'The odds are against us retaking the majority,' one House Republican said, even though the election is still 15 months away.
After four Republicans announced their retirement in the span of a week, the number of Republicans who won't seek reelection next year is getting close to 10, and "There are going to be a lot more to come," one Republican consultant told the Hill.
One member of Congress, who did not reveal their name, was even dourer. "The odds are against us retaking the majority," the member told the Hill.
Republican consultants are expecting even more retirements to come after the traditional August recess, which began on Friday. "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," one consultant told the Hill.
When pressed for reasons why so many Republicans were fleeing, a certain racist president played a prominent role.
"Serving in the era of Trump has few rewards," the member of Congress said. "Every day there is some indefensible tweet or comment to defend or explain. It is exhausting and often embarrassing."
Most recently, Trump has used his Twitter account to launch racist attacks on Democratic House members, including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), Ilhan Oman (MN), Ayanna Pressley (MA), Rashida Tlaib (MI), and Elijah Cummings (MD). All five members are people of color.
Of those who have already announced they will not run again are two of the 13 Republican women in the House. The Republican Party has struggled with electing women in the Trump era, and Trump's own record as a self-professed sexual predator does not help. Trump's approval rating among women is just 37%.
As Republicans call it quits, House Democrats are taking key steps to remain in the majority. According to the Associated Press, each of the 62 freshman House Democrats raised more campaign cash than their top opponent. That number includes "all 31 Democrats from districts President Donald Trump had won in 2016 and for all 39 Democrats who snatched Republican-held seats last November."
At this rate, it looks like Speaker Nancy Pelosi will retain her gavel for another two years, and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy should get used to his current title.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.