GOP Can Almost Taste House Upset

More Democrats, including some well-know House veterans, are looking at tight races.

Democrats are not only bracing for election losses. In some cases, they seem to be clearing the path for Republican advances. The decision by Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) to retire, like the earlier move by Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND), is a huge blow in what seems an almost weekly stream of setbacks for Democrats.

Bayh was well funded and was favored to win reelection, but his surprise retirement leaves Democrats without a ready or strong candidate and very little time to mount a serious challenge to Republican Dan Coats, a former senator.Bayh’s decision, as well as a series of retirements in the House from centrist and conservative-leaning Democrats and losses in the Massachusetts special Senate election and in last year’s governor races, fuels talk of political desperation in the party. It dampens enthusiasm in the national base and hurts fundraising efforts. Figure on more retirement announcements, especially in the House.

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Richard Sammon
Senior Associate Editor, The Kiplinger Letter