The anti-GOP wave that struck D.C. two weeks ago resulted in 22 Republican U.S. House incumbents being given their 2-month notice. This turnover, while quite high by historical standards, is perhaps not as remarkable as the fact that most of these incumbents had served their districts for a decade or more and had cruised to victory in 2004.
Eighty-one percent of these incumbents (17) enjoyed double-digit victories in 2004 and sixty-two percent (13) of them won by at least 20 points in the previous election cycle. Fourteen of these incumbents also had served at least 10 consecutive years in the U.S. House. The departing incumbents are:
PA-10. Donald Sherwood (4-term). 92-point negative turnaround from 2004.
TX-23. Henry Bonilla (7-term). 47-point turnaround.
NY-20. John Sweeney (4-term). 38-point turnaround.
NY-19. Sue Kelly (6-term). 36-point turnaround.
CT-05. Nancy Johnson (12-term). 34-point turnaround.
FL-22. Eugene Clay Shaw (13-term). 32-point turnaround.
PA-07. Curt Weldon (10-term). 31-point turnaround.
MN-01. Gil Gutknecht (6-term). 31-point turnaround.
PA-04. Melissa Hart (3-term). 31-point turnaround.
IN-08. John Hostettler (6-term). 30-point turnaround.
NH-01. Jeb Bradley (2-term). 30-point turnaround.
CA-11. Richard Pombo (7-term). 28-point turnaround.
NH-02. Charles Bass (6-term). 28-point turnaround.
AZ-05. J.D. Hayworth (6-term). 27-point turnaround.
KY-03. Anne Northrup (5-term). 25-point turnaround.
IA-02. James Leach (15-term). 22-point turnaround.
KS-02. Jim Ryun (5-term). 19-point turnaround.
NC-11. Charles Taylor (8-term). 18-point turnaround.
IN-02. Chris Chocola (2-term). 17-point turnaround.
PA-08. Mike Fitzpatrick (1-term). 13-point turnaround.
CT-02. Robert Simmons (3-term). 8-point turnaround.
IN-09. Michael Sodrel (1-term). 4-point turnaround.
Of particular note is that 11 incumbents incurred a 30+ point turnaround from the previous election cycle (scandal-plagued Donald Sherwood hadn’t even faced a Democratic challenger in 2004 or 2002).