Thursday, January 7, 2010

Who’s “Dropping Like Flies”?

The meme yesterday was that with the decision of Sens. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Gov. Bill Ritter (D-CO) not to run for re-election, the Democrats were, according to ABC News, “dropping like flies” and that, along with the sun coming up in the East, is a bad sign for the future of the Democratic Party. And all of the Villagers nodded sagely.

Except for this little annoying tidbit of reality: more Republicans are retiring from the House, the Senate, and governorships than are Democrats.

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”?

In the Senate, six Republican incumbents have decided not to seek re-election, while two Democratic incumbents have made the same announcement. Is this evidence of a mass Democratic exodus?

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. ([…] the GOP number is five if we include Palin in Alaska.)

Eric Kleefeld surveys the open Senate races and says that it’s not a foregone conclusion that the Democrats will lose their 60-seat majority even with the probable loss of the seat in North Dakota. And this includes the fact that until Sen. Dodd decided to retire, it looked like he would lose. However, with the entry of Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (D) into the race, the chances of the Democrats keeping that seat went from problematic to pretty good.

But hey, why let reality get in the way of pundits coming up with more bad news for the Democrats?