Mike Ross, a Blue Dog Democrat from Arkansas, is bailing out of the House at the end of the year with an eye to a possible run for governor in two year. Brad Miller, a five-term conservative Democrat from North Carolina, is retiring because his once comfortably Democratic district was transformed into a solidly GOP district by the state legislature. And Dan Boren, Oklahoma's only Democratic House member and the son of a prominent former governor and senator, announced he wouldn’t seek a fifth term because he’s tired of campaigning and wants to spend more time with his family.
Just six months ago, Republicans appeared well on their way to winning back control of the Senate for the first time in six years. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas signed up for a second tour as chairman of the Republican campaign committee just to be on hand for the historic transfer of power in the November 2012 election, and GOP leaders speculated on what they might achieve with control of both chambers of Congress.