Over the past several months, 34 House Republicans and Democrats have announced plans to either retire or run for higher office in the 2018 midterm elections. At their Fall 2017 Briefing, the team at Cook Political Report presented a summary of these vacancies which include 11 open Democratic seats and 23 open Republican seats. Here’s a look at how these open seats came to be and what they have in common:
16 members are retiring, 9 are running for Governor, 8 are running for Senate, and 1 is resigning
The average House member retiring in 2018 has been in office for 16 years
The average retiring House member has spent 8 terms in office and range from 2-term Rep. Trott (R-MI-11) to 16-term Rep. Smith (R-TX-21). For those seeking a governorship, the average member has served 4 terms including 3-term Rep. Hanabusa (D-HI-1) and 7-term Rep. Pearce (R-NM-1). And when it comes to Senate hopefuls, the average member has served 3 and a half terms including single term Rep. Rosen (D-NV-4) and 8-term Rep. Blackburn (R-TN-7).
Republican House members running for higher office are vacating seats in strong Republican districts
The average Cook PVI of the ten House Republicans vacating their seats to run for Senate or Governor is R+16. Whereas the seven House Democrats running for higher office come from districts with an average Cook PVI of D+6, including two districts that lean Republican.