News & Politics

Vulnerable House Democrats Head for the Exits as the Suburbs Revert to Red

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

The Democrat who was in charge of House campaigns when the last red wave rolled over America says that history appears to be repeating itself.

Rep. Steve Israel ran the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2010, when the GOP picked up more than 60 seats in the midterm election. His assessment of the current reality is grim: “The only benefit they have now over 2009 is knowing just how bad it can get.”

The 2009 gubernatorial election saw both Virginia and New Jersey flip red and set the stage for the Republican tsunami of 2010. Politico explains the real danger for Democrats and the significance of the Virginia victory of Glenn Youngkin.

Democrats’ House majority — and their path to the White House in 2020 — was built in large part on suburban, college-educated voters who spurned former President Donald Trump. But Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin’s inroads with them — carving deep into the northern Virginia counties where Democratic dominance in the last governor’s race foretold the 2018 “blue wave” — proves Democrats’ support in those suburbs is soft. That’s especially true as Biden and congressional Democrats struggle to clinch a deal on their social spending packages and Republicans double down on culture war campaigns.

“If Democrats can’t reclaim those suburban voters, I don’t see a path to keeping the majority, plain and simple,” Israel said, “and you reclaim them by talking about those issues that those voters are discussing at their kitchen table.”

Yes, those icky “cultural issues” that Democrats and the elites disparage and make fun of are bringing suburban voters — specifically, suburban white women — back to the Republican side.

Why? Because they’re the issues that those voters are discussing at their kitchen table. Voters aren’t sitting around talking about what a swell job Biden has been doing coping with the pandemic. They’re worried about what nonsense radical left teachers are filling their kids’ heads with.

All politics are local — unless one party can make the election a national referendum. And in this target-rich environment where goofy, demented Biden incompetently manages the economy and his radical allies seek to impose leftist dogma on schoolchildren, Republicans have only one thing to say to the dozens of very vulnerable Democrats:

Retire or lose.

Many of those first and second-term Democratic congressmen won extremely tight races in Republican suburbs. With redistricting and many voters having second thoughts about the Democratic Party, a lot of them will realize that discretion is the better part of valor and head for the hills.

Washington Post:

Republicans were already confident in their chances of recapturing the House in the 2022 midterms before Glenn Youngkin’s defeat of former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe in the Virginia governor’s race on Tuesday and Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy’s near-loss in New Jersey.

Now they’re even more bullish.

“Vulnerable House Democrats have a choice to make over Thanksgiving,” Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, warned in an interview. “Retire or lose. It’s as simple as that.”

In the wake of the Democratic blowout in Virginia and elsewhere, the National Republican Congressional Committee announced yesterday it was expanding its list of targets to include more than a dozen or so House Democrats who represent solidly blue suburbs outside of cities like Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, and Phoenix. These seats are gettable, but no gimme. Generally, a congressman who won the previous midterm by 55 percent or more is considered “safe.” Most of those seats fall in that category.

Only in “wave” elections do those seats come into play. Given the writing on the wall, it’s expected that at least a dozen more House Democrats will join the seven who have already announced their retirement or their desire to seek another office.

Rats leaving a sinking ship?