The 29 Republicans…

The news on Monday that House Republican Chris Shadegg of Arizona will not stand for re-election brings to 29 the total of GOP Congressmen announcing their departures before the 2008 elections. This certainly seems like a lot and it is by historical standards.

Like everything, some interesting data on this point can be found on the Internet if you know where to look, which in this case is in a table (reprinted below in microtype) included in “Retirements, Retentions, and the Balance of Partisan Power in Contemporary Congressional Politics,” a paper by Adrian U-Jin Ang and L. Marvin Overby of the University of Missouri. Their paper was presented to the 2006 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association.

Does this factoid represent anything more than a series of unrelated decisions by officeholders? Perhaps a sense that, like the 2006 elections, there’s not a lot of reasons for the Red Team to get excited?

Maybe. The most recent polls I could lay my hands on regarding generic party preference in Congress gave the Dems a 10-18 point edge over the Republicans, about where they were prior to election day and well ahead of where they were at this time in 2006.

– Austin

Democrats

Republicans

Year

Number of Members

Number Retiring

Percentage Retiring

Number of Members

Number Retiring

Percentage Retiring

1954

213

11

5.2

221

13

5.9

1956

232

7

3.0

203

14

6.9

1958

234

6

2.6

201

27

13.4

1960

283

11

3.9

153

15

9.8

1962

262

10

3.8

175

14

8.0

1964

258

17

6.6

176

16

9.1

1966

295

14

4.7

140

8

5.7

1968

248

13

5.2

187

10

5.3

1970

243

11

4.5

192

18

9.4

1972

255

20

7.8

180

20

11.1

1974

242

23

9.5

192

20

10.4

1976

291

31

10.7

144

16

11.1

1978

292

31

10.6

143

18

12.6

1980

277

21

7.6

158

13

8.2

1982

243

19

7.8

192

21

10.9

1984

268

9

3.4

167

13

7.8

1986

253

20

7.9

182

20

11.0

1988

258

10

3.9

177

13

7.3

1990

260

10

3.8

175

17

9.7

1992

267

41

15.4

167

24

14.4

1994

258

28

10.9

176

20

11.4

1996

204

28

13.7

230

21

9.1

1998

206

17

8.3

228

16

7.0

2000

211

7

3.3

222

23

10.4

2002

212

6

2.8

221

12

5.4

2004

204

6

2.9

229

10

4.4

1954-1994

5432

363

6.6

3701

350

9.5

1996-2004

1037

64

6.2

1131

82

7.3

epayroll kind

2 thoughts on “The 29 Republicans…

Comments are closed.