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The GOP's crisis of quitting

Rep. Trey Gowdy leaving the Capitol
Rep. Trey Gowdy leaving the Capitol in 2015. Photo: Al Drago / CQ Roll Call

With increasing expectations of a Democratic wave in November's midterm elections, the Republican Party is facing a record number of retirements in the House of Representatives — and it’s only February 1. In perhaps the biggest tell, eight GOP committee chairs have announced their retirements from politics.

Why it matters: There is no surer sign of GOP fear of the midterm outcome — and no surer example of how even the most powerful jobs feel like a drag in this era of dysfunctional governance — than people in power racing for the exits.