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DeLay's Retirement Good News for House GOP

DeLay's retirement is a hit to the Democrats chances of recapturing the House this fall. First, with Democrats needing 15 seats to win control and current estimates running at about a 7-11 seat pick-up for the Dems, every contested race matters and DeLay's announcement moves this contest back into more favorable Republican territory. President Bush won the 22nd district in Texas with 64% of the vote in 2004, and with DeLay gone the Democratic nominee, former Congressman Nick Lampson, is unlikely to overcome that structural GOP advantage.

Second, DeLay's retirement mutes the Democrats' ability to use him as a frontman to try and nationalize the election over the "culture of corruption" in Washington D.C. With House Republicans rejecting DeLay's hand-picked successor Roy Blunt in favor of Ohio's John Boehner for the Majority Leader's position at the beginning of the year, and now with Tom Delay out of Congress by summertime, it is going to be very hard for Democrats to make Tom DeLay a national issue in September and October.

Off the cuff, DeLay's move could be worth several seats to the Republicans and with control of the House coming down to every single seat, after all of the hullabaloo the next few days, the political take-away is this is good news for House Republicans.