Election night in Virginia was a worst-case scenario, absolute nightmare for the Democratic Party. It wasn’t entirely unexpected, but the “mini” red wave that washed over America was a bellwether preview of what’s to come in the 2022 midterm elections.
According to The Hill, the string of defeats suffered by the Dems last Tuesday was so bad that many in the party are now bracing for what could be another type of wave — a wave of retiring Democrats, which could further dwindle their ranks after the 2022 midterms.
It was bad enough for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as there was already a list of at least 14 House Democrats who have announced or plan to announce their retirement from the lower chamber. It’s not uncommon for members of the party that loses in between presidential elections to call it quits, but this year could be especially brutal for the struggling Democratic Party.
“I think, before [Tuesday’s elections], there were some members already thinking about it,” one senior Dem House aide reportedly said. “And if they weren’t, I’ll bet you they are now.”
Why retire? Political experts say that it’s a choice that sounds better than running a virtually unwinnable reelection campaign, and/or being bumped down to the minority party in the lower chamber.
Even some Republicans have already warned their Democratic colleagues, including Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota, who recently told The Washington Post that Dems should “retire or lose.”
The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), chaired by Emmer, added a list of 13 new Dems the organization is now targeting in the upcoming election cycle, spelling doom for blue candidates across the country.
Adding to the Democrats’ woes is also the added bonus for Republicans of the decennial redistricting process, which will strongly favor a number of Republicans across the country in the 2022 midterms.
The best news of all? The new wave of retirements, plus the almost undeniable outcome of Republicans taking back the House, means Pelosi will no longer sit at the head of the table, which could give America the breathing room it so sorely needs.