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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The Commission on Presidential Debates put out a statement today that gives credence to Donald Trump's claims that he had a bad microphone on Monday night. "Regarding the first debate, there were issues regarding Donald Trump's audio that affected the sound level in the debate hall," read the statement in its entirety.
"A video of Donald Trump testifying under oath about his provocative rhetoric about Mexicans and other Latinos is set to go public" as soon as today. "Trump gave the testimony in June at a law office in Washington in connection with one of two lawsuits he filed last year after prominent chefs reacted to the controversy over his remarks by pulling out of plans to open restaurants at his new D.C. hotel. D.C. Superior Court Judge Brian Holeman said in an order issued Thursday evening that fears the testimony might show up in campaign commercials were no basis to keep the public from seeing the video."
No matter that his recall of foreign leaders leaves something to be desired, Gary Johnson is the choice of the Chicago Tribune's editorial board. The editors argue that Donald Trump couldn't do the job of president, while hitting Hillary Clinton for "her intent to greatly increase federal spending and taxation, and serious questions about honesty and trust." Which leaves them with Johnson. "Every American who casts a vote for him is standing for principles," they write, "and can be proud of that vote. Yes, proud of a candidate in 2016."
"By all means vote, just not for Donald Trump." That's the message from USA Today editors, who are making the first recommendation on a presidential race in the paper's 34-year history. It's not exactly an endorsement; they make clear that the editorial board "does not have a consensus for a Clinton endorsement." But they state flatly that Donald Trump is, by "unanimous consensus of the editorial board, unfit for the presidency."