DemDaily: House Retirement Rollout and Tomorrow’s Special Elections

September 9, 2019

Congress is back in session and, with it, a new wave of retirements from the US House of Representatives.

Will Hurd, the only African American Republican Member, is one of five GOP retirements in Texas (Houston Chron)

So far, 15 Republicans have announced they are leaving the lower chamber, half of which came in the last month during the Summer recess. To-date, just four Democrats have announced their departure.

US HOUSE
235 Democrats, 197 Republicans, 1 Independent, 2 R Vacancies

In addition to the contest for the White House, all 435 US House seats are up for election in 2020.

While a handful of Members are leaving to run for higher office, the mounting GOP departures are largely attributed to the frustration of being in the minority and subject to the unpopular whims of an unstable White House, as well as the pro-Democratic voter trend in some districts.

Susan Davis (CA) is the fourth Dem to announce retirement (Chris Stone)

The most recent departures were announced by Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Bill Flores (R-TX) last Wednesday. Flores marks the fifth Republican retirement from Texas, dubbed "Texodus" by the DCCC, which hopes to help turn the red state blue.

One member, Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy (R) is stepping down as of September 23, 2019, citing family matters. This means a special election will be called to fill the seat, potentially April 7, 2020 when the state's presidential primary is held. The winner of that election, however, will have to turn around and run again in November, 2020 in the regular election.

Most immediately, however, all eyes will be on tomorrow's September 10th congressional special elections in North Carolina.

In North Carolina's 3rd CD, Greg Murphy (R), Allen Thomas (D), Tim Harris (L), and Greg Holt (Constitution Party) are running to replace former incumbent Walter Jones (R), who died February 10, 2019. An August 26-28, 2019 RRH Elections poll had Murphy at 51% and Thomas at 40%.

In tomorrow's North Carolina's 9th CD special election, however, the race is neck-and-neck between Democrat Dan McCready and Republican Dan Bishop in what is considered a timely and telling litmus test of President Trump's popularity and presidency.

The "re-do" election in the 9th CD was called after state election officials found absentee ballot fraud had occurred in the 2018 general election.

Democrat Dan McCready is in deadheat race in Tuesday's NC-9 election (HuffPost)

Trump, who is flying to North Carolina today to campaign for Bishop, won the district by 12 points in 2016 and the state by 3.6% over Clinton.

The same year, however, Democrat Roy Cooper unseated incumbent Republican Governor Pat McCrory, and in 2018, Democrats made significant gains in the State House and Senate.

A September 5-6, 2019 survey by co/efficient of likely voters, shows McCready leading Bishop 48% to 45%.

If NC-9 flips blue, or even if the numbers are close, it bodes well for Democrats running in the other open GOP seats. As retirements continue to deplete Republican ranks, and more are expected, the GOP's dream of recapturing the US House continues to fade.

2020 HOUSE RETIREMENTS
State/DistrictMemberCook Partisan Voting Index2018 Margin of VictoryStatusFirst
Elected
Alabama/1
Bradley Byrne
R+15+26.4 ptsRunning for US Senate2013
Alabama/2
Martha Roby
R+16+23 ptsRetiring2010
California/53
Susan Davis
D+14+38.2 ptsRetiring2000
Georgia/7
Rob Woodall
R+9+0.2 ptsRetiring2010
Indiana/5Susan BrooksR+9+13.6 ptsRetiring2012
Illinois/15John ShimkusR+21+41.8 ptsRetiring1996
Iowa/2
Dave Loebsack
D+1+12.2 ptsRetiring2006
Michigan/10Paul MitchellR+13+25.3 ptsRetiring2016
Montana/ALGreg GianforteR+11+4.7%Running for Governor2017
New Mexico/3
Ben Ray Luján
D+8+32.2 ptsRunning for US Senate2008
New York/15
José Serrano
D+44+92 ptsRetiring1990
Texas/11
Mike Conaway
R+32+61.7 pts.Retiring2004
Texas/17Bill FloresR+12+15.5 ptsRetiring2010
Texas/22Pete OlsonR+10+4.9%Retiring2008
Texas/23Will HurdR+1+0.5 ptsRetiring2014
Texas/24Kenny MarchantR+9+3.1 ptsRetiring2004
Utah/1Rob BishopR+26+36.7 ptsRetiring2002
Wisconsin/5Jim SensenbrennerR+13+24 ptsRetiring1978
Wisconsin/7Sean DuffyR+8+21.6%Retiring2010

DemList will keep you informed.

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Resources: Ballotpedia, Cook Political Report, NPR, JournalSentinel, The Hill, CNN, FiveThirtyEight

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