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Shadegg retires, 14th Republican out in 2010

Arizona Rep. John Shadegg announced Thursday that he will not seek reelection, the 14th Republican to step aside so far in the 111th Congress.

"Representing the people of Arizona in the House has been one of the greatest privileges of my life," Shadegg said in a statement. "And, while it would be difficult to leave this position at any time, it is particularly hard to do so now with the challenges we face as a nation, but it is necessary for me to do so."

This is the second time in as many election cycles that Shadegg has retired. In February 2008 he announced he would be leaving the House after seven terms only to revisit that decision days later. He went on to win re-election against a well-funded Democratic opponent by 12 points.

Shadegg has long coveted a spot in the Senate and was widely seen as at the front of the line in the event Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) had been elected president in 2008. His 3rd district, which takes in much of Phoenix's northern suburbs, gave native son McCain a 14 point margin in 2008 and went for President George W. Bush by 17 points four years earlier.

Despite the spate of stories detailing Democratic retirement problems, Shadegg is the third straight Republican House member to announce his departure -- joining Reps. Henry Brown (S.C.) and George Radanovich (Calif.) on the sidelines.

Still, when you compare the three most recent Republican retirements to the three most recent Democratic retirements, it's clear the Democratic seats are more vulnerable.

McCain carried all three of the districts most recently vacated by Republicans -- his closest margin was 52 percent in Radanovich's seat -- while President Obama lost two of the three districts where Democrats are leaving (Tennessee's 6th and 8th) while taking 53 percent in retiring Washington Rep. Brian Baird's 3rd.

To date, 14 Republicans -- including Shadegg -- are retiring while ten Democrats are vacating their office. Two of those -- Florida's 19th and Hawaii's 1st -- will be filled in special elections this year.

News of Shadegg's retirement was first reported by the Rothenberg Political Report.

By Chris Cillizza  |  January 14, 2010; 2:09 PM ET
Categories:  House  
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Comments

I doubt that the Democrats will lose their majorities in Congress this time around, and I'll wait to celebrate increases in Republican numbers. For me, it isn't whether Republicans are in the majority, or on the rise, but what KIND of Republicans (or Democrats, for that matter... there are instances where I'd prefer certain Democrats over particular Republicans) are in office.

If the GOP can resist nominating more Neocons and naysayers, I'll be happy, very happy, about the end of the (illusory) fillibuster-proof Democrat majority in the Senate, and a little more equilibrium in the House.

Its probably too much to hope for that either party will advance candidates who aren't in the pockets of the big insurance companies and the banksters. I guess that makes me wildly unrealistic, because thats what I DO hope for.

Posted by: Iconoblaster | January 15, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Oh, gawd, I'd forgotten about Jim Gerlach! He's like something from a zombie movie -- just when you think he's down you've got to hit him with the shovel again. Or chain him in the shed with the Playstation.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | January 14, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

margaretmeyers:

For shame! You have forgotten about your OWN Representative's flip-floppery! 14 is the number on the R side.

Posted by: mnteng | January 14, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Argo0, thank you for the recount on the number of GOP retirees.

With Shadegg being the 15th retiree, that meants almost 10% of the GOP congressional caucus is retiring. And that tsunami like wave of Democratic retirees? That stands at 3.8% of the Democratic caucus. And which party should be heading for higher ground?

Posted by: margaretmeyers | January 14, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

The demographics are out of the barrel - the Republicans are going to take back control of the House this year.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 14, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Um, Bunning and Bond were in red states, not blue.

Posted by: DDAWD | January 14, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

I didn't mention Bunning and Bond since those states went blue. But both of those states, especially Kentucky are capable of electing the right kind of Democrats. I think a blue dog in Kentucky will have a strong chance against a red Libertarian like Rand Paul.

And MO was essentially a purple state. A very close margin for McCain.

I wish Sebelius stayed on as gov of Kansas instead of going to HHS. She would have been a very strong contender for Brownback's seat.

I think Melancon is about as good as an opponent you can get for Vitter, but I don't see Vitter losing. Melancon is about ten points behind Vitter right now.

Well, who knows? Ten points is a lot, but the campaign hasn't really started and Melancon does have a decent amount of upside. It might just come down to how much Vitter can become associated with the DC Madam scandal. And Louisiana does have a Democrat in the Senate already, so it wouldn't be unheard of. Louisiana, like Kentucky, is a state that will go for the right kind of Democrat. Say a southern Democrat name Bill as opposed to a northern Democrat named Barack.

I suppose it just depends on whether the DNC smells blood in the water. Then it might pour some resources into the race. They largely ignored Landrieu in 2008 despite the fact that she was the only vulnerable Democrat. Although the Republican Senate Committee pretty much stayed out as well.

