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Democrats Expect More Departures

Democrats are not suffering the kind of imbalance in open seats that the GOP endured in 2008, when there were 26 Republican open seats to just six for the Democrats. So far, there are more Republican open seats (12) for 2010 than Democratic (nine) — though all the Republicans who are leaving the House so far are running for other offices in 2010.

And the Republicans have retirement worries of their own. They include septuagenarian Reps. Bill Young of Florida, Henry Brown of South Carolina and Vernon Ehlers of Michigan, all of whom represent potentially competitive districts. A handful of GOP-held seats that Republicans are giving up to run for other offices also are in danger of flipping to the Democrats.

But for now, it is the Democrats who seem more at risk of losing open seats.

“We don’t need a lot more Members retiring in swing districts,” Murphy said.

Jennifer Bendery and John McArdle contributed to this report.

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