House members are running for the exits. Why it’s nothing new.

Retiring from the House seems like it's in vogue right now.


Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) in 2009. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty)

Just this week, Reps. Jim Moran (D-Va.), Bill Owens (D-N.Y.) and George Miller (D-Calif.) called it quits. In recent weeks, Reps. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.), Jim Matheson (D-Utah),  Jim Gerlach (R-Pa.) and Frank Wolf (R-Va.) also decided to hang 'em up.

But how does the current slate of retirements stack up against recent years? We decided to take a closer look at the number of members who retired or resigned from the House by this point in the 112th and 111th Congresses. We did not factor in those who opted to run for another office or those who died. A couple of things stood out:

* The total number of retirements and resignations (19) is about the same as it was at this point  in 2012 (21). But the party breakdown has been flipped. So far this cycle, 12 Republicans and seven Democrats are retiring or have resigned; in 2012, 13 Democrats and eight Republicans had resigned or announced retirement plans.

* There were only 12 retirements or resignations by this point in 2010, the year Republicans won back the House after picking up 63 seats.

Below is a chart that breaks it down visually. (Blue represents Democrats, red represents Republicans.) The data come from the Cook Political Report and Roll Call's Casualty List.

chart90

And here's a chart that shows total number of House retirements and resignations in each of the last 10 Congresses. The data come from the Casualty List. Of course, the 113th is only about half over.

chart9

As we've noted, there are electoral and government implications for some of the retirements this cycle. Take McIntyre and Matheson -- two moderates whose decisions were 1) big boons to Republicans eyeing their seats and 2) a further blow to the ranks of the Blue Dog Coalition, which has shrunk dramatically in recent years.

But in terms of sheer number, the pace isn't that far off where it was last cycle.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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