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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Despite trailing Hillary Clinton by a significant margin, Bernie Sanders wasn't going the way of Ted Cruz tonight. The Vermont senator upset Clinton in Indiana, with MSNBC calling the race at 9pm. Sanders appears poised to win by a five- or six-point spread.
And just like that, it's over. Ted Cruz will suspend his presidential campaign after losing badly to Donald Trump in Indiana tonight. "While Cruz had always hedged when asked whether he would quit if he lost Indiana; his campaign had laid a huge bet on the state." John Kasich's campaign has pledged to carry on. “From the beginning, I’ve said that I would continue on as long as there was a viable path to victory,” said Cruz. “Tonight, I’m sorry to say it appears that path has been foreclosed."
The Republican establishment's last remaining hope—a contested convention this summer—may have just ended in Indiana, as Donald Trump won a decisive victory over Ted Cruz. Nothing Cruz seemed to have in his corner seemed to help—not a presumptive VP pick in Carly Fiorina, not a midwestern state where he's done well in the past, and not the state's legions of conservatives. Though Trump "won't secure the 1,237 delegates he needs to formally claim the nomination until June, his Indiana triumph makes it almost impossible to stop him. Following his decisive wins in New York and other East Coast states, the Indiana victory could put Trump within 200 delegates of the magic number he needs to clinch the nomination." Cruz, meanwhile, "now faces the agonizing choice of whether to remain in the race, with his attempt to force the party into a contested convention in tatters, or to bow out and cede the party nomination to his political nemesis." The Associated Press, which called the race at 7pm, predicts Trump will win at least 45 delegates.