Three former chairs of the Democrat’s campaign arm, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), have sounded the alarm as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) continues to see her extremely slim majority slip away.
As the midterms are quickly approaching, former chairs of the DCCC are sounding the alarm for the incumbent Democrats trying to remain in the majority. With the Republicans looking to regain the House, the Republican campaign arm, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), has hammered the vulnerable Democrats with its hopes to win back seats.
In recent weeks, multiple Democrats have called it quits on remaining in the House as the chances of staying in the majority are quickly fading.
Former Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) led the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2012 and 2014. He told the New York Times, “The two biggest headaches of any cycle are redistricting and retirements, and when you have both in one cycle, it’s a migraine.”
When new districts are created and official, candidates are waiting to see where the district they will be running in ends up. Israel continued to say, “It’s like going to war on a battlefield, but you don’t know where you’re fighting, when you’re fighting, or who you’re fighting.”
Another former DCCC Chairman, Rep. Martin Frost (D-TX), said to Politico when it comes to redistricting and retiring:
It’s very early in the game, but retirements are a concern. I would hope the party is taking them very seriously and setting out to recruit strong candidates,” he continued, noting that early retirements at least give the party more time to find replacements.
Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL), the previous DCCC Chairwoman and a top lieutenant of Pelosi, announced that she would not be seeking reelection last week. Bustos narrowly won her seat in 2020. Former President Donald Trump previously won Bustos’ district in both of his elections in 2016 and 2020. Illinois also lost a congressional seat after the Census, though the Democrats’ supermajority controls redistricting for the 2022 election.
Besides Bustos, there is growing list of vulnerable House Democrats that are facing tough reelections who have also taken an exit from the House. In the case of some Democrats, many allegedly have been quietly saying hopes of finding new candidates to run for the vacated seats are failing, saying it will likely cost seats.
Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL), who was previously Governor of Florida, called quits on the House Tuesday. He announced he would be running to get his old job back as he leaves his vulnerable House seat behind. This will be the third time Crist will run for governor of Florida. During his tenure as governor, Crist switched from Republican to Democrat.
Pennsylvania Democrat Reps. Conor Lamb and Chrissy Houlahan are both considering Senate bids for the open seat after Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) retires in 2022. Many Democrats allegedly believe with Lamb and Houlahan leaving, “they would be unable to field a candidate who could hold onto his district next fall, likely costing them a seat.” In addition, “Republicans control the state legislature, but Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf can veto their maps.”
Earlier this year, Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ) and Rep. Filemon Vela (D-TX) announced their intent to retire, which would open the seats up for a competitive race.
Democrat Rep. Tim Ryan (OH), failed presidential hopeful, launched his Senate campaign last week to replace retiring Republican Sen. Rob Portman (OH).
In addition to this, the failed special election Democrat candidate Jana Lynne Sanchez from last Saturday’s election did not receive enough votes to make it into the runoff. She used her loss to send a strong message to the Democrats. She believes if the Democrats continue to fail at getting “voters out” and “don’t organize and prepare” for the 2022 midterms, there will “be a major setback” for the Democrats trying to enact House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) partisan socialist agenda in Washington, DC.
The Republican campaign arm previously created an “Exit List,” which was comprised of vulnerable Democrats the Republicans are looking to pick off in the midterms. The NRCC recently just expanded their list, adding an additional ten seats. Republicans hope to pick up all of these seats and take back the majority.
The NRCC April battleground survey shows Republicans are projected to regain the House majority in the midterm elections. The survey also found vulnerable Democrats have an uphill battle defending their seats after voting for “Pelosi’s socialist agenda.” In addition, the survey finds Pelosi is the most unpopular politician in the country, with a 56 percent unfavorable rating.