Another possible House seat pick-up lands in the GOP’s lap with retirement of Snyder

Vote 2010The 2010 election news just keeps getting more and more encouraging.

Earlier today, I blogged briefly about the trouble Democrat Congressman Vic Snyder (AR-2) was finding himself in these days on the issue of his re-election. Newly-released polling for the seat he currently holds showed him badly trailing his declared GOP opponent, Iraq war veteran Tim Griffin, by 17 points. Evidently with that poll, Snyder has seen the writing on the wall and today announced through a statement issued to the press that he is going to retire from the House:

Arkansas Democratic Rep. Vic Snyder (D) released a statement this evening making clear that he would not be a candidate for an eighth term, the fifth Democrat representing a competitive district to announce his retirement in the past two months.

“I have concluded that these election-year forces are no match for the persuasive and powerful attraction of our three one-year old boys under the leadership of their three-year old brother, and I have decided not to run for re-election,” Snyder said in a statement.

What he did not mention was the fact that for the first time in recent memory, Republicans had fielded a serious candidate — former U.S. Attorney Tim Griffin (R) — to run against him. Griffin had drastically outraised Snyder in 2009 and a poll conducted for a liberal blog and released earlier today showed the challenger with a healthy lead over the incumbent. (Snyder’s seat was ranked as the tenth most likely seat to switch parties in the fall, according to today’s House Line.)

Snyder leaves behind a Little Rock-area seat that went for Arizona Sen. John McCain (R) by 10 points in 2008. Griffin immediately becomes the favorite for the seat although it remains to be seen how strong a candidate Democrats will ultimately field.

Among the names mentioned include: Lt. Gov Bill Halter, who is thinking of running against Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D), state Sen. Shane Broadway and speaker of the state House Robbie Wills.

You can read Snyder’s full statement here.

It may not matter who the Dems run in this district, as TPMDC worriedly explains:

This could very well be a tough one for Democrats to hold on to. Snyder was first elected in 1996, and has not had a tough re-election fight since his initial 52%-48% win, but his district has swung significantly to the Republicans underneath him. It voted 54%-44% for John McCain in 2008, and 51%-48% for George W. Bush before that — part of the Southern belt of districts that went against the national trend, swinging further Republican in 2008.

I like the sound of that.

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