Before Tuesday’s elections I noted that, even though Phil Murphy had a wide lead in the polls and was favored to win the New Jersey gubernatorial race, Republican Jack Ciattarelli could still pull off an upset because of Biden’s poor approval ratings and other issues working against the Democrats. That race turned out to be surprisingly competitive. Ciattarelli had a lead most of the evening, and while it appears that Murphy won reelection, he may have only won by a point. I said a week ago that, even if Murphy emerged victorious, as he was expected to, his margin of victory “could be an indicator of how Biden’s unpopularity will hurt Democrats in 2022.”
The results of the elections in both New Jersey and Virginia last week sent shockwaves through the political establishment and was a clear warning sign to Democrats that the party has moved too far to the left. Their leadership in Congress may not acknowledge this, but to Democrats who have to face the voters in their districts—and explain why their party supports critical race theory and radical transgender ideology while opposing the rights of parents to be involved in their kids’ education—a wave of Democrat retirements looms.
So far, 14 House Democrats have already announced retirement. After the stunning performance of GOP candidates in Virginia, a state Biden won by ten points, and even the surprise competitiveness of the New Jersey gubernatorial election, more Democrat retirements are expected ahead of the 2022 midterms, which were already are expected to be brutal for the Democratic Party.
The Republican Party is also ramping up its efforts to take back Congress in a big way. They’ve added 13 Democrat incumbents in solidly blue districts to their target races and are prepared to go on offense with their winning message.
“Vulnerable House Democrats have a choice to make over Thanksgiving,” National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) chairman Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota warned Democrats last week. “Retire or lose. It’s as simple as that.”
This is no idle threat, and while they might not admit it publicly, Democrats see the writing on the wall.
“I think, before [Tuesday’s elections], there were some members already thinking about it,” one senior Democrat House aide told The Hill. “And if they weren’t, I’ll bet you they are now.”
As they should be. The movement happening in America right now feels a lot like what happened in 2010 with the Tea Party movement. The Obama White House was reportedly blindsided by the GOP’s huge victories that saw them regain control of the House, but Democrats today have little reason to feel confident 2022 won’t be worse. Had Biden governed like a moderate, like he claimed he would, things might be different, but instead, he positioned himself as a radical, and an incompetent one at that. Between inflation, the border crisis, the struggling economy, his inability to defeat COVID-19 as he promised, his botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, and his vaccine mandate, Biden’s poll numbers have gone down the toilet, dooming Democrats’ prospects in 2022. Even Nancy Pelosi appears to be considering retirement.
Joe Biden took an already difficult electoral climate for Democrats and made it far worse than anyone imagined. A new wave of Democrat retirements would show us just how bad they think it is.