With all signs indicating a red wave in the 2022 midterm election—assuming the country still stands—one of the most vulnerable battleground Democrats announced he would not seek re-election.
The changing demographics and grim political landscape for his party were the major factors in what was promising to be a tough re-election against the opponent he bested by less than 3%, after squandering the double-digit support he had enjoyed in years prior.
“Ron Kind chose to retire rather than defend Democrats’ record of rising prices, rising crime, and skyrocketing illegal immigration, said Mike Berg, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee. “Kind’s retirement is the clearest sign yet that Democrats’ House majority is toast.”
Kind also was embroiled indirectly in a sex scandal for renting space in downtown La Crosse, Wisc., to an Asian massage parlor that was implicated in “happy ending“-style therapies by the website Rub Maps.
The “forward-thinking” Democrat was accused of making thousands of dollars from the exploitation of foreign sex-workers.
“This industry has been proven to a component of human sex trafficking, the scourge of the 21st century and modern day slavery,” said Derrick Van Orden, Kind’s 2020 Republican opponent, who is likely to run again in 2022.
The news of Kind’s expected retirement came as a shock to Democrats, already panicking over major losses to their razor-thin House margin.
“[H]is decision represent[ed] a disappointing turn for many who believed they had largely dodged a pre-midterm exodus,” noted Politico.
Several other vulnerable Democrats—including Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick of Arizona, Cheri Bustos of Illinois and Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania—announced last week that they also would be leaving open seats to defend. Lamb is planning a Senate run to replace retiring RINO GOP Sen. Pat Toomey.
Moreover, midterm elections historically have tended to go against the party in power, with only a handful of anomalies in modern memory.
They have been particularly brutal on Democrats, with former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama each having seen majority-losing net losses of more than 60 seats in their respective first-term midterms.
Republican former President Donald Trump saw a net loss of 39 in 2018, but he gained seats in the Senate as partisan attacks on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh backfired against Democrats.
Leftists are already trying preemptively to explain the losses as anything but a rebuke of their failed leadership, with Politico now resurrecting stale claims about partisan gerrymandering.
The redistricting advantage is, in fact, part of a clear mandate for red states in the 2020 election that included stronger-than-expected GOP performances both in the House and in state legislatures.
Those regional gains often have been cited among the litany of suspicious circumstances surrounding President Joe Biden’s alleged victory over the incumbent Trump.
Despite an aggressive campaign led by former Attorney General Eric Holder via the well-funded National Democratic Redistricting Committee, left-wing activists failed in last year’s election to claim any of their legislative targets at the state and local levels.