Mass Retirements? Not So Fast, Dems Say

January 6, 2010 6:05 am

Democrats are grumbling over headlines portraying their party as “dropping like flies” given the flood of recent retirements and say the press is ignoring there actually are more Republicans opting against reelection.

It’s especially prominent in the House, where campaign types correctly say their retirements are fewer than Republicans. And they still are far fewer than the scenario in 1994, when massive retirements helped the GOP win back the House.The Democratic National Committee emailed reporters today a Washington Monthly story that summarizes their frustration:

“So, to review, Republican retirements outnumber Democratic retirements in the House, in the Senate, and among governors. The preferred Republican/media meme of the day doesn’t match up well against reality,” reads a section from the story

By the numbers:

14 House Republicans are retiring; 10 Democratic incumbents
Six Senate Republicans are retiring, 2 Democrats
In the states, 3 Democrats have opted against reelection to governorships; 4 Republicans have made the same decision

To defend the press a bit, last night’s retirement announcements came in all at once and in one day justifies the “dropping like flies” picture.

Late Update: A Democrat reminds me that RNC Chairman Mike Steele said this week he wasn’t sure the Republicans would win back the House.

Later Update: The DNC’s Hari Sevugan chimes in:

“We know that Republicans would like to do anything to distract from their utter lack of accomplishment this year, but their bloviations and the breathless prognostication by some others should be taken with more than just a grain of salt. We woke up yesterday morning with more Republican retirements than Democratic ones in the House, Senate and state houses. And today there are still more Republican retirements than Democratic ones in the House, Senate and state houses. At the same time Republicans are engaged in bloody primaries throughout the country as the far right wing radical faction of the party tries to stage a coup d’etat and purge the party of moderate voices. And while Democrats are going to be able to talk about getting things done that have helped the American people Republicans are going to have to defend their obstructionism and why they only stood up for the well heeled, the insurance lobby and Wall Street. While mid-term elections are historically tough for the party in power, Democrats, for these reasons, remain well positioned.”

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