Wednesday, May 19, 2010

That Old-Time, Old-Fashioned, Old-Old Senate 2

I've posted a couple of times about how old our current Congress is, especially the Senate -- the current 111th Senate is the oldest ever.  My last update focused mainly on retirements, and likely replacements.  Quick summary: the ten retiring Senators averaged 65 years old; the ten most likely candidates to replace them at that point averaged just under 49 years old, but the next-most-likely winners in those contests averaged 55 years old. 

So, what's changed?  And how does it affect the superannuated Senate?

Well, the big development is the demise of two ancient Senators, Bennett and Specter.

UT Bennett (76) -> Lee (38) or Bridgewater (46)
PA Specter (80) -> Sestak (58) or Toomey (48)

and the likely loss of a younger one:

AR Lincoln (49) ->? Boozman (59) or Halter (49)

The other big development since I last wrote about this is the decision by Beau Biden to pass on the Delaware race (and I saw he's been released from the hospital today, so that's good news).  I thought Bidne had a slight edge over Mike Castle; now Castle, who is 30 years older than Biden, is now a solid (but not unbeatable) favorite.  Also, Kay Bailey Hutcheson is has moved from planning to resign when I first visited this issue in October, to possibly resigning in January, to staying put now, so that possibility of getting younger has evaporated.

And while Richard Burr is more likely than not to be re-elected, I should probably mention that he's 54, and the Democrats in the runoff are 64 (Marshall) and 36 (Cunningham).

(I should say that I'm taking ages from various sources, and one or more could be slightly off).

Overall the big news is that Utah and Pennsylvania are major gains for (relative) youth.  Arizona, anyone?

1 comment:

  1. I'm less interested in the age of our Senate -- after all, the word comes from the Latin word senātus (senate), which comes from senex, "old man". It seems to be a feature, not a bug.

    I'm more interested in the aging of our population in general, and what happens when the last of the Baby Boomers (and I'm on the tail end of that demographic) finally go to that great party in the sky. Wish I could remember the guy's name, but there's a new book out now looking at the end of the Baby Boom; I caught part of the author's interview with Jon Stewart a few weeks back.

    The basic premise is that while things might really suck a lot right now, the population bomb is actually going to defuse itself because globally population numbers are decreasing, and very dramatically. That is to say, younger people are having far fewer children than older generations did, not just in industrialized countries but all around the world. So when all us old folks go off to die, the planet will have far fewer people to carry, which will solve a lot of environmental and other issues.

    Don't know how realistic that is but it sure is a nice thought. Oh and I just remembered the title, it's "The Coming Population Crash" by Fred Pearce.


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