In less than two weeks, two out of the three Republicans targeted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee have decided not to seek re-election.
According to Stuart Rothenberg, Editor-in-Chief of the Rothenberg Political Report, that's got to hurt.
"Right now with a Democrat who just ran in a marginal district, in what could be a bad time for Republicans, an open seat only adds to the Republicans' headache," said political analyst Stu Rothenberg, Editor-in-Chief of the Rothenberg Political Report. "The retirement adds another layer of doubt to Republicans' hold on the seat"
Rothenberg had already classified the seat as "leans Republican" – a very competitive category — since the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was going to run a fully-funded Stender in a rematch against Ferguson, after she very narrowly lost a chance to oust him last year with a shoe-string campaign. No word yet on whether that categorization will change.
But, said Rothenberg, if the Republican recruitment effort comes out with just the right candidate to run in this narrowly Republican district, they might actually improve their chance of keeping the seat.
"Now if they can get a good candidate who can appeal to swing voters, who is a good campaigner, at the end of the day they might be better off than with Ferguson," said Rothenberg. "It wasn't exactly a blowout last time."