Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Leaving The Building: Senator Ben Nelson retires
Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) has decided to retire.
One of the more moderate Democrats, he was facing an uphill battle for re-election in the Cornhusker State because of his votes in favor of ObamaCare, and the special deal he made for his vote to have the feds pay for medicaid in his home state got dubbed the 'Cornhusker Kickback' and did not play well back home.
Nelson's retirement virtually guarantees a Republican victory in 2012. There no significant Democrat capable of mounting a challenge to any of the major GOP candidates.
"This virtually guarantees a Republican victory in 2012," said University of Nebraska Lincoln political scientist Mike Wagner. "There's almost no scenario in which a Democrat can win -- especially at this late stage."
The Republicans need four seats to take control of the Senate, and Nelson, 70, joins joins several other Democrats to retire from the Senate, including Virginia's Jim Webb, Wisconsin's Herb Kohl, Hawaii's Daniel Akaka, New Mexico's Jeff Bingaman, and North Dakota's Kent Conrad. Only one Republican, Arizona's John Kyl will not be running in 2012.
The Democrats have 23 seats to defend in the next election, versus 10 for the GOP.