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Why are so many Democrats leaving Congress? Is polarization to blame?

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Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) boards an elevator after casting a Senate vote, at the U.S. Capitol, in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, November 7, 2023.

The House speakership drama and the spate of Republican retirements have grabbed headlines lately, but another story in the nation’s capital is quietly unfolding: the exodus of Democrats from Congress, says Nick Beauchamp, associate professor of political science at Northeastern University. 

In terms of sheer numbers, Beauchamp, whose congressional election models have incorporated retirement data, suggests that 2023 so far doesn’t seem like an anomalous year for overall retirements. But Democratic retirements, he says, are up this year compared to the previous three election cycles — a fact that might be overshadowed by the GOP drama. 

“The media are sort of exaggerating the Republican retirements … but what’s really going on is there is a higher ratio of Democrats who are quietly retiring than Republicans,” Beauchamp says. 

Continue reading at Northeastern Global News.

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