The recent spate of Republicans announcing their retirement from Congress has rekindled anxieties about the party's ability to maintain its majorities in both houses of Congress, especially the House.
The decisions of three moderate Republicans the past week to not seek re-election — Reps. Charlie Dent (Penn.), Dave Trott (Michigan), Dave Reichert (Washington) — brings the number of House Republicans to seven who have decided to retire this year.
With another nine running for higher office, the speculation mounts whether Republicans can keep their hold on the House, especially during the turbulent political times of President Donald Trump.
"It makes holding the majority that much tougher because those are tough seats. And those are very good candidates," Rep. Tom Cole, R-Oklahoma, and former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee told The Hill.
And the perceived opportunity has Democrats excited.
"Republicans having to defend seats that they’ve never had to defend before," Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told RealClearPolitics. "That does not bode well for [NRCC Chairman] Steve Stiver. He already had a tough map to defend. Now he has three more very expensive districts to try to defend, when we have an advantage in those districts."
Adding to the anxieties of Republicans is that this rash of retirements could portend even more.
"These open seats can be very vulnerable and difficult to hold," Geoffrey Skelley, a political analyst at the University of Virginia, told The Hill. "If this is the tip of the iceberg for retirements, that will be very bad for the GOP."
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