Less than a year before election day 2024, the number of retirements in the House and the Senate may break a record for this cycle.
Thirty-four members of Congress have already announced they were not seeking re-election, including Senator Joe Manchin whose West Virginia Senate seat has moved from “Leans Republican” to “Safe Republican” in the Sabato Crystal Ball ratings.
Retirements will not make much of a difference in many districts because Congressmen live in districts that are already uncompetitive.
There are also known commodities and unknown candidates. A known commodity is a candidate who has proven to be able to raise money and win votes. A candidate with a strong bias towards a particular party in a district won by Joe Biden is not guaranteed to win.
According to Politico, the party with the fewest retired incumbents won 10 of 15 elections. A district with a retired incumbent is still considered “in play” even if the lean is 10 in favor of the opposition party.
FiveThirtyEight defines bias as the “average margin difference” in the vote of a district or a state compared to the national vote. A state’s FiveThirtyEight Lean is R+5, which means the state leans 5 percentage points Republican than the nation as a whole.
There have been 27 Democrats who have announced their retirement, while there are only nine Republicans. These candidates are also running for other offices such as governor or senator. Although the number of retirements is significant, it’s still early in the cycle.
After Christmas, we will have a better idea of what the political landscape will look like in 2024.
This is not how retirements are handled in Congress. According to the Ballotpedia data for the six previous election cycles, the majority of retirement announcements occurred immediately after the holiday break.
This is the only time to date that has seen more retirement announcements than January 2014.
Members of Congress are not as smart as the conventional wisdom might suggest.
Republicans have a good chance of winning other swing states such as Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Virginia.
In the House, it’s a different story. New York won a court ruling that a map drawn by a court of appeals was unfair to Democrats. This ended the GOP’s 4-seat majority. New York may be the only state where Democrats flip 4 or 5 seats.
They should also be able to raise money without much help and avoid any landmines that come with running for office. The party should be able to raise funds without much assistance and avoid the landmines of running for office.