Ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, House Republicans saw a record number of retirements with members likely anticipating (correctly) that their party was going to lose power. Some of those GOP members who sought the exits or ran for higher office opened up a dozen competitive seats that Democrats were able to take advantage of, flipping a total of 40 seats. Others who didn’t run again may have been in solid red districts that didn’t affect the takeover calculus, but they still included nine committee chairmen (some of whom were term-limited) that would have seen their power diminished in the minority. History shows us that after a party loses control of Congress, rates of retirement remain high or even grow. And, as the Cook Political Report David Wasserman has outlined, while Republicans have plenty of targets to get to the 18 seats (or 19 depending on the North Carolina 9th district special election) they need to win back control, history remains on Democrats’ side. In the recent past, when the balance of power has shifted, the minority party has struggled

More from the Cook Political Report

Amy FP
First Person
Cook Politcal Logo
CPR Archives
User photo