Early retirement announcements have become the norm over the last few cycles. Strategists in both parties believe that the sooner an incumbent announces the intention to retire, the sooner the parties can recruit candidates and the sooner those candidates can begin fundraising and putting their campaigns together. So far, the 2018 class of Senate incumbents appears to be bucking this trend. Not only hasn’t any U.S. Senator announced his or her retirement, but the speculation about who might retire is scarcer than usual. By this time – give or take a week – in the last three cycles, there has been at least one retirement announcement. On January 8 of 2015, Democratic U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer of California announced via video that she wouldn’t run again. There were a total of five retirements in the 2016 cycle. Three more – Democratic Sens. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland and Harry Reid of Nevada, and Republican U.S. Sen. Dan Coats of Indiana – announced their retirements in March of 2015. The last announcement came from Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana, who
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