House Republicans plotting to win back their majority in Congress fear they are on the brink of a massive wave of retirements that could force them to play defense in a high-stakes presidential election year.
Three House Republicans said last week they would not seek another term next year, catching party strategists off guard. Those announcements came earlier than in a typical election cycle, when members who are ready to hang up their voting cards usually wait until after the August recess or after the Christmas break.
Republicans in Congress strategizing to win back the House say the rush to the exits reflects the depressing reality of life in the minority and a pessimistic view of the GOP’s chances of regaining the majority.
“We are in the minority. That is never much fun in the House,” said one senior Republican member of Congress, who asked for anonymity to provide a candid assessment. “The odds are against us retaking the majority.”