As the Democratic Party faces an uphill battle ahead of next year’s midterm elections, a growing number of politicians in the party are announcing their impending exits.
For her part, U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) recently confirmed that she will not be seeking re-election next year.
“It has been a remarkable journey”
Although her seat represents a solidly blue district, her decision to step down comes as many Democrats expect to face widespread losses on Capitol Hill.
Speier has represented the district since 2008 and is considered a close ally to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). In a statement on Tuesday, she indicated a desire to spend more time with her family.
She recounted a “remarkable journey” that began when she was shot five times by followers of cult leader Jim Jones while visiting Jonestown as an aide to Rep. Leo Ryan (D-CA), who was killed in the violent attack.
“Forty-three years ago this week, I was lying on an airstrip in the jungles of Guyana with five bullet holes in my body,” Speier said. “I vowed that if I survived, I would dedicate my life to public service. It has been a remarkable journey that has surpassed my wildest dreams.”
Regardless of the headwinds shaping up against Democratic candidates, it seems unlikely that the seat being vacated by Speier will land under GOP control anytime soon. Nevertheless, the departure comes as President Joe Biden and other prominent Democrats face a steep slide in popularity, which is poised to continue for the foreseeable future.
Bad news piles up for Biden, Dems
Thus far, the Biden administration has faced mounting criticism on multiple fronts including the economy and a chaotic U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.
A recent ABC News poll found that the GOP has its strongest early midterm advantage in decades even as Biden remains underwater in several key swing states.
Among the other notable Democratic exits from Congress is Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, who is that chamber’s longest-serving member.
Biden faces more troubling news in the form of mounting concern regarding his mental fitness for the office.
In the end, polling suggests former President Donald Trump would fare well against Biden in a theoretical matchup in 2024. Recent losses in off-year Virginia elections could be a warning sign of future problems for the Democratic Party.