Drip, drip, drip of the Democratic retirement

No seats should be an issue for Democrats to hold. Vermont has gone for President Joe Biden is 35 points in 2020 – his biggest profit margin anywhere in the country. And Speier Bay Area 14th District gave Biden 89% of the vote last November.

The bigger problem for Democrats then is not keeping those seats to their side. It’s the steady drumming of retirees from within their ranks – especially in the holiday period leading up to Thanksgiving and then Christmas – not at all what they want when they try to. tried to hold the majority of its power in the House and Senate.

Congress is like high school. People are looking around to see what others are doing – and then adjusting their behavior accordingly.

That’s not to say that a Democrat who has never considered retirement will see someone like Leahy go and think now is the time to go.

However, for members undecided about whether to go for another term, retiring from the Democratic ranks could influence their thinking. If it feels like a lot of people are deciding to leave, there is usually a momentum effect sweeping through the members on the fence.

And a lot of those undecided members will be making go/no go decisions in the next few weeks. As Washington Post’s Paul Kane noted last month:

“The holiday season, from Thanksgiving to Christmas and into the new year, is traditionally a time for legislators’ health checks.

Between 2011 and 2020, the last two months of the holiday year and January of the election year resulted in the most announced retirements by members of the House of Representatives, according to data. compiled by Ballotpedia. “

That’s why Democrats have to hope that tomorrow – or the rest of this week – doesn’t make any more retirement announcements.

Point: Politics is a business of imitation – involving deciding when to retire. Democratic leaders need to make staying in Congress look as good as possible over the next few weeks.

EDIT: An earlier version of this story misrepresented Representative Jackie Speier’s congressional seat in one instance. Speier is a member of the House of Representatives.


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