Posted by: DDAWD | January 14, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD:

Don't forget Bunning (KY) and Bond (MO).

But you're right, the narrative is "look how many seats the Ds will lose in 2010." Well, duh. How many opportunities do the Ds have left to pick up seats? There's a D representing ID-1, for goodness sakes.

What do you think Melancon's chances are against Vitter?

Posted by: mnteng | January 14, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Shagadelic! He'll become a lobbyist or some other kind of influence pimp like they all do. Typical scumbag.

Posted by: gce1356 | January 14, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

"What about if you compare the last 10 D retirements to the last 10 R retirements? The D seats are more vulnerable too. Not really shocking news.

When you compare the entire roster of Democratic seats to that of the Republicans, it's clear there are more vulnerable Democratic seats. Cook lists 18 toss-up seats, 16 of which are D seats. The other two are Mark Kirk (R, IL-10) and Joseph Cao (R, LA-2) whose PVIs are D+6 and D+25, respectively. Ds represent something like 60 R leaning CDs while Rs represent 6 D leaning CDs. "

The funny thing is that when you look at the Senate, Republicans are looking at a lot of retirements in states that were pretty strong for Obama. Gregg, Martinez, Voinovich. None of these seats will be easy holds for Republicans, but little noise has been made in comparison to Dorgan and Dodd. Yes, Dorgan was a bombshell, but Dodd helps the Democrats.

But the narrative has been set, it seems.

Posted by: DDAWD | January 14, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

CC writes:
"Still, when you compare the three most recent Republican retirements to the three most recent Democratic retirements, it's clear the Democratic seats are more vulnerable."

What about if you compare the last 10 D retirements to the last 10 R retirements? The D seats are more vulnerable too. Not really shocking news.

When you compare the entire roster of Democratic seats to that of the Republicans, it's clear there are more vulnerable Democratic seats. Cook lists 18 toss-up seats, 16 of which are D seats. The other two are Mark Kirk (R, IL-10) and Joseph Cao (R, LA-2) whose PVIs are D+6 and D+25, respectively. Ds represent something like 60 R leaning CDs while Rs represent 6 D leaning CDs.

But at least this thread isn't totally polluted with troll-scum, so thanks for the horse-race post.

Posted by: mnteng | January 14, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

"As for Arizona: Arizona (Via Senator John McCain) was one of the only States in the Union to refuse to recognize Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a national holiday, and had elected The Grand Wizzard of the Klu Klux Klan its Governor, which governorship was overturned and the KKK dismissed, so yeah, the like KKKs in Arizona and they are therefore a Republican or "Red" State.


Posted by: lindalovejones"

Honestly, I think Arizona would have gone blue or at least been pretty close if it wasn't the state of the Republican nominee. A lot of the demographic changes that turned Colorado and New Mexico blue took place in Arizona as well.

Posted by: DDAWD | January 14, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse


TO: drivl who wrote:
“…A country, let us note, that just elected a manifestly unqualified, at least partially black man president…”
_____________

President Obama is lot more qualified than the former Republican president, Bush, and is more qualified than the GOP’s much anticipated “Ms. Wasilla”, Sarah “The Bimbo” Palin.

So, your biased comment is not well taken.

President Obama is the most qualified President since Bill Clinton, and so far as I know the GOP neither has a graduate nor a Rhoades Scholar running for anything.

As for Arizona: Arizona (Via Senator John McCain) was one of the only States in the Union to refuse to recognize Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a national holiday, and had elected The Grand Wizzard of the Klu Klux Klan its Governor, which governorship was overturned and the KKK dismissed, so yeah, the like KKKs in Arizona and they are therefore a Republican or "Red" State.


Posted by: lindalovejones | January 14, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Man, zook gets banned AGAIN? And comes back with some new name. And not even to talk politics, but solely to harass other people and peddle his racism.

What a waste of organs. At least his genetic line dies with him.

Posted by: DDAWD | January 14, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

bsimon1:

You'll be left wondering more than that once this is all over.

Posted by: JakeD | January 14, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

thanks mnteng.

Posted by: argo0 | January 14, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

It's good to see another scumbag Republican depart from Congress. With luck, Democrats will capture all of their seats and the Democratic majority in both houses of Congress will grow. That will be very good for America.

Posted by: dsrobins | January 14, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Chrissy foxxy true identity is revealed finally:

Former chief United Nations weapons inspector Scott Ritter was arrested in a Pennsylvania sex sting in November on a litany of charges involving a lewd Internet conversation with a person he thought was a 15-year-old girl. Ritter, 47, allegedly masturbated in front of a Web camera while he was engaged in conversation in an Internet chat room with an undercover cop posing as the teenage girl.

