There won't be more than a few more retirements by House Democrats, their 2010 campaign chief vowed Wednesday.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), maintained that there wouldn't be a "wave" of Democratic retirements, despite a spate of recent setbacks for House Democrats.
"I'm not sure exactly what the pattern's going to be, but what I do think is we're not going to see a wave of Democratic retirements like we did in 1994," Van Hollen said during an appearance on ABC's "Top Line" webcast.
The DCCC chairman said that there would only be a "couple more" Democratic retirements -- if that.
"As of right now this year, we're below the average number of retirements in the House on a two-year cycle," he said. "Right now we're at 12 -- maybe there will be a couple more."
The retirements of four centrist Democrats in vulnerable House districts, combined with the retirement announcements from Sens. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) as well as Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter (D), have given Republicans a sense of optimism that they can make inroads into Democratic majorities in 2010, and maybe take back control of Congress.
Van Hollen denied any such momentum against Democrats, and while acknowledging the difficult path ahead, the DCCC chairman denied the 2010 midterm elections would resemble those in 1994, when Republicans trounced Democrats to win the House for the first time in decades.
"To somehow say there's the snowball going on around the country -- I think that's dead wrong," Van Hollen explained. "We've also been very clear from the beginning that this is not going to be a 1994 again."
Van Hollen also flatly asserted that no more Democrats would switch parties, which Rep. Parker Griffith (R-Ala.) did to Democrats' surprise in late December.