In the past two weeks, five Republican congressmen have announced their retirements dampening hopes that the party could retake the House.
Representative Mike Conaway has announced that he will not seek re-election to his Texas seat in 2020. Conaway has not yet confirmed his recent decision nor has he given a reason why. He has, however, set a date to make a statement.
The Republican party now has deep concerns about who will fill Conaway’s shoes, as well as how many other representatives will follow suit. It is believed that the five representatives that are calling it quits with the GOP have done so due to mounting difficulties serving under Trump as well as issues working with the democratic majority in Congress.
“Serving in the era of Trump has few rewards,” Tom Davis, a former senior Republican congressman, told The Hill. “He has made an already hostile political environment worse.
“Every day there is some indefensible tweet or comment to defend or explain. It is exhausting and often embarrassing,” Davis added.
Conaway has served in Congress for 15 years. He joins Republican representatives Paul Mitchell, Pete Olson, Martha Roby and Rob Bishop in announcing their retirements.
After announcing he would be leaving office Mitchell told the House that “rhetoric overwhelms policy and politics consumes much of the oxygen” in Washington DC.
Jamie Roe, one of Mitchell’s former campaign workers, stated that Mitchell has “been frustrated with the fact that things don’t get done here”.
Roe stated that although Mitchell did not come out and directly attribute his decision to step down to Trump, he adds that Mitchell was one of the first Republican congressmen to complain about Trump’s recent racist remarks about the group of Democratic congresswoman.
“We must be better than comments like these,” Mitchell tweeted after the after Trump tweeted that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan all women of color, should go back to their “broken and crime-infested” countries.
Mitchell added: “I share the political frustrations with some members of the other party, but these comments are beneath leaders.”
Roby had stated that she would not vote for Trump in 2016 as his behavior had been “unacceptable as a candidate for president.”
Trump’s approval ratings are still low averaging at its best 43 percent. Trump’s political agenda could very well be costly in the 2020 congressional elections.
Conaway, Mitchell, Roby, and Bishop all represent safe Republican districts that are expected to pick candidates from the party in 2020, but that is not guaranteed.
Even in what appears to be the safest districts, the prospect of returning to the House in 2020 may be unappealing for many conservative representatives because Democrats are expected to win a majority again in 2020.
According to the website, FiveThirtyEight recent polling shows Democrats lead Republicans by 5.6 percent for the 2020 election,
All 435 voting seats in the House of Representatives will be up for election in 2020, as will 34 seats in the Senate.