Speed Reads

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Why are so many House Democrats retiring? 3 possible reasons.

Not a great time to be a Democrat, it seems.

According to CNN, the number of retiring House Democrats — 30, to be exact, now that Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) has announced her impending exit — has reached a level not seen since 1992, when 41 Democrats called it quits.

If one more House Dem moves to leave Capitol Hill this cycle, the 2022 midterms will "tie the 1976 and 1978 election cycles as the second most retirements in modern history for the party, with 31." Already, there have been more Democratic retirements this election than the last two combined, CNN adds.

Meanwhile, the GOP is hanging on just fine — in fact, "if no other House Republican walks away this year, the 13 calling it quits will be the party's lowest total since 1988."

Amy Walter, editor of Cook Political Report, told CNN she blames the Democratic departures on three things in particular.

First, the national environment. "It's bad out there for Democrats," she said.

Second, historical trends. The retiring lawmakers "all know that it's hard for [the] party in [the] White House to pick up seats," Walter said. "They can only afford to lose 5. They can do math." 

And finally, the attitude on Capitol Hill just isn't that great at the moment. "Talk to any member or staffer and they'll tell you morale is low. It's a combination of January 6th, a lack of civility, plus a frustration with a fact that most legislation is leadership driven instead of member driven," Walter concluded.