DemDaily: And Then There Were 43

February 3, 2022 

16-term Tennessee Congressman Jim Cooper (D) became the latest member of Congress to announce his retirement, bringing the number of House departures to 43 going into the 2022 midterm elections.

Other recent retirements include Democratic Congressmen Jim Langevin (RI-2) and Jerry McNerney (CA-9).

43 US House members, including 29 Democrats and 14 Republicans, have declared their intentions not to run for reelection to Congress. Those include retirements, members running for other offices and one midterm resignation.

Although Langevin and McNerney would have been favored to win in their newly drawn seats under redistricting, the new Republican-gerrymandered map in Tennessee split Cooper's Nashville-based seat into three.

Despite the "wave" of Democratic departures, which Republicans claim will ensure their takeover of the US House in November, more than half of those are in seats that are still safely blue under reapportioned maps.

With roughly two-thirds of the nation’s congressional maps finalized, Republicans' overall dominance of statehouses and the redistricting process has so far been effectively countered by Democrats in states where they have control.

Regardless, Democrats are facing an uphill battle in their quest to maintain control of the US House, which they currently hold by a mere nine-seat advantage.

The partisan breakdown of the 117th Congress of the US House of Representatives stands at 222 Democrats to 213 Republicans. That includes one Republican vacancy in California's 22nd CD.

Historically, the party in the White House in off-election years suffers significant losses and frequently sees the president's opposing party gain control of one or both houses of Congress.

Since World War II the president's party has lost an average of 26 seats in the House, and an average of four seats in the Senate.

Midterm elections are often regarded as a referendum on the sitting president's or party's performance. With President Biden's current approval rating at 43% and Congress' at 21%, the numbers do not bode well for Democrats.

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Kimberly Scott
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Sources: Ballotpedia, Wiki, FiveThirtyEight, RealClearPolitics

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