Post Date: December 2021
It’s natural to look for patterns in legislators' decisions to not seek re-election to the offices they hold, especially retirements, and to view each as yet another factor in handicapping upcoming primary and general elections. This intuition finds some support in evidence that congressional retirements appear responsive to short-term electoral forces. Expectations that Democrats will face a tough election cycle this coming Fall with a Democrat in the White House and the majority of electoral maps constructed by Republican legislatures certainly inform the conventional wisdom as we prepare to ring in 2022.
But how well does this apply to the current slate of retirements and expected electoral turnover in the Texas Legislature?
While there are other conceivable mobilization scenarios in which the policy output of 2021 might endanger GOP incumbents in 2022, public opinion polling in Texas strongly suggest that unpopular policy, even extremely unpopular policy, whether coming from the left or the right, is unlikely to spur many partisans to vote for a candidate of the opposing party.