Since Donald Trump took office in January 2017, Republican lawmakers have left the House of Representatives in droves. A Washington Post analysis found that 40 percent of the 241 Republicans who have been in office since January 2017 have departed or retired.
Forty-one have announced they wouldn’t seek reelection or left national politics altogether since Trump took office, more than the two dozen Democrats who left during Obama’s first term in office. But why? “The vast turnover is a reminder of just how much Trump has remade the GOP—and of the purge of those who dare to oppose him,” the Post reported.
Though many have publicly cited family as the reason, the Post reported that privately, there’s some frustration about the party’s future direction under Trump. “I think a lot of members are pretty nervous that Trump doesn’t win reelection. And then we’re in the minority and we have a Democrat in the White House,” a Republican leadership aide told the Post. “We’re in the wilderness right now, but if you lose the White House, then that is the extreme wilderness.”
Republican Rep. Paul Mitchell, who announced his retirement in July following Trump’s tweets telling Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, put it this way:
“Did any member of this conference expect that their job would start out every morning trying to go through the list of what’s happening in tweets of the day? We’re not moving forward right now. We are simply thrashing around.”
Read the rest of the report here.