Congressional Republicans Left Office In Droves Under Trump. Just How Conservative Are Their Replacements?
The current 117th Congress is only four months old, but already five Republican senators and six Republican representatives have announced they will not stay in…
The current 117th Congress is only four months old, but already five Republican senators and six Republican representatives have announced they will not stay in their current jobs.1 Add in a slew of Republican retirements in the 2018 and 2020 election cycles, and a narrative has formed that longtime GOP stalwarts are heading to the exits because they are unhappy with the fanatical turn the party took under former President Donald Trump. “We live in an increasingly polarized country where members of both parties are being pushed further to the right and further to the left, and that means too few people who are actively looking to find common ground,” Sen. Rob Portman said in January when announcing his retirement. “This is a tough time to be in public service.”
On the one hand, Portman is right that this is a tough time to be a Republican in Congress. There has been a remarkable amount of turnover among congressional Republicans in the Trump (and post-Trump) era. Of the 293 Republicans who were serving in the Senate or House on Jan. 20, 2017 — the day of Trump’s inauguration — a full 132 (45 percent) are no longer in Congress or have announced their retirement or resignation.