Republicans are leaving the U.S. House at the highest rate in a decade. As of Tuesday, 24 GOP representatives have already announced that they will not run for re-election in 2018. Of these, 13 are “pure retirements” — those who are leaving politics for good and not running for higher office.1 Bolstered by high-profile rage-quits in the Senate, a narrative has emerged that Republicans are bolting out of frustration with Trump-era dysfunction or fear of getting washed away in a building Democratic wave.
They’re not owning up to that, of course. Among the statements issued by the 13 Republicans who announced their pure retirements, only three2 cited the political environment as a factor in their decisions. Three others explicitly denied