Workplaces aren’t the only areas of American life leaking employees. It appears Democrats in the Senate are contending with a “Great Resignation,” as Politico referred to it.
In the Senate, 33 seats are up for grabs in 2024, with 23 of these coming from Democrat candidates and 10 from Republicans. To make matters worse for Chuck Schumer, many of these Democrats are choosing to bow out of their races, forcing the Senate Majority leader to find new electable candidates to present to the voting public in two years.
“Against that backdrop, at least eight members of Chuck Schumer’s caucus are agonizing over whether to run again, and a couple hail from states that may be lost to the GOP if the incumbent bows out,” Politico writes. (RELATED: Shocker: Pollsters Once Again Drastically Underestimate Populist Conservative’s Numbers)
Many of those who are considering dropping out of their races are in safe states for Democrats, such as Maryland’s Ben Cardin and Delaware’s Tom Carper. But other candidates, such as Jon Tester of Montana and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, have historically been able to pull victories out of swing or red states. Despite their Democrat Senate leadership, President Trump won West Virginia by 39 points, and Montana by 16 points in 2020. Finding just the right replacement for these moderate candidates is a fresh challenge for Democrat leadership, but one which could decide the fate of their Senate hopes in 2024.
New: Dems protecting 23 seats in 2024 to GOP’s 10, and at least eight Dem incumbents are undecided on whether to run again: Manchin, Tester, Cardin, Carper, Sanders, King, Kaine and Sinema
Huge stakes here for the party’s ability to control chamberhttps://t.co/x8hb5SSY43
— Burgess Everett (@burgessev) October 5, 2022
Manchin, for one, has been frustratingly vague about his plans for 2024.
“What I do in 2024 has nothing to do with what I do right now,” he said of his future in the Senate.
Tester maintains he hasn’t made up his mind yet about 2024. (RELATED: Tim Ryan Brags About Voting ‘With Trump On Trade’ In Campaign Ad)
“I will not make a decision until sometime early next year,” Tester said, adding that he feels “very positively about my chances.”
Krysten Sinema of Arizona is also vague about her plans for 2024, and has historically been a thorn in the side of Democrat leadership in the Senate. But her centrist standing means she has managed to hold a Senate seat for a state Trump won by 3.5 points in 2016 and only barely lost in 2020.
I talked to 19 of these senators, got statements from three others. And there’s some good news for Democrats: Many swing state members say they are running
Baldwin, Stabenow, Casey, Klobuchar and Rosen.
Rosen said: “Am I undecided? No. I am all in. I’m definitely running,”
— Burgess Everett (@burgessev) October 5, 2022
Democrats retiring was a problem for midterm chances in 2022 as well. Thirty-eight members of Congress, including 6 members of the Senate, announced their retirement before the midterms.
Upon announcing his retirement in February, Democrat Tennessee Representative Jim Cooper sounded the alarm on his party’s hopes in red states. (RELATED: REPORT: House Republicans To Investigate Chamber Of Commerce Over ESG If They Take The Majority)
“We’ve been crippled politically. I’m fine,” Cooper said. “I was alert to the danger. I tried to warn everyone I could. Very few people wanted to listen, and now the worst has happened.”
Cooper blasted Democrats for forgetting rural communities in the state, focusing instead on cities such as Nashville.
“People in Nashville don’t realize how many kindred spirits there are in these rural counties who feel trapped by the Republican representation,” Cooper said. “What they have to do is genuinely love their brothers and sisters who live outside of Nashville.”
SEN. MANCHIN: “If they defeat me, I get to go home. That’s my consolation. This is not the best job in the world, I can assure you. I’ve had better jobs. […] I’m waiting for 2022. I’ll look and see how this election comes out and where we stand…” pic.twitter.com/EKSLsnY5qO
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) September 30, 2022
“The increasing number of Democratic retirements — put against the backdrop of President Biden’s sagging approval ratings and uncertainty about redistricting — is adding to concerns the party may not be able to keep its slim majority in the House,” Axios reported in April, as the 31st Democrat and 18th Republican announced retirement. (RELATED: House Republicans Investigate Use Of COVID-19 Relief Funds To Allegedly Implement Critical Race Theory)
Despite some Democrat wins in recent months, such as the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act and slowly lowering gas prices, inflation is still sky high, and gas prices are still drastically higher than they were a year ago.
Voters still prefer Republicans to take over in November. A recent Monmouth University poll found that 47% of voters preferred that Republicans control both the House of Representatives and Senate in the next Congress, while only 44% preferred Democrats.
Democrats will have their hands full changing public perception about their party and its candidates in the two years between the upcoming midterms and 2024. If key candidates retire, that task will prove even more difficult.