Republicans fleeing Congress, are they running scared?

Republicans are fleeing Congress with mass retirement announcements, are they running scared? A media narrative has formed that many Congressional Republicans are retiring to avoid the coming bloodbath in the U.S. 2020 elections.

There is a divisive nature of politics in America today, brought on by current President Donald Trump – says the narrative. This divisive nature will no doubt affect the Congressional down-ballot – whether it be positive or negative. This presents a problem for Republican Party leaders. Incumbents tend to be re-elected, so as more members retire, the more party officials have to worry about potentially competitive contests.

We can see from the inset chart, as of this posting, there are 16 retiring Republicans to just 4 Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives of Congress. Considering that House Republicans are in the minority (198 Republicans and 235 Democrats), this means that Republican members are retiring at a much more significant rate than Democrats. Why?

Though it does appear at first glance that Republicans are running scared and retiring early, a more mathematical view says that the number of Republican retirees is in the band of normality – though just barely. News Forecasters does believe there are a few factors going on here. Here is our list of reason for the exodus of Congressional Republicans:

  1. Republican Party rules – say that there are term limits that a member can have on a committee, once a committee term limit is finished there is less desire to participate, due to not willing to play more of a back seat role – so just retire.
  2. Personal and family risk – The divisive nature of politics has placed a greater personal and family risk on a member of Congress. Candidates do not want to expose their families to such risks.
  3. Divisive Party Leader – The Republican party is fracturing, many “never Trumpers” do not want to participate in government where there is a divisive party leader.
  4. Fear of exposure – The divisive nature of politics has put opposition research (for the conspiracy advocates, “deepstate”) on steroids. Congressional members are ever-increasingly put under the microscope, from both a corruption and personal behavior perspective – a run before exposed mentality.
  5. Normal retirement – Congressional members get old and retire – as stated before, the retirees from the Republican party is statistically not significant.

News Forecasters believes that all of the above could apply, though reason 5 (normal retirement) is the predominate reason so many Congressional Republicans are retiring. Going forward, all Congressional members will be under more and more scrutiny. From a corruptions perspective, this could be good, from a personal behavior perspective, this could be bad – is media spin to tell us what good and bad behavior is?

When looking the Congressional map, and the potential 16 Republican retirees, only 5 seats are on the Democratic target list for being flipped. Juxtapose this with the 44 seats that the Democrats must defend. So a bit of a mixed bag. In short, this Congressional retirement issue is relatively a non-issue.

A video presentation of this subject:

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