While Democrats control the line-drawing process in Illinois, it will be tough to draw a Democratic-friendly district in the western Illinois area that Bustos’ 17th district covers. (Trump won the 17th in 2020 and 2016.) Which could cost the party a seat that Democrats can ill afford to lose.
And Crist isn’t the only Florida Democrat looking at statewide office. Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D) has said she is considering a run against Sen. Marco Rubio (R) in 2022. And Rep. Val Demings (D) is considering gubernatorial and Senate bids.
A trio of Democratic open seats in Florida would be a massive gift to Republican redistricters looking to improve on the party’s current 16-11 majority over Democrats — and with a new seat coming to the state after reapportionment.
The Senate candidacy of Rep. Tim Ryan in Ohio and the possible Senate candidacy of Rep. Ron Kind in Wisconsin are two other major concerns for Democrats, as both states lost a seat in reapportionment and redistricters will be on the hunt for districts they can compress or eliminate altogether.
Much of this is par for the course in the first election after the decennial redistricting process — especially in states slated to lose a seat (or more) or where the opposition party controls all levers of the line-drawing process.
But every retirement matters that much more to Democrats this election cycle, because their majority is so remarkably thin. At the moment, Democrats control 218 seats to 212 for Republicans, although that margin is expected to grow by a seat next week when Louisiana Rep.-elect Troy Carter (D) is formally sworn in.
Combine it all and Democrats were going to have a hard time holding their majority under the best of circumstances. When you factor in the weight of history and their recent series of problematic retirements (with more likely to come!), the majority looks very, very imperiled.