With only a six-vote majority to work with, Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is feeling the heat from reapportionment and retirements that are eroding her caucus.
Count ‘em up:
The census gives Texas two extra seats and one each to Montana, Colorado, North Carolina, Oregon, and Florida.
Texas’s two extra seats should go Republican, as will the additional seats in Florida, North Carolina, and Montana. But this five-seat gain will likely be whittled down to only three seats because Oregon and Colorado’s new seats will probably go Democrat.
And then, there are the five Democratic retirements, all by centrist Democrats in highly competitive districts.
Here are the departing Democrats:
- Cheri Bustos’s Illinois district went for Trump in both 2016 and 2020, making it a likely GOP pickup.
- Filemon Vela was feeling safe in his South Texas district, until he saw how Hispanics fled the Democratic Party and voted Republican in droves. Seeing the handwriting on the wall, he decided to retire.
- Ann Kirkpatrick’s decision to retire from her Arizona seat creates a real battle between the parties. But with reapportionment (by an independent commission) looming, there is no telling what her district will look like.
- Charlie Crist, the former Republican governor of Florida turned Democrat is leaving to run for higher office. With a Republican governor and GOP control of both houses of the legislature, his district may will flip to the GOP.
- Similarly, Tim Ryan of Ohio is leaving behind a swing district that Biden carried by only 51% in 2020. Again, the trifecta of Republican governors and GOP control of both houses of the legislature makes it likely that the new map will give the Republicans an edge in Ryan’s old district.
Count on five Republican gains in these reapportioned districts. But subtract two Republican retirements in in New York State where the Dems control the redistricting. All in all, chalk up a net GOP gain of three from the Census and three more from retirements, so six seats. Exactly, the six seats we need for control.
And the Democratic retirements are likely to keep on coming. Democrats Val Demings, Fla., Stephanie Murph, Fla., Cindy Axne, IA, and Conor Lamb, Pa. are likely to retire or to seek higher office.
Republicans control the redistricting process in twenty states that elect 188 Congressmen while the Democrats only have control in seven states that elect 72 members. In 16 states, redistricting is controlled by an independent commission or by a divided government.
Particularly when Democratic incumbents see what the Republican legislatures are going to do to their districts, they might choose a dignified retirement.
Dick Morris is a former presidential adviser and political strategist. He is a regular contributor to Newsmax TV. Read Dick Morris' Reports — More Here
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