In the past week alone, Reps. Jim Walsh, Ron Lewis, Dave Weldon and Tom Davis have all announced they will not seek another term next year. Missouri Republican Kenny Hulshof, who represents a district just north of St. Louis, said he will run for governor, a seat that came open when incumbent Republican Matt Blunt surprised political observers by withdrawing after just one term.These announcements bring to 27 the number of open seats Republicans will have to defend in November, and there may still be more to come. Many of these seats are considered "safe" Republican seats (there can be and inevitably will be surprises though), but there are still many good pickup opportunities for Democrats and it suggests a general mood among Republicans that this is not their year.
The sheer number of open/competitive Republican seats on both the House and Senate seats makes Republicans regaining control a near impossibility. The best they can hope to do is simply reduce Democratic numbers, and even then, it is far more likely that they'll lose seats instead. Most political observers seem to think it's a question of how many seats Republicans will lose this year, not if they will lose any. It's hard to see that changing given the obstacles they have.
It's no wonder that Republicans are (most likely) nominating John McCain - despised by the conservative base - for the presidential election. He's their best shot at retaining the White House, their last bastion of any power.