Campaign

House GOP campaign chief to vulnerable Democrats: ‘Retire or lose’

Greg Nash

The head of the GOP’s House campaign arm is giving vulnerable Democratic incumbents an ultimatum: “Retire or lose.”

The remarks by Rep. Tom Emmer (D-Minn.), the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), came a day after the GOP notched a series of upset electoral victories spanning from New Jersey to San Antonio. The biggest win for the party was in Virginia, where Glenn Youngkin recaptured the governor’s mansion for Republicans for the first time since 2009. 

Those victories made Republicans even more bullish about their prospects of recapturing control of Congress in the 2022 midterm elections. Now, Emmer is looking to put pressure on House Democrats facing tough reelection bids. 

“Vulnerable House Democrats have a choice to make over Thanksgiving,” Emmer told The Washington Post in an interview. “Retire or lose.”

Emboldened by the GOP’s off-year electoral wins, the NRCC expanded its offensive target list on Wednesday, adding 13 new Democratic incumbents who represent suburban districts. 

Republicans need to net just five seats in 2022 to recapture control of the House. Even before Tuesday, such a goal appeared within reach, given that the GOP is expected to benefit from redistricting in key states and the party of a new president has historically lost ground in Congress in midterm elections.

But the string of Republican wins this week was a particularly sobering wake-up call for Democrats, who didn’t anticipate the kind of electoral thrashing that Tuesday would bring.

So far, seven House Democrats have announced retirement plans, and party officials expect that list to grow in the coming months. While lawmakers cite various reasons for not seeking reelection, such retirements are often seen as an indication that a party’s members are anticipating electoral trouble.

Tags 2022 midterms Glenn Youngkin House campaigns NRCC Tom Emmer Virginia elections

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