OPINION: This article contains commentary which may reflect the author's opinion
On Tuesday, MI Rep. Fred Upton (R) announced his resignation from Congress, leaving a 40-percent exit rate among House Republicans who voted to impeach President Donald Trump.
As he was announcing his retirement on Tuesday, Upton cited “very positive” polling results in his primary race in opposition to Trump-endorsed Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI). Due to state redistricting, Huizenga and Upton were both running for the same seat.
“My district was cut like Zorro — three different ways,” Upton noted to reporters. “So I’ve been here 36 years. When I first ran, I thought I’d be here 10.” Upton became a member of Congress in 1986.
“I got a lot of unfinished business that I’m going to be working on now. … But no, this was our decision, independent of what I did with Trump,” Upton stated, referring to his unsuccessful vote to impeach Trump.
“UPTON QUITS! 4 down and 6 to go. Others losing badly, who's next?” pic.twitter.com/iKO0JgHwUK
— Natalie Harp (@NatalieJHarp) April 5, 2022
Upton is the fourth pro-impeachment Republican to swear off running for reelection. The Republicans include Reps. John Katko (NY), Anthony Gonzalez (OH), and Adam Kinzinger (IL).
Several other Republicans who support impeachment may not make it to the November midterms. There is a tough re-election campaign pending for Reps. Tom Rice (R-SC) and Liz Cheney (R-WY). Rice has been described by Donald Trump as “a disaster,” and he is “laughed at in Washington.”
“Look at every city that’s run by the Democrats if you want safety, security … vote for America First Republicans this November,” Trump declared. “But before we can defeat the Democrat socialists and communists at the ballot boxes … we first have to defeat the RINOS and grandstanders in the primaries.”
As for Cheney, she faces a difficult primary battle against Trump-endorsed Harriet Hageman, who is supported by Rep. Kevin McCarthy and Republican megadonor Peter Thiel, who has reportedly dubbed Cheney the “ringleader” of the “treasonous ten.”
In supporting Hageman, McCarty echoes the criticism Cheney received. “Liz Cheney has lost Wyoming. Liz Cheney doesn’t live in Wyoming. She doesn’t represent us,” Hageman told reporters. “She doesn’t represent our values.”
In other House news, Trump has thrown his support behind Sarah Palin’s campaign for Alaska’s one and only House of Representatives seat.
Join our campaign -> https://t.co/CrlfiG8MJn
“Today I’m announcing my candidacy for the U.S. House seat representing Alaska. Public service is a calling, and I would be honored to represent the men and women of Alaska in Congress, just as Rep. Young did for 49 years.” – SP pic.twitter.com/pdMpeDGlRV
— Sarah Palin (@SarahPalinUSA) April 2, 2022
According to a statement published by the 45th President of the United States on Sunday, ‘Wonderful patriot Sarah Palin of Alaska has just announced she is running for Congress, and that means there will be a true America first fighter on the ballot to replace the late and legendary Congressman Don Young.’
Trump acknowledged that he endorsed Palin as a thank-you for her endorsement of him for president in January 2016 when Trump’s campaign was still widely considered a stunt.
Then he added: ‘Now it’s my turn!’ Then Trump took a shot at his old foe John McCain, who chose Palin for his vice presidential run in 2008, in which he eventually lost to Barack Obama.
According to the former president: ‘Sarah lifted the McCain presidential campaign out of the dumps, despite the fact that she had to endure some very evil, stupid and jealous people within the campaign itself.’
About two weeks ago, Republicans conducted a poll to determine the views of battleground voters and found that 75 percent believed Democrats were ‘out of touch’ and ‘condescending’.
A further 67 percent said Democrats were out of control in their spending in Congress.
In the poll conducted by the National Republican Congressional Committee, voters in 77 swing districts were surveyed, which president Joe Biden won by an average of 5.5 points.
GOP candidates in these districts now lead by 4 points and have improved by 7 points since February 2021, according to the NRCC.
Meanwhile, Biden’s numbers are continuing to slide.
‘The NRCC’s latest battleground survey confirms that Joe Biden and Democrats face an increasingly challenging political environment,’ the NRCC said in a memo. ‘Battleground voters continue to hold Democrats responsible for the negative impact that record-high inflation, soaring crime, and the crisis along our southern border are having on their lives.’
In these key districts, Biden’s approval rating is at 40 percent, while 55 percent disapprove of him.
The enthusiasm gap is also large – with 45 percent stating that they disapprove, but only 17 percent saying that they approve.
Democrat chances of keeping their majority in the House seem to be on the decline due to the state of the economy.
A total of 46 percent of battleground voters said their main concern was an economic issue, including 26 percent that it was inflation and food prices and 15 percent that it was jobs and the economy.
As reported by the NRCC, Republicans held a 24-point lead among Americans who said they are concerned about rising costs of living.
Republicans led Democrats by 20 points when it came to Americans most concerned about jobs and the economy.
Sixty-six percent of respondents indicated that the highest price increase was gas, while 41 percent said it was rising food costs.
The poll found that 52 percent of battleground voters were angry at the Biden administration and Congressional Democrats because of high gas prices. They believed the Republican position that Democrats oppose increased oil and gas production in the United States.
As part of his criticism of energy companies, Biden mentioned several pre-existing leases they could take advantage of to produce more gas. He also criticized stock buybacks over increasing production.
Furthermore, 31 percent of battleground voters thought that high gas prices were caused by Ukraine’s ongoing conflict and sanctions on Russian oil.
This poll was conducted between March 12-16 among registered likely voters from 77 swing seats in Congress, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent.