Former Democratic campaign chiefs are reportedly alarmed by the party's twin "headaches" — redistricting and retirements — that appear primed to wipe out Democrats' full control of Congress in 2022.
A growing number of House Democrats in battleground districts are either retiring or eyeballing higher office — vacancies that could upend a tiny Democratic majority and President Joe Biden’s ambitious agenda, the New York Times noted.
“The two biggest headaches of any cycle are redistricting and retirements, and when you have both in one cycle, it’s a migraine,” former Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., who led the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee from 2011 to 2015, told the Times.
Another former DCCC chairman, ex-Texas Rep. Martin Frost, told Politico that though “it’s very early in the game, retirements are a concern.”
“I would hope the party is taking them very seriously and setting out to recruit strong candidates,” he said.
The latest departure is Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., a previous DCCC chair and a top ally of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. Bustos announced last week that she’s not seeking reelection. Her win in 2020 was a squeaker in a district that former President Donald Trump won in both 2016 and 2020.
Illinois also lost a congressional seat after the 2020 Census, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Problems have been exacerbated by two vulnerable House Democrats, already facing tough reelection campaigns, reportedly starting to think about a Senate run: Pennsylvania Reps. Conor Lamb and Chrissy Houlahan.
According to Breitbart, there are Democrats who believe that with Lamb leaving, “they would be unable to field a candidate who could hold onto his district next fall, likely costing them a seat.”
Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., also won’t be coming back to the House, the Tampa Bay Times reported, with Crist announcing he’ll run to get his old job as governor back — his third run for that spot, the news outlet noted. In 2012, after his tenure as governor, Crist switched from Republican to Democrat. Current Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, enjoys a high approval rating in the state.
Plus, the Republican campaign arm has created an “exit list” of vulnerable democrats who Republicans can pick off in the midterms later this year, Breitbart has reported.
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