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November 29, 2011

Democratic Retirements Could Hinder House Takeover

Rep. Barney Frank's (D-MA) decision yesterday to retire from the House of Representatives marks the 17th Democrat this cycle to opt not to run for reelection, compared to just seven Republicans, dimming the prospects that Democrats can win the 26 seats necessary to retake control of the chamber in 2012, reports The Hill.

"All [seven] GOP members are departing to run for another office, while only eight of the 17 Democrats have their eyes focused upward... Anticipating the blowback it would receive following two high-profile retirements in less than a week, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) released a memo Monday showing that a number of Democratic retirements are in left-leaning districts where the party is likely to retain control even without an incumbent."

Politico: "It's a familiar trend: When parties lose the majority, the path back to power appears too steep for many members to stick it out. After Democrats lost the majority in 1994, 29 Democrats did not seek reelection -- eight more than the number of Republicans who retired. After Republicans lost the majority in 2006, 27 Republicans did not seek reelection -- 21 more than the number of retiring Democrats."


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