Current Weather
The Spy FM

Retirement Flurry Creates Openings For Both Parties In 2014

Filed by KOSU News in US News.
December 17, 2013

Congress got a jolt Tuesday when three House members announced they will step down at the end of their terms, creating 2014 pick-up opportunities for both parties.

The retirements of Republican Reps. Frank Wolf of Virginia and Tom Latham of Iowa came as welcome news to Democrats, who need a net gain of 17 seats to capture a House majority in the midterm elections.

Latham, a close ally of House Speaker John Boehner, was first elected to the House in 1994. The Iowa Republican has typically breezed to re-election, though redistricting forced him into a tough incumbent vs. incumbent match-up against Democratic Rep. Leonard Boswell in 2012. Latham won that contest 52 percent to 44 percent.

Despite his victory, Latham’s southwest Iowa district is no Republican stronghold: President Obama carried it by four percentage points in 2012 and six points in 2008.

Wolf’s decision not to seek re-election in Virginia’s 10th District puts another GOP-held seat in play.

The northern Virginia-based seat stretches from McLean all the way out through the Shenandoah Valley to the West Virginia line. While Democrats have made the state’s Washington, D.C., suburbs their stronghold in recent elections, Wolf’s district isn’t quite as Democratic-friendly as those closer to the Beltway.

President Obama won the district in 2008 by three percentage points, in a year he won Virginia by six. Last year, he again ran behind his statewide average: Obama carried Virginia by three points, but lost Wolf’s district by one point.

What’s more, the electorate in a mid-term year is likely to be older and less ethnically diverse — which is to say, more GOP-friendly — than in those presidential elections.

In Utah, where Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson announced his retirement Tuesday, the race to succeed him is expected to be less competitive. Matheson currently represents a strongly Republican seat that he barely held onto in 2012, winning by less than 800 votes.

In a seat where President Obama won just 30 percent in 2012, Democrats aren’t expected to put up much of a fight for the seat without Matheson on the ballot. [Copyright 2013 NPR]

Leave a Reply

5PM to 7PM A Prairie Home Companion

A Prairie Home Companion

Live every Saturday night, A Prairie Home Companion features comedy sketches, music and Garrison Keillor's signature monologue, "The News from Lake Wobegon."

Listen Live Now!

7PM to 8PM Folk Salad

Folk Salad

Folk Salad Hosts Richard Higgs and Scott Aycock play an eclectic mix of Folk, Singer/songwriter, Americana, Bluegrass, Blues, Red Dirt, and anything else we happen to like that week.

View the program guide!

8PM to 9PM For the Sake of the Song

For the Sake of the Song

Greg Johnson, owner of The Blue Door in Oklahoma City gathers the best Red Dirt musicians in the region for his show.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center