The Fix: House Democrats approach danger zone with retirements

March 4, 2010

From Chris Cillizza’s ‘The Fix’: “The political import of New York Democratic Rep. Eric Massa’s surprising retirement on Wednesday was largely eclipsed by the controversy surrounding why he decided to depart Congress after a single term. It shouldn’t be. Massa is the seventh House Democrat leaving a seat that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) won in 2008. That means that 43 percent of the Democratic retirements in the House so far in this election have come in McCain districts. It also means that 14 percent of the 49 Democratic members who hold McCain districts are retiring this fall. (Here’s the full list of  Democratic-held districts that McCain won.) In addition to the seven McCain districts that are now open seats, there are two others — Kansas’ 3rd and Washington’s 3rd — where Obama won with 51 percent and 53 percent, respectively, of the vote in 2008. (All told, those nine districts gave McCain an average of 54 percent.) Conventional wisdom has suggested that if Democrats have to defend 10 or more seats either won by McCain or narrowly carried by Obama that their majority status might be legitimately in danger. “We’re in the [danger] zone,” said Charlie Cook, a political handicapper and former Fix boss. “The open seats are a problem but [Democrats] have lots of problems.” Remember, too, that filing deadlines have passed in only eight states. The next month, which includes filing deadlines in places like California (March 12), Iowa (March 19) and Missouri (March 30), will be critical in determining just how bad it is going to get for Democrats this fall. …”
Read the Full Post Here.
Have thoughts on other potential retirements or races we should target?  Let us know!