Old Guard Dems Are Asking Themselves: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

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Rep. Jane Harman, a California Blue Dog Dem is going, she announced today, to head up the Woodrow Wilson Center. Also leaving: Senators Kent Conrad and Joe Lieberman.

Staying thus far are Reps. John Dingell, John Conyers and Barney Frank — all of whom have already announced their plans to run again. If this seems rather early, it’s not.

Democrats are eying the redistricting process about to begin which could make their reelections a lot tougher next cycle. Conyers and Dingell — the two of the longest serving members in the House — for example, might find themselves running for the same Michigan district in 2012. Dems also factoring in the possible loss of the majority in the Senate and potential continued minority in the House — making staying much less appealing for the old guard who might not want to tough it out until the next majority. “Being in the minority is a factor for Democrats and being in a redistricting cycle is going to weigh more on retirement decisions,” says Nathan Gonzales, of the Rothenberg Political Report. Which means many more senior Democrats will be making similar declarations in the weeks to come on whether they’ll stay or go.