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Midterms: Dem vs. GOP retirements

The Washington Post: "While the recent political chatter in Washington has focused on Democrats retiring from Congress, Republicans are leaving the House in greater numbers, a trend that could blunt the party's momentum heading into the November midterm elections. Rep. Henry E. Brown Jr. (S.C.) on Monday became the 14th Republican to announce that he will not run for reelection this year. Ten Democrats have said the same, including an attention-grabbing four in the past two months from swing and Republican-leaning districts."

"A broad look at those seats suggests more parity, in terms of the two parties' opportunities and vulnerabilities, than conventional wisdom would suggest. Each side has three seats won by the other party's presidential candidate in 2008. For Democrats, they are Louisiana's 3rd District and Tennessee's 6th and 8th districts; for Republicans, they are Delaware's at-large seat, Illinois's 10th District and Pennsylvania's 6th District."

The Republican Governors Association announced yesterday that it raised a record $30 million in 2009, and is bringing more than $25 million into 2010, according to a release on the RGA website. That number far exceeds the RGAs coffers in 2006, when it had barely more than $4 million on hand the RGA today has more cash on hand that it spent on all 36 races in 2006.

(*** UPDATE****: The Democratic Governors Association announced yesterday that it raised $23.1 million in 2009, "more than ever before in the organization's history, and will start the 2010 election cycle with nearly 12 times as much cash on hand as 2006, the last equivalent election cycle." In the fourth quarter, it says it raised more than $7 million. The DGA says it has $17.5 million cash on hand, which is $1.5 million more than 2006.)

COLORADO: CQ Politics moves the Colorado Senate race from Leans Democratic to Tossup.

HAWAII: Neil Abercrombie (D) will officially resign from Congress on Feb. 28 to focus on his gubernatorial run.

ILLINOIS: Illinois state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias is up with two more TV ads in his bid for Senate.

NEW YORK: The Times notes that GOP gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio is having a hard time catching fire. "Political comebacks can be tough, and Mr. Lazio's exit from the stage, after his disastrous 2000 Senate contest with Hillary Rodham Clinton, was humbling. But even among New York Republicans, with whom he is personally popular, Mr. Lazio's fiery pitch for his gubernatorial campaign hasn't yet ignited any prairie fires."

RHODE ISLAND: "Lincoln D. Chafee, the former Republican senator from Rhode Island who lost his seat to a Democrat in 2006 despite his family's longtime presence in state politics, announced Monday that he would run for governor there as an independent," the New York Times says. More: "On the Democratic side, Patrick C. Lynch, the state's attorney general, and Frank T. Caprio, its general treasurer, are competing for their party's nomination. Both are well known in the state, but so is Mr. Chafee, whose family has loomed large in Rhode Island politics for more than a century. His father, John, was the state's governor for six years in the 1960s before serving in the Senate for two decades; upon his death in 1999, his son was appointed his successor."

TEXAS: Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, running for governor, bought ad time during Thursday's college football national championship game between Texas (her alma mater) and Alabama.