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January 18, 2011

Democrat US Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota to Retire in 2012, Joe Lieberman Retiring as Well

Posted in: 2012 Elections,Democrats,Joe Lieberman (I-CT),Politics,Polls,Senate,Senate Elections

Holding the US Senate for Democrats and Harry Reid in 2012 just got a little bit harder …

Democrat US Senator Kent Conrad has announced that he will not run for reelection in 2012 and will retire. The retiring of Conrad opens up a huge opportunity for Republicans in the “red” state of North Dakota. As it is Democrats face an uphill battle in 2012 to retain the Senate as Democrats have to defend 23seats, 21 Dems and 2 Indies who caucus with Dems while the GOP only have to defend 10. As stated by Hot Air, Senate Democrat to retire after his party lost six Senate seats in the midterms, but he probably won’t be the last.

North Dakota Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad announced today that he will not seek reelection, creating a potentially prime pickup opportunity for Republicans in a GOP-leaning state.

“After months of consideration, I have decided not to seek reelection in 2012,” Conrad said in a letter to constituents. “There are serious challenges facing our state and nation, like a $14 trillion debt and America’s dependence on foreign oil. It is more important I spend my time and energy trying to solve these problems than to be distracted by a campaign for reelection.”

President Obama said in a statement that he was “saddened” about the news of Conrad’s retirement. I bet he was; however, not as much as Harry Reid who might be moved to a smaller office after the 2012 elections.

Recently, US Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R.-Tex.) also announced that she will not run in 2012 as week; however, that GOP hold is a much different story than that of Democrats and Kent Conrad. It is rather unthinkable that a Democrat would win a US Senate race in the “red” state of Texas. Hard to believe indeed.

Recently, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R.-Tex.) announced her retirement. Today, Chris Cillizza reported that Sen. Kent Conrad (D.-N.D.) will be hanging it up.

The reaction to each is interesting and quite different. In Texas, the Democratic polling outfit Public Policy Polling tells us: “A look at 12 different possible head-to-head match ups for next year’s Texas Senate race shows the same outcome in every single one: a double digit lead for the Republican. This is going to be an extremely difficult seat for Democrats to pick up.” 

UPDATE I: US Senator Joe Lieberman (CT-I) is also retiring and won’t seek reelection in 2012. First it was Conrad and nopw it’s Lieberman. The obvious question is, who’s next?

Sen. Joe Lieberman is retiring from the Senate in 2012, closing out a two-decade career that saw him rise to the Democratic presidential ticket only to be dismissed by his own state party a few years later over his support for the war in Iraq.

Lieberman will announce that he will not seek re-election Wednesday in Stamford, Conn., ending months of speculation about whether Lieberman would run as an independent, a Republican, a Democrat, or simply retire.

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