A flurry of resignations is sweeping through Congress, leaving many House seats open. As of late January, fifty Representatives had announced they would not seek reelection in 2018. As turnover rates peaked during the fall of 2017, the number of Members leaving is challenging averages from previous years. In the 113th Congress, forty-one members did not run for reelection. Roll Call reports that an average of twenty-two House Members retire each election cycle.
The majority of Members not running for re-election are from the Republican party, totaling thirty-four Republicans and sixteen Democrats leaving their current offices. In the Republican party, 18 are retiring, 12 are running for a different office, and 4 have left their seat open for other reasons. In the Democratic party, 6 are retiring, 2 resigned, and 8 are running for a different office.
These recently announced vacancies will lead to several high-profile midterm races in 2018. In the House, vulnerable districts could flip in key states, since the Democrats only need twenty-four seats in the House to regain a majority, making upcoming midterm elections especially important.