Marion Berry is expected to join the growing list of Democrats who will retire from the U.S. House of Representatives. Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post writes:
Arkansas Rep. Marion Berry is expected to announce his retirement tomorrow morning, according to three sources briefed on the decision.
Berry will become the sixth Democrat in a competitive seat to leave in the last two months but the first to announce his retirement since the party’s special election loss in Massachusetts last Tuesday.Hat tip: Instapundit. It is important to note that not just Democrats have announced retirements. The anti-incumbent sentiment has affected decisions from both parties.
Democratic strategists warned privately that a Coakley loss could open the floodgates for members who were wavering about their future political plans. Including Berry, there are now 12 Democratic members retiring with 14 Republicans calling it quits.
The next two weeks could well serve as a tipping point in the battle for House control. Today there appear to be too few open Democratic seats for Republican to win the 40 seats they need to take control. But, another handful of retirements in swing districts could imperil Democrats hold on the chamber.But if you have been following the announcements what is perhaps most telling is that the number of Republican retirements has held steady for a while now whereas the number of Democrat retirements has increased. Robert Costa at the Corner notes an analysis from the New York Times.
Stuart Rothenberg, a political analyst who follows Congressional races, said a report he will release Monday will count 58 Democratic House seats in play, up from 47 in December. The number of Republican seats in play has held at 14 in that period, he said. And Democrats expect more of their incumbents to retire, which could put additional seats at risk.
That’s eleven more Democratic seats in play since December. While the cry of “No seat is safe!” is no doubt an exaggeration, what is indisputable is that compared to a year ago, Republican chances to make significant gains in both houses of Congress are much, much higher.