mr. Duffy, who had resigned before the end of their term, are leaving to run for high office. The other 10 simply move away from politics, at least for the next two years.

Announcing his decision via Facebook, Duffy cited personal reasons for leaving Congress.

"Recently, we learned that our baby, expected by the end of October, would still need more love, more time and attention because of complications, especially from the baby. heart disease, "wrote Duffy. "After many prayers, I decided that the time was right to take a break from the public service to be the support my wife, my baby and my family need now."

What makes all the sense of the world.

But it should also be noted that Duffy, who is in his fourth term and represents the seventh district in northern Wisconsin, has been considered since his election in 2010 as a rising star in the party that has been successful in establishing close relations with the Speaker of the House, Paul. Ryan and the president. He was summoned as a potential Senate candidate in 2018 (he declined to run for office) and was considered a potential candidate in the Senate if Senator Ron Johnson retired in 2022. (A race to scale The state of 2022 could be considered for Duffy, but it's hard to argue that he'd better get away from politics for several years before such a candidacy.)

Duffy's decision does not come in isolation.

It's easy – but too easy – to group all Republican retirement decisions into one explanation. Like everyone else, members of Congress make decisions about their future for all kinds of reasons – and very rarely for just one reason. But if you look at the GOP retirements landscape to date, some obvious observations can be made about what it's like to be a Republican in the House in Donald's state. Trump in Washington – and why there has been such a wave of retirements.

1) Being in the minority of the house fears

Take Duffy. He was elected in the 2010 elections, part of the class that helped Republicans regain a majority in the House. He spent his first six years in power not only as a member of the majority party in the House, but also of someone who had the ear of the speaker. The 2018 elections returned power to the Democrats and Ryan retired. Which is a pretty hard shot for someone like Duffy.

Ask any member of Congress who has spent time with the majority in the House and the minority of the difference between the two and they will tell you is the size of the Grand Canyon. As a member of the minority in the House, you are almost totally powerless to proactively introduce a bill. your victories, as they are, are concentrated on the procedural work of the House – some movements that the average American has no idea of ​​what you are doing.

There is a reason why, after the Republican takeover of Parliament in 1994 and the Democratic Party in 2006, two dozen members of the newly created minority party withdrew in each of the following elections.

2) Trump's Hostile Takeover on GOP Issues

When Rep. Will Hurd (Texas) was elected to his border district in 2014, the idea that Trump was elected for any reason – let alone president and leader of the GOP – was the business of televised reality TV series. Hurd got his seat by posing as a Republican George W. Bush (he served in the CIA during the eight years of his tenure), one who focused less on the party than on shared values. He won a considerable percentage of the Hispanic vote in his race, a necessity in a nearly 70% Latino seat. And he focused on tinkering with his bipartisan credentials during his tenure – including driving from Texas to Washington, along with Democratic Republican Representative Beto O. Rourke.

Then came Trump, calling Mexico to send rapists and criminals to the United States and promising to build a wall along the southern border. This shows what it means (and means) to be a Republican goes directly against the vision of Hurd. And as Trump has made clear repeatedly, he does not like GOP elected officials to disagree with his party vision – and he is willing to punish those who think outside the box.

Given these options, retirement begins to become much more attractive to someone like Hurd.

3) The electoral (and demographic) reality is sinking

Of the dozen Republican retirements, only one seat – Hurd's – is perceived as a pure "draw" according to the presidential performance figures of Cook's political report, a site on non-disabled people. supporters. But in several other countries, demographic changes in districts, combined with voters' disgust for Trump, make it a potentially toxic political beer. In Georgia's 7th constituency, a representative from suburban Atlanta, Rep Rob Woodall (R) won by 20 points in 2016. Two years later he got a margin of a little more 400 votes. In the 22nd district of Texas, which includes most of the suburbs of Houston, the representative Pete Olson (right) won by 19 points in 2016. This margin fell to less than 5 points at the mid-point in 2018 .

If you are Woodall or Olson, what better way: to withdraw after a few mandates or to lose an extremely expensive, negative and time-consuming re-election race? Right.

Again, there are not two pensioners in the House who are exactly the same, and all are influenced by personal factors. But when many House Republicans in those districts announced so early that they no longer showed up (and that they did not show up for higher positions), this clearly indicated that all of them were not going to show up. was not going well for the members of Congress.

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