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In Swing Districts, Democratic Enthusiasm Is Harder to Come By

EYEING THE EXITS?

A poll found that if Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton tops the ticket in 2008, some vulnerable Democratic House incumbents will have reason to worry.
A poll found that if Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton tops the ticket in 2008, some vulnerable Democratic House incumbents will have reason to worry. (By Alan Diaz -- Associated Press)

It's no fun to be a House Republican at the moment.

In the past few weeks, GOP lawmakers in districts narrowly divided along party lines -- Reps. Deborah Pryce (Ohio), Rick Renzi (Ariz.), Jim Ramstad (Minn.) and Jerry Weller (Ill.) come to mind -- have all taken a pass on another term, creating grumbles that a full-scale retreat is underway. And, according to financial reports filed late last week, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had $22 million in the bank at the end of August, compared with less than $2 million for the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Given that dire outlook, here's a look at some Republican members who might bow out over the coming weeks and months:

Rep. Ralph Regula (Ohio)

His primary opponent invited Regula supporters to an upcoming fundraiser. Need we say more?

Rep. C.W. Bill Young (Fla.)

First he said he is running again, then he started equivocating. This veteran appropriator has been a rumored retiree for at least two cycles.

Rep. David L. Hobson (Ohio)

Republicans fear that the sudden recent death of Rep. Paul Gillmor, a 20-year home-state colleague, could help tip the balance for this popular veteran.

Rep. John M. McHugh (N.Y.)

He has made noises since '06 about wanting to go home. With Democrats more optimistic about their chances in Upstate New York, now might be the time.

Rep. John T. Doolittle (Calif.)


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