Dennis Moore, Democratic Member of the House from Kansas, won't be running for re-election in 2010. It's a competitive district, but leans GOP...my guess is that this immediately swings the district from about a 60% chance of a Democratic win to a 75% chance for a Republican pickup.
Up to this point, the Democrats had done a really good job of avoiding retirements -- Moore is the first one to announce (that's retirements, as opposed to Members seeking higher office). We'll see, over the next months, whether Moore will be an aberration or the beginning of a trend. These sorts of decisions are quite important. A big part of the 1994 landslide was a wave of Democratic retirements; it's a whole lot harder to beat incumbents than it is to pick up open seats. So with today's news, increase the GOP's likely pickups in 2010 from the immediate effect, but also increase the odds of further retirements. Good news for the Republicans.
Oh, and it's a very good day for those traveling with flower lupins...here's the clip.