The Washington Post‘s Chris Cillizza calls it a “bad week for House Republicans” because two Republicans from Democratic-leaning districts (Mark Kirk of Illinois and Jim Gerlach of Pennsylvania) have decided to run for statewide office and a third (Mike Castle of Delaware) is thought to be close to doing so. Throw in the Cao seat in Louisiana and that’s four obvious pickup opportunities for the Democrats in 2010.
Yes, obviously it would have been nice (from a purely partisan perspective) if the incumbents could have held onto their House seats and some wildly popular self-funding billionares could have parachuted into those statewide races on the Republican ticket instead. But considering that 49 House Democrats represent districts carried by John McCain in 2008 and three of the four Republicans leaving their Democratic districts are running for higher office, and things still look pretty good for the GOP. Especially since it hasn’t fixed any of its structural problems. Republicans are just riding the political and economic cycles.
By the way, I noted Friday that whether Kirk would run for Senate would depend on the powers that be clearing the field for him. And they cleared the field, without regard to Kirk’s liberal cap and trade vote.
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