Two more Democratic Reps. announce they won't seek re-election in 2022: Pennsylvania's Mike Doyle and North Carolina's David Price pile the pressure on Nancy Pelosi's battle to stop Republicans regaining control of the House
Two longtime Democratic congressmen announced Monday they will not seek re-election next year, putting the pressure on Speaker Nancy Pelosi to keep control of the House in her party's hands.
The two men each have more than 20 years experience on Capitol Hill.
'While it is time for me to retire, it is no time to flag in our efforts to secure a 'more perfect union' and to protect and expand our democracy. I am deeply grateful to the people of the Fourth District for making my service possible and for what we have been able to achieve together. And I promise, in the fifteen months remaining and beyond, to continue fighting for the just and inclusive country we believe in,' Price said in a statement.
'I believe the time had come to pass the torch to the next generation,' Doyle said. 'This was not an easy decision and I spent the most of this year going back and forth.'
Price first won election in 1996. Doyle was wiped out in the 1994 Republican wave election after previously holding his seat from 1987. He returned to Congress in 1997.
Doyle is the most senior member of Pennsylvania's congressional district, and his retirement is expected to set off a fierce political battle among members of that party to replace him.
Both seats are seen as trending Democratic - Price and Doyle both easily won re-election in recent years, signaling that their seats are likely to remain blue.
Democrats hold a slight edge on the generic congressional ballot: according to the polling average on FiveThirtyEight: Democrats lead Republicans 44 per cent to 42 per cent.
Still Doyle and Price make a total 12 Democrats not seeking re-election to the House next year, a sign of the party's fading hopes they will remain the majority party after the 2022 midterm election.
Their announcements also come as House Democrats are struggling to pass President Joe Biden's agenda, including his infrastructure plan and his budget package of social programs.
Historically a president's party loses seats in the next midterm election and Biden is expected to follow that model.
His approval rating has been sliding downward in Gallup's average, currently sitting at 43 per cent from its high of 57 per cent.
And with Democrats holding a scant four-seat majority in the House and, with the Senate at a 50-50 split, Republican hopes are high they can win control of Capitol Hill.
It also gives Democrats little margin for error.
Also looming for Democrats is the Nov. 2 gubernatorial election in Virginia, which is being seen a referendum on Biden. The result will be used to forecast Democrats' chances of retraining control over Congress in next year's midterm election.
Democrat Terry McAuliffe, who previously served as governor, is struggling against Republican opponent Glenn Youngkin.
Democratic hopes are a little higher for the Senate.
No Senate Democrat has announced plans to retire or seek another office next year. And Republicans are defending more seats.
They have 20 seats up for grabs in 2022, including two in states Biden won in 2020, while Democrats are defending 14 and none in states carried by Donald Trump.
Several Republican senators announced they would not be on the ballot next year, complicating GOP efforts to win control of the Senate: Roy Blunt of Missouri, Rob Portman of Ohio, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Richard Selby of Alabama all decided no to run again.