Posted by: drivl | January 14, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

As long as we're mulling the real meaning of Reid's words and not just gasping in awe at the sorts of things Democrats get away with saying, I think Reid owes America an apology for accusing the entire country of racism. A country, let us note, that just elected a manifestly unqualified, at least partially black man president.

On the other hand, Reid couldn't have been expecting Republicans to vote for a Democrat, so I gather Reid was accusing only Democratic voters of being racists.

I don't disagree with that, but I'd like to get it in writing.

Posted by: drivl | January 14, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Proof that Republicans have hijacked the media dialogue about the 2010 midterms. Do we all remember the pandemonium that followed three straight Dem retirements/drop-outs?

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | January 14, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

JakeD says
"Are Cillizza and I the only ones here who understand the basis for Cook Report's "Partisan Voting Index" (PVI)?! It's not just looking at the last Presidential election, people."

Then JakeD quotes at length from Cook about the methodology for calculating the PVI, which is best summarized thusly:
"Only Presidential results allow for total comparability."


Jake, what I'm left wondering is if you understand anything at all.

.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 14, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

joeyjoejoe:

If you have any questions after you read the methodology, let me know.

Posted by: JakeD | January 14, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

In August of 1997, The Cook Political Report introduced the Partisan Voting Index (PVI) as a means of providing a more accurate picture of the competitiveness of each of the 435 congressional districts. Using the 1992 and 1996 major-party Presidential voting results, the PVI measured how each congressional district performed compared to the nation as a whole.

Using the results of the 2004 and 2008 elections, we have updated these PVI ratings and have even more information to draw upon to understand the congressional level trends and tilts that will help to define upcoming elections.

Developed for The Cook Political Report by Polidata, the index is an attempt to find an objective measurement of each congressional district that allows comparisons between states and districts, thereby making it relevant in both mid-term and presidential election years.

While other data such as the results of senatorial, gubernatorial, congressional and other local races can help fine tune the exact partisan tilt of a particular district, those kinds of results don't allow a comparison of districts across state lines. Only Presidential results allow for total comparability.

A Partisan Voting Index score of D+2, for example, means that in the 2004 and 2008 presidential elections, that district performed an average of two points more Democratic than the nation did as a whole, while an R+4 means the district performed four points more Republican than the national average. If a district performed within half a point of the national average in either direction, we assign it a score of EVEN.

To determine the national average for these latest ratings, we have taken the average Democratic share of the two-party presidential vote for 2004 and 2008, which is roughly 51.3 percent, and that of Republicans, which is roughly 48.7 percent. So, if John Kerry captured 55 percent of the vote in a district and Barack Obama carried 57 percent in the district four years later, the district would have a PVI score of roughly D+5.

Read up:

http://www.cookpolitical.com/node/4201

Posted by: JakeD | January 14, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

argo0:

CC was counting the "retirement" of Gerlach (PA-06) as he was going to run for PA Gov. He has since dropped out of the Gov. race and re-entered the PA-06 race. So, the count went down to 13 briefly and now is back up to 14 with Shadegg.

Posted by: mnteng | January 14, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

"Are Cillizza and I the only ones here who understand the basis for Cook Report's "Partisan Voting Index" (PVI)?! It's not just looking at the last Presidential election, people."

What else does it rely on?

Posted by: joeyjoejoe | January 14, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

This is not exactly a surprise, as Shadegg has been looking at leaving for a while now. This is a seat that could be in play for Dems in a good year for them - Shadegg had to be talked into running for reelection last time because Republicans were worried about Bob Lord. I guess Shadegg feels more comfortable leaving now, but I wonder if he's looking at running against McCain. Shadegg definitely wants to be a Senator, so it's a possibility. It might be his best shot at it, since Jon Kyl isn't leaving in 2012.

Posted by: joeyjoejoe | January 14, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Chris, you've already posted about the 14th Republican retirement -- is this the 15th?

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/house/republican-retirements-mount-i.html

Posted by: argo0 | January 14, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Chris, you've already posted about the 14th Republican retirement -- is this the 15th?

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/house/republican-retirements-mount-i.html

Posted by: argo0 | January 14, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

I can't wait,
rhetoric is interesting (to a debate nerd) and I have a whole-cloth armpegesque screed ready to post, though not now.

Work beckons.

Buchoo better look out Blarg...

Posted by: shrink2 | January 14, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

koolkat_1960 writes
"House seats held by long-term incumbents who haven't been tainted by scandal are almost always safe."


I think that tends to have a tainting affect on Cook's PVI. As I recall, his index is something of a reactive score - but isn't very effective at predicting changes in trends. i.e. the 2006 & 2008 election cycles. Then with the census this year & redistricting next year, all bets are off.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 14, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Next time we'll switch!

