A mid-course landslide is still not a sure thing

Michigan Representative Fred Upton announced on Monday that he will not be running for office this year. Upton had many reasons. He is the fourth Republican to vote to impeach former President Donald Trump from retiring, although he denies that was the reason. Thanks to the redistricting, he would have run against another incumbent Republican, Bill Huizenga, in a new district that only somewhat overlapped with his old one. Republican committee term limits may also have been a factor: Upton served as chairman of the energy and commerce committee for the six years beginning in 2011 – but had to hand over the gavel in 2017 at the start of the unified Republican government , and he probably wouldn’t get that job back next year. Either way, Upton turns 69 later this month, so he’s not retiring young. When I last wrote about pensions in the House, there was a huge imbalance between the parties, with 18 Democrats and just four Republicans heading for the exits without seeking another office. That’s what you’d expect in an election cycle in which just about everyone expects Republicans to win a majority in the House. However, some evidence pointed to other possibilities. Retired Democrats were unusually old, even for House Democrats, suggesting that some of them had simply reached natural retirement age. It’s also the case that six of the seven senators retiring (including one, Oklahoma’s Jim Inhofe, who is leaving midterm) are Republicans, and an equal number from both parties (eight each) are leaving. the House to run for higher office. Meanwhile, recent retirements are different from earlier in the cycle. The last 10 retirements are evenly split between the parties, which has changed the ratio from 18D/4R to a slightly less dramatic 23D/9R. Still lopsided, but less so, especially considering the Senate side. On the other hand, recent Democrat retirements are much younger than previous ones, averaging only 61 at the start of the next Congress, compared to an average of 71 for the first 18. that fear of a Republican landslide might be a little lower at this point. While we may see a handful of additional retirements, we are nearing the end, with many filing deadlines already passed and nearly all redistricting lines completed. Only one House member announced his retirement from April in 2020 and only three in 2012, the last year of redistricting. So while things may change at the last minute, perhaps the biggest development since mid-January is something that hasn’t happened: a flood of Democrats walking out. Without it, the number of Democratic departures is fairly subdued for a redistricting round, with the very small number of Republicans leaving a bit more unusual. resource — during the 2022 election cycle. That this happened even as President Joe Biden remains unpopular and conventional wisdom is even more established on likely Republican gains suggests that if there is a landslide, this will be a bottom-up event led by voters opposed to Biden rather than a top-down event. defeat caused by the disarray of the Democrats, hostility towards their own incumbents or simply fatigue. To be sure: If Biden remains unpopular, Democrats will suffer in November. But otherwise, I see no solid evidence of a Republican landslide already embedded.

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