Many in the political sphere see Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) retirement from Congress as a sign that Republicans will lose control of the House of Representatives after the 2018 midterm election.
“It is a big indicator that the speaker doesn’t think he’d be speaker anymore,” former Gov. Chris Christie, (R-NJ)., said on ABC’s “Powerhouse Politics” podcast Wednesday. “If you’re a betting person, you’re betting on the Democrats for the House in the fall.”
Ryan was likely to win the race for his district making the timing of his announcement even more significant, especially to Republican donors who may change their strategy if they believe the House is lost.
“His timing now is going to be interpreted as an acknowledgment that the House is lost. Donors are going to naturally shift their focus to the Senate,” said Dan Eberhart, a major Republican donor.
Ryan rebuffed the claims that his leaving signals an end to the Republican hold on the House.
The Speaker said that he is “leaving this majority in good hands with what I believe is a very bright future” and that Republicans will be “just fine.” He also pointed to family considerations that went into his decision to leave.
“The truth is, it is easy for it to take over everything in your life and you can’t just let that happen because there are other things in life that can be fleeting as well: Namely your time as a husband and a father,” he told reporters.
House majority leader, Kevin McCarthy (CA), and the House majority whip, Steve Scalise (LA) are the most likely successors.