Vice News seems to be unusually interested in the numbers of GOP candidates whom they term “carpetbaggers.”
But the outlet is not so interested in why so many Senate seats would be up for grabs for Republicans next year that would cause them to say, “Honey, pack your bags, we’re moving! And running for Senate!”
In a lengthy screed investigating the GOP during this election cycle, that Dr. Mehmet Oz’s residency in Pennsylvania to pursue the U.S. Senate seat there “makes him one of more than a half-dozen well-funded GOP candidates who have sought out redder pastures this year, jumping into competitive Senate races in states where their local ties aren’t particularly deep.”
A half-dozen! My gosh. That’s three times the number of carpetbaggers that Democrats have run for president in the last three election cycles.
While Vice acknowledges that carpetbagging is a tradition as old as our republic and that prominent Democrats like Hillary Clinton were elected as carpetbaggers, they miss more obscure practitioners of the art like President Barack Obama, whose roots are so deep in Chicago that even his neighbors hate him and the jobs he’s bringing to a blighted neighborhood.
So in a quest to prove that everyone in the GOP is now a carpetbagger… because, you guessed it, former President Donald Trump is… Vice has missed the most important aspect of the carpetbagging story.
Which is this:
They are in so much trouble that people are moving to vacant Senate seats because they believe they can run and win notwithstanding the carpetbagger label. And notwithstanding Trump.
There are about nine competitive races in the Senate, according to the , with 15 safe GOP seats compared to 10 so-called safe seats for Democrats. But after the results in Virginia, which is edged bluer and bluer in previous years, it’s hard to say that there are really 10 safe seats for Democrats outside of New England.
In the House, because of redistricting, Cook has yet to finalize its numbers, but the results are also encouraging for the GOP.
So far Cook has identified around 16 tossup races, with 87 safe for the GOP and 46 safe for the Democrats.
Even more ominous for the Democrats is that members of the House are retiring rather than facing reelection — including chairs of committees, considered some of the most powerful posts in Washington.
So far, 19 Democrats have declined to run for reelection.
“To put that in perspective: In 2010, when Democrats lost 63 seats, 17 Democrats announced retirement,” according to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.).
McCarthy also said that that he’s pretty sure there are more Democrat retirements coming.
When the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee announces he won’t be seeking reelection even as the House approves nearly $2 trillion in new spending that will be overseen by his committee, pay attention.
But making carpetbaggers giddy, by whatever name you call them.