"Morale Is Low" - House Democrats Retirement Surge To 30-Year High

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by Tyler Durden
Sunday, Feb 20, 2022 - 07:10 PM

President Joe Biden has become so unpopular that the number of House Democrats poised for retirement in 2022 jumped to a 30-year high ahead of November's midterms. 

According to The Hill, Democratic New York Rep. Kathleen Rice's announcement not to seek reelection last week made her the 30th House Democrat to call it quits, making it the most for the party since 1992 when 41 House Democrats retired. Since 1978, it's the third time the party has seen more than 30 retirements in a single cycle. 

"It's bad out there for Democrats," Amy Walter, editor of the non-partisan election analyzer The Cook Political Report, told CNN. 

"Talk to any member or staffer, and they'll tell you morale is low. It's a combination of January 6, a lack of civility, plus a frustration with a fact that most legislation is leadership-driven instead of member-driven," Walter said. 

The latest House Race Ratings data via The Cook Report shows 39 Democrat seats are vulnerable while only 19 Republicans. Republicans appear to have the upper hand. 

There are many reasons (personal or not) for the number of Democrats retiring, we suspect many have noticed the collapse in confidence among even Independents in the Biden administration... and what that likely means for the midterms.

Oddsmaker PredictIt shows Republicans have a high chance (at the moment) of sweeping both the Senate and House. 

The general story of midterm outcomes is straightforward: the Biden administration's governing has so far been a disaster, fueled by skyrocketing inflation, a stalling economic recovery, national fatigue of the virus pandemic, crisis on the southern border, violent crime surging across major cities, and the botched pullout from Afghanistan, among many other things. 

"There are a lot of signs that this is not going to be a good year for Democrats," Kyle Kondik, managing editor of Sabato's Crystal Ball, a political handicapper at the University of Virginia, said. 

"Incumbency is not as electorally valuable as it used to be, but a party still would rather have an incumbent running, generally speaking, than not," said Kondik. "Open seats are still easier for the opposition party to flip than incumbent-held seats."

"Thirty House Democrats have called it quits because they know their majority is doomed," Mike Berg, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, said last week, according to The Hill.

What's clear is Biden's Real Clear Politics polling numbers continue to slide and are now below former President Trump's numbers for the same time in his first term. 

Biden's favorable polling data is now tracking below Trump's

The odds are promising for Republicans, and political bookies suggest so. A lingering question is if a comeback rally is in the works for Biden. 

"Maybe miracles will happen. COVID will ebb, inflation will fade, the economy will bloom, Russia will retreat, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia will cave, progressives will rally, Republicans will cooperate, unity will prevail, and those sub-Trump approval numbers will shoot right back up," James Robbins said, a commentary writer for USA Today and Senior Fellow for National Security Affairs on the American Foreign Policy Council.

But again, don't bet on it, and the departure of Democrats ahead of the midterms suggests a Republican sweep.