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FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR

Jim Matheson (D, Utah-04) cuts and runs.

He just can’t take it anymore:

It has been a tremendous privilege to serve the people of Utah during my time in the United States House of Representatives, but my time in the House should not be the sum total of my service. Today, I am announcing that I will not seek reelection to the House of Representatives.

Better to go out on his own terms, eh?Couple this with the falsely equivalent news that Republican Frank Wolf will also be retiring, and it’s a banner day for House race watchers. But the two stories are not in fact equivalent. While the Democrats are going to insist that Virginia-10 is now a ripe plum for the picking, the truth of it is that there will be no shortage of qualified candidates on the Republican side, and while Romney only narrowly won that district in 2012 it’s not 2012 anymore. Combine that with the regular midterm drop-off for Democratic voters and we start to see why this race isn’t anything more than Toss-Up* in Sabato’s latest rankings. Utah-04, on the other hand… yeah, the Democrats don’t have anything there except the fact that Matheson was in the seat and knew how to win it. Which is why Sabato has this race in Likely Republican** free-fall for the Democrats now.

All in all, good news.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

*This designation will change, once we know the candidates.

**This designation will not.

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