Finally Getting Rid of Pete

The Hill has picked up a story in the local newspapers yesterday that my Congressman, Pete Hoekstra, plans to retire at the end of this term. They raise the possibility that he might be planning to run for governor in 2010 when Jennifer Granholm is prevented from running again due to term limits. Many people in both parties are already being mentioned as possible candidates and Hoekstra will not have an easy time winning the Republican nomination. He might be willing to gamble on this as opposed to remaining in the House as a member of the minority party.

Among the reasons I’d be happy to see Hoekstra go was his discredited claims to have found evidence of WND in Iraq in 2006.

Several Democratic blogs are encouraged by the possibility of winning another seat in 2010, often citing this portion of the article:

The battle to replace Hoekstra could give Democrats an opportunity to contest another Michigan congressional seat. His district, based on the shores of Lake Michigan, gave President Bush 60 percent of the vote in 2004, but John McCain won just 50.8 percent of the vote in 2008.

Chances will certainly be better if they don’t have to run against an incumbent, but this seat will still be hard to pick up. Democrats did well in the Congressional races nationally for two cycles but unless Obama and the Democratic Congress are extraordinarily popular in 2010, odds are that the Republicans will regain some seats in the next off year election.

It is far too soon to predict what will happen in two years but I suspect that limiting McCain to 50.8 percent of the vote in a state he was not contesting by the end is hardly a sign that this Republican area will go Democratic in a House race. Hoekstra won reelection with 62% of the vote despite the weakness at the top of the Republican ticket.

Predictions based upon the odds for a generic Democrat versus a generic Republican might not hold up should the Democrats manage to run a far better candidate than the Republicans (keeping in mind that this area is generally happy with most Republicans).

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