The political misery index for Democrats in 2022 – The North State Journal

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Arrives to meet with reporters at the Capitol in Washington on Wednesday, December 8, 2021. Congressional leaders have reached a deal to lift the national debt limit that will allow Democrats to ‘increase the national debt borrowing power without any vote from the Republicans. (AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite)

No scientist or biologist can prove it in the lab – yet – but elephants in the tropics were seen fleeing the lowlands near beaches before a tsunami caused by an earthquake thousands of miles away hit the shore. The guess is that animals have a “sixth sense” that can sense impending danger.

Elected veteran politicians on both sides have a “sixth sense” when it comes to their political future. They can simply “feel” when the political tectonic plates move against them and their party. They don’t want to be on the beach when the 100 foot wave hits and engulfs everything they see.

Many voluntarily choose to retire. It is more worthy than being beaten at the polls. They say they want to “spend more time with the family”. Behind closed doors, here is what they say in all honesty: “Man. I really don’t want to be ashamed of losing big in the next election! I have been a great member of Congress!

To date, 20 Democrats in Congress have announced their retirement against 17 Republicans. In North Carolina, up to 15 Democrats in the General Assembly will retire or run for other positions even before the new redistribution maps are finalized.

Research has been conducted to correlate the number of retirements with the net losses of seats in Congress since 1938. The number of retirements on either side is essentially unnecessary in presidential years, as presidential politics overwhelm almost every other factor during those years.

However, in the recess years of Congress such as the one we’re about to enter in 2022 – also hard to believe – retirements are useful indicators of what might happen in the next election. . It’s not the absolute number of retreats that makes the difference, but rather the net number of retreats relative to the other party that may be the canary in the mine shaft for either party. part.

In 2018, 37 Republicans and 18 Democrats decided to withdraw from Congress for a net pension difference of +19 Republicans. Democrats rode a blue wave of progressive socialism and hatred against President Donald Trump and won 40 Republicans seats. Statistical analysis predicted that around 50 seats would be lost, so Republicans did better than expected in 2018.

In 1994, 25 Congressional Democrats retired against just nine Republicans, including Congressman I worked with, Alex McMillan of Charlotte (NC-09), who retired after five terms because he just had enough. Republicans rode the wave of sentiment against Bill Clinton’s version of national health care, which was affectionately dubbed “HillaryCare” because Hillary Clinton was the contact for the effort and won 54 seats.

The most glaring anomaly was 2010 when an almost equal number of Democrats (14) retired as Republicans (13), but Republicans won 63 seats in Obama’s first term. This must be because Obamacare was adopted after filing deadlines expired in many states. Obamacare, who was actually HillaryCare on steroids, sparked the National Tea Party revolt against centralized control of healthcare when it was enacted on March 23, 2010.

Retreats mean more open seats for challengers. In the world of politics this has enormous consequences as 90 to 95% of all incumbents are re-elected everywhere because of the equally enormous advantages of the mandate. Holders collect more money because they own. Incumbents can announce major projects for their districts because they are incumbents. Unless an incumbent commits a felony – although dozens have been convicted of various charges and still re-elected by their constituents – they usually win easily simply because their identifying name is superior to their opponent’s.

The misery index invented by LBJ economic adviser Arthur Okun measures the sum of the unemployment rate and the inflation rate at a given time. The political misery index for Democrats in 2022 will be the rate of inflation plus the number of retirements they see at all levels of government.

It could be a tsunami that they are feeling under their feet. Just like the elephants.

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