Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Old Senate Update

Sure, it's important that new West Virginia placeholder Senator Carte Goodwin was sworn in today because it means unemployment insurance...oh, if you want substance, you'll have to go elsewhere.  This post is an update on one of my favorite topics: the (formerly) ancient Senate. 

Now, Goodwin himself is the youngest Senator, at 36 years of age, so the transition from Robert Byrd to Goodwin is, of course, a major step away from what was once the record-holding, oldest-ever 111th Senate.  But what we're more interested in is the 112th Senate.  A little background...the 109th Senate was the first to break the barrier of an average age of 60 years; the 111th Senate started off averaging 63 years old.  Since then, however, things have moved in the other direction. Six of the original 111thers are gone, and their replacements are on average several years younger.  Moreover, at least thirteen Senators (plus Goodwin) will be leaving, and their likely replacements will further drop the average age.  Previous updates here and here.

Since the last update, the developments have been the death of Robert Byrd, with a special election this fall to replace him permanently, and the setting of the general election fields in Utah, Nevada, North Carolina, and Arkansas. 

West Virginia.  Byrd was 92.  The most likely winner in November is Governor Joe Manchin (62), already an announced candidate; the next-most likely will be Shelley Moore Capito, who is 56.

Utah: Mike Lee (38) defeated Tim Bridgewater (46).  Bob Bennett was 76.

Nevada: Reid (70) will face Angle (60), not Lowden (58).

North Carolina: Burr (54) will face Marshall (64), not Cunningham (36).

Arkansas: Boozeman is 59; Lincoln is 49.  Halter was also 49, so no change there.

Also, in California, Boxer (69) is challenged by Fiorina (55).

So the big news is of course the significant drop (92 to 62 or 56) in West Virginia, and that we'll have another Senator under 40 for a bit with Mike Lee winning in Utah. 

Coming up?  Among others,

Kansas GOP primary: Moran (56) vs. Tiahrt (59)
Colorado Dem primary: Bennet (45) vs. Romanoff (43)
Colorado GOP primary Buck vs. Norton (55).  Can't find a birth date for Buck; he graduated college (Princeton) in 1981, so perhaps he's about 48? 

I haven't run the totals, but I'm certain that the 112th Senate will break the streak of each Senate starting off  older than the previous one, and each setting a new record. 


  1. Buck would be about 51 if his education followed the normal path. My wife graduated in from college in May 1981 and she is 51. I finished college in 3 and 1/2 years to graduate in Dec. 1981 and I just turned 50.

  2. Thanks; I either can't do math, or it was some sort of denial (I graduated college in 1985 -- as I've said before, I was two years ahead of Bennet at Wesleyan).


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