Posted by: Blarg | January 14, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Shrink, I am the most ingenuous blogger here. Fished in!

Posted by: margaretmeyers | January 14, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

"Sourtastic would be tart but delightful."

Mmmm... Cranberries!

.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 14, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Margaret, it is just a role play.

He was the ignorant though obsessive tea bag activist and I was the condescending, over-educated leftist.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 14, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

dijetlo -- I was wondering aboout that, too. Shadegg is only 60. Cillizza needs to do some digging.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | January 14, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

margaret, I know, it is a role play.
He was being an ignorant tea bag activist and I was the playing arrogant over-educated leftist.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 14, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Jake you idiot, House seats held by long-term incumbents who haven't been tainted by scandal are almost always safe. But that's no longer the case here, since Shadegg is retiring (I won't use the Palinesque "quitting" since he's serving out his term). You need to keep up.

NY-23 was safe for McHugh. What happened after he took the SecDef job?

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | January 14, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

No, no -- it was sour-castic.

Sourtastic would be tart but delightful.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | January 14, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if fear of being primaried is driving a lot of these R retirements?
I've wondered about this all along. The Tea party is basically another name for the movement conservatives which make up a big part of the Republican base. In a general election they have a limited impact but in primaries their numeric strength is multiplied due to the smaller voter pool.
Indications are there candidates cannot win most general elections since most of the country is NOT conservative and definitely not Libertarian.
Are these guys retiring rather than face a winger primary challenge that would either leave them unable to win the general or replace them with a Tea Party candidate unable to win the General?
Or are they just going to cash in as lobbyists?

Posted by: dijetlo | January 14, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

shrink, blarg was being (as my mother used to say) sourtastic.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | January 14, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

"That's quite a wave."

All depends on the size of the pond, don't it.


.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 14, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

"This is terrible news for the neocom statist Democraps! I'm amazed that it was even reported by the leftist media!

(Just trying to fit in)"
_________________

Ok I'll bite (I am still waiting for 3 gigantic downloads to finish).
___________________

You right wing nut bars are retarded mentally ill children. Get out of your mom's basement and turn off the Fox.
You are too stupid to post here and everything you post is the same fact free lockstep tea bagging garbage.


Posted by: shrink2 | January 14, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Are Cillizza and I the only ones here who understand the basis for Cook Report's "Partisan Voting Index" (PVI)?! It's not just looking at the last Presidential election, people.

Posted by: JakeD | January 14, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Blarg writes
"Lastly, the northern suburbs of Phoenix have been changing over the past 4-5 years. They are becoming more and more developed which will lead to a more moderate approach. I would say at this point it is too early to know exactly how this will play out, but the GOP should have the upper hand."


I also wonder whether its valid to use the McCain-Obama margin of vote as a proxy for party support when we're talking about his home state. Repubs might want to reassure themselves about it being a 'safe' district, but that merely puts then in the position of Coakley in MA until a week ago. Or NY-23.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 14, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I'm so glad Chris started his 6th paragraph with "Still...." I was starting to worry that that the huge wave of Bad News for Democrats wasn't happening... and we've been promised that tsunami for months now.

when you consider that there are only 178 Republican congreemen, losing 14 is much worse than say, holding 257 seats and having 10 retire. Why, the GOP is retiring almost 8% of their congressman and the Democrats ... a little under 4%. That's quite a wave. yessir.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | January 14, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

The GOP is closing in on losing 10% of its House caucus to retirements this year.

- This is not how a caucus behaves when it is confident of getting back the majority in the next election.

- Is this a safe hold for Republicans? Sure. But it's yet another seat they will now have to spend money they don't have on defense.

Posted by: jgoodfri1971 | January 14, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Actually, the Cook Report's "Partisan Voting Index" (PVI) is based on all of those key demographics.

Posted by: JakeD | January 14, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Jake it isn't in play because Shadegg has had it for so long. With him out we have no idea who will step up and run in his place or on the Democrat side. We could also see a primary battle between a right-winger vs a moderate in the GOP primary which may further complicate the chances of the GOP holding this seat.

Lastly, the northern suburbs of Phoenix have been changing over the past 4-5 years. They are becoming more and more developed which will lead to a more moderate approach. I would say at this point it is too early to know exactly how this will play out, but the GOP should have the upper hand.

Posted by: AndyR3 | January 14, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

This is terrible news for the neocom statist Democraps! I'm amazed that it was even reported by the leftist media!

(Just trying to fit in)

Posted by: Blarg | January 14, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Cook Political Report doesn't even consider Arizona's 3rd District in play. That's the HUGE difference between "safe" seats the GOP are going to keep anyway and "competitive" seats the Dems are jumping ship from.

Posted by: JakeD | January 14, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

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