Democrats are dropping like flies – Republicans are dropping like Democrats (times three)

Justin Gardener points out the obvious (something the mainstream media seems incapable of doing):

As the title suggest, the retirements of Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) are far outweighed by the 6 Republican Senators who aren’t seeking reelection.

And yet the media is crowing about the Dems? Why? Because it makes for a better story?

Steve Benen provides some additional perspective about the House and Governor races…

In the House, 14 GOP incumbents have decided not to seek re-election, while 10 Democratic incumbents have made the same announcement. Does this mean Republicans are “dropping like flies”? […]

Among governors, several incumbents in both parties are term-limited and prevented from running again, but only three Democrats who can seek re-election — Parkinson in Kansas, Doyle in Wisconsin, and Ritter in Colorado — have chosen not to. For Republicans, the number is four — Douglas in Vermont, Rell in Connecticut, Crist in Florida, and Pawlenty in Minnesota. (Update: the GOP number is five if we include Palin in Alaska.)

So let’s add that all up…

Republicans: 6 Senate + 14 House + 5 Governors = 25
Democrats: 2 Senate + 10 House + 3 Governors = 15

I’m with Benen here…why is the media characterizing this as “Democrats Dropping Like Flies?”

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12 thoughts on “Democrats are dropping like flies – Republicans are dropping like Democrats (times three)

  1. Are the Republicans all “good” Republicans or are they “moderate” Republicans?

    Are they scalps from the Tea Party/Baggers? Or what?

    NPR was running with Crist being a Teascalp yesterday. If the Republicans who are quiting are quitting because they are also excellent Democrats who happen to have an (R) by their name, that could be relevant.

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    • Well, Crist is an odd case. He’s leaving as Governor to run for Senate because of Martinez’s resignation, not because he thought McCollum (the current R candidate) or Rubio (his Senate primary opponent) would run against him in the gubernatorial primary. He was hardly forced out – on the contrary, if anything he’s too opportunistically ambitious.

      To the extent he ends up being a “Teascalp”, as you put it, it’s because he overestimated his support in the Senate race. I’m not at all sure that will end up being the case though.

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  2. Numerical parity there is not, but neither are Dems and Republicans in the same spot. Democrats are winning.

    Retirement when you’re not going to land a committee chairmanship anytime soon (or for that matter have an amendment pass) ala Senator Gregg, makes sense. Also, most of the Republican retirements have been known for quite sometime.

    Retirement when you’re a committee chair, your party is in the majority and by most accounts your party and prospects are as high as they’ve ever been, makes people wonder if those prospects aren’t so good. That’s why its news, also the spate of Democratic retirements so close together would suggest that conditions current or upcoming may be to blame.

    Is the media making mountains out of molehills, yes to be sure. Is it – in context – bizarre and inexplicable, not at all. If the Kenyans aren’t sending that many people to the Winter Olympics and they send fewer, it’s not news. When the Norwegians or Canadians back out, it makes you wonder and it makes the news.

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      • I could have easily predicted D’s will lose seats in 2010 the day after the election in 2008. The presidents party usually loses seats in midterms and the D majorities are huge by historical standards so there is only so big they can go. Predicting D losses is as about as challenging as saying the weather will change over time. No duh. The question is predicting how big those losses will be and why.

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  3. I think all of the number counting is missing a crucial point: the Republican party wants to let go of congressmen who are already planning to retire this election.

    The shrewd political move is to let go of seats in swing states when 1) anti-incumbent sentiment is high and 2) the national intertia is behind you. This is the reason that Democrats have attempted to hold on to incumbents this election cycle–because they know that it’s a tough legislative environment.

    What’s different between the retiring Republicans and Democrats is that it is nowhere certain that any of the Republican retirements guarantee the election of a Democrat. The Democrat retirements, on the other hand, have all come from exceptionally damning poll results on both their job performance and health care that make it almost certain they will not win their respective elections.

    The fact that these Democratic incumbents have decided to throw in the towel shows that they are so far beyond being electable, whereas the Republicans see this a convenient and safe time to “fade in” seats according to the political environment.

    Furthermore, given the states in which this phenomenon is occurring, it serves as a useful proxy for what type of results could be expected if Republicans were to nationalize their campaigns, which they will.

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