With Rep. Mike Rogers‘s (R-MI) Friday retirement announcement, his state’s House delegation continues to bleed seniority: By next year, there will be at most 6 of 14 Michiganders with more than two terms of House experience. It’s one of many states feeling a recent loss of congressional clout.
— California’s losses have been the most dramatic. Three Golden State committee chairs or ranking members (Democrats Henry Waxman and George Miller and Republican Buck McKeon) are retiring at the end of the year. In 2012, the state lost another 4 committee chairs and ranking members. That’s at least 7 in two years; 27 states have entire delegations smaller than that. Overall, in that time, 21 California House members totaling over 200 terms of service have retired or been defeated.
— Of course, California also has a large cast of players remaining, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, and Democratic Caucus chair Xavier Becerra. Compare that to the wholesale turnover in Arkansas where, if Rep. Tom Cotton (R) beats Sen. Mark Pryor (D), all of the state’s six members (4 House, 2 Senate) will have been elected since 2010.
— Like Arkansas, West Virginia is another state in transition away from Democrats that’s close to basically starting over on congressional seniority, especially if Rep. Nick Rahall‘s (D) tough race in WV-03 ends in a loss. Meanwhile, Hawaii went from 72 years of combined Senate seniority in 2012 to zero in 2013 and has one first-term and one second-term House member.
Some states are feeling it more than others, but this trend is widespread. At this point, nearly 40% of the House and one-third of the Senate was elected in 2010 or later. With retirements, the House number will climb to at least 45% in 2014 — and that’s before factoring in primary and general election losses. This is an era of major change in Congress.
— Scott Bland
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If a new poll is to be believed, Hillary Clinton has a big lead in the all-important swing state of Pennsylvania. A new Suffolk University survey shows her ahead of Donald Trump, 50%-41%. In a four-way race, she maintains her nine-point lead, 46%-37%. "Pennsylvania has voted Democratic in the past six presidential elections, going back to Bill Clinton’s first win in 1992. Yet it is a rust belt state that could be in play, as indicated by recent general-election polling showing a close race."
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Wednesday was the third night in a row that the Democratic convention enjoyed a ratings win over the Republican convention last week. Which might have prompted a fundraising email from Donald Trump exhorting supporters not to watch. "Unless you want to be lied to, belittled, and attacked for your beliefs, don't watch Hillary's DNC speech tonight," the email read. "Instead, help Donald Trump hold her accountable, call out her lies and fight back against her nasty attacks."
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