Democrats Shrug Off Retirements

Barney Frank's seat has strong Democratic DNA officials say.

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The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has a message for all those who think Rep. Barney Frank's unexpected retirement announcement means the party has given up hope of retaking the House: Enough already. [Read: Waters in Line to Replace Retiring Barney Frank on Finance Committee.]

In a memo just posted on their site, the DCCC notes that it is not atypical for long-serving House members, shoved into the minority like Frank, to leave. But, it adds, seats like Frank's are not expected to be lost to the Republicans. [See political cartoons on the debt and deficit.]

Here's the DCCC note:

Today, you have heard a lot of bluster from Republicans about Democratic retirements—don't believe it. After the House changes control, there are always retirements in the party that was formerly in the majority.

The fact is that this cycle there are fewer retirements than have historically retired:

• After Republicans won in 1994, 20 Democrats retired;

• After Democrats won in 2006, 22 Republicans retired;

• So far this cycle, only 9 Democrats retired.

Retirements are a problem only if a party cannot hold the seat. The nine Democrats who have retired this cycle represent seats with strong Democratic DNA and have, or will have, strong Democratic candidates.

District Member Dem Performance

AR-04 Mike Ross 52 %

CA-06 Lynn Woolsey 67 %

CA-18 Dennis Cardoza 54 %

IL-12 Jerry Costello 53 %

MA-04 Barney Frank 55 %

MI-15 Dale Kildee 62 %

OK-02 Dan Boren 57 %

TX-20 Charlie Gonzalez 60 %

 Before House Republicans spike the ball in the end zone and get penalized for excessive celebration, they would be smart to remember that voters are rejecting their no-jobs agenda that is directed toward making the rich even richer. The Republican Congress' approval rating hovers between dismal and pathetic. More importantly, Congressional Republicans are trailing the generic ballot by an average of 3 percent.