As Joe Biden‘s poll numbers continue to drop lower and lower, Democrats in the House and Senate are jumping ship, deciding they are done trying to run for reelection. This news is causing many to speculate that the GOP is almost guaranteed to retake both houses of Congress.
California Rep. Jackie Speier is the latest Democrat to announce she will not be running for reelection in 2022. As Democrats are only holding a small majority in both the House, every seat matters. Of course, Speier’s district is a very deep blue area, so it is likely that another Democrat will be taking her place.
Two days before Speier’s announcement, the president pro tempore of the Senate, Vermont Democrat Senator Patrick Leahy also revealed that he would not be seeking reelection. Leahy is the longest-serving sitting senator.
These two are not the only ones who have decided to drop out. According to reporting from The Washington Post, “Eight Democrats have chosen not to run for reelection in 2022, with more probably on the way.”
Even left-wing publications are admitting that these announcements have some bad implications for the Democrats.
The Washington Post wrote:
“Members of Congress … don’t usually leave their jobs unless they are pushed out by voters, or feel like they are about to be relegated to permanent minority status. Like a Waffle House closing ahead of a hurricane, the Retiree Index can be a sign for Congress watchers — along with ominous polling and a surprise loss in what was supposed to be a safe election (in this case, Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s defeat in the Virginia governor’s race) — that the majority is about to get walloped. Some members may be getting out before their work situations go from intense to intolerable.”
The ever-expanding list of Democrats choosing not to run for reelection may have something to do with the losses that the party has been facing recently, as the elections in Virginia and New Jersey have led many to speculate that the Democrats are going to suffer some devastating losses in 2022.
FiveThirtyEight’s Nathaniel Rakich noted:
“If I were the Democratic Party, I’d be feeling less comforted by that number after Tuesday. While polls are usually in the right ballpark, they are still subject to a margin of error, as Democrats themselves discovered in 2020, when the generic-ballot polls overestimated their margin by 4.2 points. Plus, there was already good reason to think that generic-ballot polls right now are overestimating Democrats: Almost all so far have surveyed registered voters rather than likely voters, who tend to be a more Republican-leaning group, especially in a midterm election when the president is a Democrat.”
According to an op-ed from The New York Times, one of the “easiest explanations” for the Democrats’ losses in Virginia and New Jersey is that Joe Biden has “lower approval ratings at this stage of his presidency than nearly any president in the era of modern polling.”
The Atlantic seems to agree that the Democrats have lost support, writing: “Compared with the 2020 election, support for Democrats decayed across states, genders, ethnicities, and counties. Democrats lost because of something bigger than any demographic or issue. They lost a vibes war. Despite many positive economic trends, Americans are feeling rotten about the state of things—and, understandably, they’re blaming the party in power.”