Members of Congress will flee Capitol Hill at the end of next year, setting the stage for a 2024 election cycle with at least three dozen open seats.
There are 36 lawmakers who will not run for re-election to Congress in 2024, including seven senators and 29 House members, according to data aggregator Ballotpedia.
On the House side, the 29 who are retiring or seeking another office include 20 Democrats and 9 Republicans.
“Retirement can take many forms,” Derek T. Mueller, a law professor at Notre Dame Law School, told Fox News Digital. “Members are looking for another position or another career opportunity, or they simply get tired of the job after doing it for many years.” .
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“Partisan bickering can make the task more stressful, and gridlock can make efforts appear to be in vain. It is difficult to be away from one’s family for so many weeks of the year. And many members of Congress are aging. It is not surprising to see this,” Mueller said. High levels of turnover in this cycle.”
The nonpartisan Cook Political Report projects five open House seats as potential opportunities for Democrats while none are listed for the GOP.
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The majority of House lawmakers who leave leave safe red or blue districts.
But the GOP has been forced to confront disappointing showings in 2022 and 2023 amid the fallout from the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade last year. Most recently, Virginia Democrats made blocking a GOP proposal to set a 15-week abortion limit a cornerstone of their November House elections – and retained control.
Meanwhile, the “partisan bickering” referred to by Mueller reached historic levels in the 118th Congress.
Less than three months ago, eight Republicans joined all House Democrats in a majority vote to oust a speaker for the first time in U.S. history. It paralyzed Congress for three weeks as the divisive GOP convention sought a new president.
However, Democrats do not face a clean sweep in 2024, as their divisions within the party have resurfaced in the wake of the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7.
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Progressives have revolted against the Democrats’ traditional pro-Israel stance, threatening to withhold support from candidates supportive of Tel Aviv.
This would make it more difficult for a moderate Democrat without incumbency to win in the primary, and therefore easier for a Republican candidate in the general election.
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A Fox News poll published on October 12 found widespread dissatisfaction with Congress across parties, although Republicans fared slightly worse.
The approval rating of Republican lawmakers is only 30%, seven points lower than that of Democrats. Their disapproval rate is 66%, 6% higher than their liberal counterparts in Congress.