With Thursday’s announcement that Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL) will not seek re-election in his Miami-area district, the number of Republicans not running for re-election to the House now amounts to more than 10 percent of the House Republican caucus, compared to less than five percent for Democrats.
Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post notes that the total number of House Republicans set to retire or seek other office is now 18, or slightly more than 10 percent of the 178 seats the GOP holds in the House.
By comparison, Roll Call’s list of departing lawmakers shows that only 12 House Democrats are retiring, or slightly less than five percent of the Democrats’ 255 seats.
The numbers are a little more even in the Senate, where five Republicans — Kit Bond (R-MO), Sam Brownback (R-KS), Jim Bunning (R-KY), Judd Gregg (R-NH) and George Voinovich (R-OH) — are retiring or seeking other office.
Four Democrats — Roland Burris (D-IL), Chris Dodd (D-CT), Byron Dorgan (D-ND), and Ted Kaufman (D-DE) — are also leaving the Senate.
Brian Beutler at TalkingPointsMemo reports that most of the 18 House seats vacated by Republicans this year are in solid GOP territory, but Diaz-Balart’s heavily Latino district in the Miami area may be competitive in the fall.
While George W. Bush comfortably won the district in 2000 and 2004 — by 58 and 57 percent, respectively — the 2008 races saw the district lean more to the center: John McCain won with a 51-49 percent margin over Barack Obama.
The Miami Herald describes Diaz-Balart as “a passionate defender and architect of legislation to strengthen the US embargo against Cuba.” The paper also notes reports that Diaz-Balart’s brother, Mario Diaz-Balart, is considering running for the vacated seat.
Despite the higher retirement numbers for Republicans than for Democrats, much of the media’s attention has focused on Democrats, with numerous commentators arguing that the numbers spell trouble for the Democratic Party in 2010.
In December, the Washington Post ran a story stating that strategists fear Democratic retirements “represent the leading edge of a wave of departures that could leave the Democrats vulnerable to significant losses in the 2010 midterm elections.”
Reporting on four Democratic retirement announcements in 24 hours in January, Politico declared that “the grim outlook for Democrats in the 2010 midterm elections just got a little worse.”
Aside from Diaz-Balart, this week marked the departure of two other lawmakers from the House. Democrat Diane Watson of California and Republican Vern Ehlers of Michigan both announced plans to retire.
Convicted Cardinal Pell’s fate hangs on appeal
An Australian court will rule on George Pell's appeal against child sex abuse charges Wednesday, when the convicted cardinal could walk free or begin a new round in his protracted legal fight.
Once the Vatican's third-ranking official, 78-year-old Pell was sentenced this year to six years in jail for sexually assaulting two 13-year-old choirboys at a Melbourne cathedral in the 1990s.
After more than two months of deliberations, a three-judge appeals panel will hand down their decision.
Pell is the most senior Catholic convicted of child sex abuse, making his case and Wednesday's ruling a touchstone moment for believers and victims groups around the world.
Trump-worshipping artist unveils insanely disturbing new painting — and the internet is having a field day
Jon McNaughton, the Trump-loving artist whose worshipful portraits of the president have drawn comparisons to North Korean propaganda, has unveiled a new painting that many Twitter users find deeply disturbing.
The new painting, which is titled "The Masterpiece," features President Donald Trump sitting at an easel and preparing to unveil a painting of his own.
‘This is the Titanic, it’s already hit the rock and it’s sinking’: MSNBC pundit says of Trump’s recent polling
The Republican Party is going to need every dime it is raising to re-elect President Donald Trump because if the election was held today, he'd lose.
Jason Johnson, editor of "The Root," explained during an MSNBC panel discussion Tuesday that things aren't looking good for the president's numbers. Since 2016, Trump has lost three points with men, 19 percentage points with women, 19 with white Americans without a college degree and 23 percent with Independent voters. That's the ball game.
In 2016, Trump won Wisconsin by 0.77 percent; he won Michigan by 0.23 percent and 0.72 percent in Pennsylvania. As Johnson explained, there's nothing that the national Republican Party and the Trump campaign can do to win except hope a foreign government hacks the election.