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Thursday, 14 September 2017 00:01

Michael Barone: House Republicans' frustrations may doom their majority

Written by  Michael Barone

The Founding Fathers didn't expect that serving in Congress would be a lifetime career. And for a century, it mostly wasn't. The first election in which more than half the incumbent members of the House of Representatives were reelected was in 1898.

Since then, a majority of House members have been returned in every election except 1932.

That's the context in which to weigh the fact that three incumbent Republican House members who have been comfortably reelected have recently announced they are retiring — and the rumors that more will do so. Incumbents tend to know, and be known in, their districts. They usually win, while open-seats contests often result in changes of party control.

The three retiring Republicans are seven-termer Dave Reichert of Washington 8, seven-termer Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania 15, and two-termer Dave Trott of Michigan 11.

Reichert was reelected 60-40 in 2016 in a district dominated by affluent eastern Seattle suburbs, plus some Republican farm country east of the Cascades. Donald Trump lost the district 48-45, a little worse than Mitt Romney's 50-48 loss.

Dent was reelected 58-38 in a district that includes the industrial and suburban Lehigh Valley around Allentown. Trump carried the district 52-44, a bit better than Romney's 51-48 finish.

Read more at The Washington Examiner

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