Another month, another opportunity to pause and take stock of all the potential retirements by some of the sun-ravaged mummy husks currently occupying the House of Representatives. Like last time, I've put together two charts: one tracking definite retirements and the other potential retirements, listing each district by its incumbent, PVI, and the representative's age on election day in 2008. With a fresh batch of House retirement speculation straight from Karl "MC" Rove himself, the potential open seat playing field has expanded considerably.
Since last time, there's been only one addition to the definite list of retirements (Hunter), and one subtraction: an astute reader sent us this Roll Call link from last December, which indicates that Elton Gallegly is intending to run again in 2008. Still, he was marked by Rove as a potential retirement in the GSA Powerpoint, so he won't be going from our other watchlist anytime soon:
All districts marked with an asterisk* were identified as possible open seats in the Rove-generated GSA presentation.
On the face of it, there could potentially be a fair bit of open red turf to play in next year. One district I have my eye on is Richard Baker's LA-06. While Kerry won only 40% of the vote there in 2004 (and Gore 43% in 2000), the game could potentially be quite different in 2008. Baton Rouge, the population center of this district, absorbed between 50,000 to 100,000 Hurricane Katrina and Rita refugees from New Orleans since 2005. You can bet that Sen. Mary Landrieu will be mining all of the displaced (and presumably Democratic) voters she can in her re-election bid next year; a strong Democratic House challenger would be well-placed to ride on those coattails. Throw an open seat into the mix, and things could get very, very interesting.