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Monday, January 12, 2009

Voinovich's announcement comes just a few days after Missouri's Kit Bond (R) announced his retirement. The Republican Party no doubt hoped to keep retirements to a minimum in order to conserve campaign resources and maximize likely victories. And yet, in addition to Voinovich and Bond, Mel Martinez (Florida) and Sam Brownback (Kansas) are also not seeking re-election, and Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas) is planning a gubernatorial campaign that will create a fifth Republican open-seat contest.

What's more, with three more Republican incumbents likely to face major challenges next year -- Burr in North Carolina, Gregg in New Hampshire, Specter in Pennsylvania -- these announcements make the 2010 cycle that much more difficult for the GOP. (A topic we've discussed once or twice before.)
Steve Benen covers the Republican exodus: five GOP Senators up for reelection in 2010 have already announced their retirement, making any sort of GOP comeback that year significantly more difficult. The question more people should be asking is why so many. Is it that being in the minority just isn't as much fun? that they expect the GOP to fall on increasingly hard times? that they think they'll lose a reelection bid anyway? Are these outgoing Senators so shamed by their conscienceless support of the Bush administration that they're nobly falling on their swords? Why so many?