FILE - In this May 21, 2019, file photo, Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., arrives for a classified members-only briefing on Iran on Capitol Hill in Washington. King announced Monday, Nov. 11, 2019,  he will not seek reelection in 2020. The 14-term Republican congressman said in a Facebook post that his commute was a main factor in his decision, saying he wants "flexibility to spend more time" with his children and grandchildren. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
Patrick Semansky/AP
FILE - In this May 21, 2019, file photo, Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., arrives for a classified members-only briefing on Iran on Capitol Hill in Washington. King announced Monday, Nov. 11, 2019, he will not seek reelection in 2020. The 14-term Republican congressman said in a Facebook post that his commute was a main factor in his decision, saying he wants "flexibility to spend more time" with his children and grandchildren. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
Now playing
01:36
Republican congressman Peter King says he is retiring
U.S. Marines conduct an operation to clear a village of Taliban fighters in July 2009 in Mian Poshteh, Afghanistan.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
U.S. Marines conduct an operation to clear a village of Taliban fighters in July 2009 in Mian Poshteh, Afghanistan.
Now playing
03:19
Biden to announce Afghanistan withdrawal by September 11
roger wicker
CNN
roger wicker
Now playing
04:52
Sen. Wicker on Biden's infrastructure plan: Not ruling out tax hike
Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) arrives for a House Armed Services Subcommittee hearing with members of the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee on Capitol Hill on December 9, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Samuel Corum/Getty Images
Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) arrives for a House Armed Services Subcommittee hearing with members of the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee on Capitol Hill on December 9, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Now playing
03:02
Sources say Gaetz was denied meeting with Trump
CNN
Now playing
02:58
Avlon: This shows that crazy has a constituency
CNN
Now playing
07:27
CNN anchor pushes back on Texas state lawmaker's defense of voting bill
CNN
Now playing
01:12
Tapper asks Buttigieg for infrastructure plan timeline
Now playing
02:48
GOP governor calls Trump's RNC remarks 'divisive'
WASHINGTON, D.C. - APRIL 19, 2018:  The U.S. Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C., is the seat of the Supreme Court of the United States and the Judicial Branch of government. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)
Robert Alexander/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, D.C. - APRIL 19, 2018: The U.S. Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C., is the seat of the Supreme Court of the United States and the Judicial Branch of government. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:39
SCOTUS blocks California Covid restriction on religious activities
rep jim clyburn georgia voting law jim crow sot sotu vpx_00000000.png
rep jim clyburn georgia voting law jim crow sot sotu vpx_00000000.png
Now playing
02:13
Rep. Clyburn blasts GA voting law: It's the 'new Jim Crow'
Joe Manchin
CNN
Joe Manchin
Now playing
02:03
'I never thought in my life ...' Why Manchin won't walk away from bipartisanship
Gaetz speaks to members of the media outside the hearing Michael Cohen, former attorney and fixer for President Donald Trump, testifies at before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform at Rayburn House Office Building February 27, 2019 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Last year Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay a $50,000 fine for tax evasion, making false statements to a financial institution, unlawful excessive campaign contributions and lying to Congress as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential elections.
Alex Wong/Getty Images
Gaetz speaks to members of the media outside the hearing Michael Cohen, former attorney and fixer for President Donald Trump, testifies at before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform at Rayburn House Office Building February 27, 2019 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Last year Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay a $50,000 fine for tax evasion, making false statements to a financial institution, unlawful excessive campaign contributions and lying to Congress as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential elections.
Now playing
06:11
'Bombastic, antagonistic, unapologetic': A look at Gaetz's political career
Former House Speaker John Boehner attends a ceremony to unveil a portrait of himself on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019 in Washington.
Michael A. McCoy/AP
Former House Speaker John Boehner attends a ceremony to unveil a portrait of himself on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019 in Washington.
Now playing
02:42
Boehner says Republican colleague held 10-inch knife to his throat outside House floor
President Joe Biden, accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris, and Attorney General Merrick Garland, speaks about gun violence prevention in the Rose Garden at the White House, Thursday, April 8, 2021, in Washington.
Andrew Harnik/AP
President Joe Biden, accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris, and Attorney General Merrick Garland, speaks about gun violence prevention in the Rose Garden at the White House, Thursday, April 8, 2021, in Washington.
Now playing
02:05
Biden calls for ban on assault weapons
CNN
Now playing
02:22
Biden: High-speed internet is infrastructure
AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
03:24
Donald Trump breaks his silence on Matt Gaetz
(CNN) —  

The coming retirement of Rep. Peter King of New York, which he announced Monday, isn’t much of a surprise. King had been rumored to be headed for the exits for months – especially once his daughter (and onetime heir apparent for his 2nd District seat) moved out of the state.

That King is the 16th Republican to announce his retirement in advance of the 2020 election as compared with just five for Democrats is worth noting – especially given that open seats (i.e., seats without incumbents) are more susceptible to being picked up by the other side. (As Cook Political Report’s David Wasserman notes, King is the 101st House Republican since President Donald Trump took office to “either leave office or announce retirement plans.”)

But what really makes the King retirement noteworthy is the makeup of his Long Island district. It is both heavily suburban and a place where Trump won by 9 points in 2016. (Barack Obama won the district narrowly in 2008 and 2012.)

Suburban seats like King’s have been hugely problematic for Republicans in the Trump era. It’s not an overstatement to say that the GOP House majority was lost in the 2018 midterms in suburban districts in California, Florida and Pennsylvania. And the recent 2019 election results – particularly in Virginia and Philadelphia – suggest that Republican erosion in the suburbs continues apace.

In order to win back the House (a long shot) or to reelect Trump (less of a long shot), Republicans must find ways to if not regain their longtime dominance in the suburbs, at least fight Democrats back to even (or a point or two beyond even) there. 

King’s district provides, then, a useful glimpse into just how bad (or good) things are for Republicans in the suburbs. If his seat is one Democrats are still targeting 10 months from now, it suggests that the party is not close to where it wants to be with suburban voters. 

The Point: Republicans can’t afford to lose the suburbs to Democrats – especially given the growth in urban areas and the shrinkage of rural populations. If they lose the suburbs, it’s hard to see how Republicans build a majority coalition anywhere in federal office.