A lot of Democrats chose to retire last year rather than have their asses handed to them in the election. I was not strongly in favor of this. Sure, I wanted the bums out of Congress as much as the next guy, but I didn’t want them to retire. I wanted them to LOSE. I wanted them to try their hardest, I wanted them to fight to keep their perks, I wanted them to want it bad, and I wanted them to go down in flames. Still, watching them bow to the inevitable and chicken out was a preferable “Plan B” to having them run for reelection and WIN. (Seriously, Nevada, what the Hell is wrong with you? Although I still think Reid might have lost in a fair fight, which the 2010 Nevada Senatorial election clearly was not. But I digress.)
The Fix — North Dakota Democratic Senator 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.” (H/T: RightNetwork and Pi Guy)
Actually, Kent, I’m pretty sure your party is the one creating and exacerbating the challenges currently facing our nation, which is why you know that you’d lose if you ran.
…Conrad is the first Democrat to decide not to seek reelection. Last week, Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) announced she would not run again. There are 23 Democrats and Democratic-aligned independents up for reelection in 2012 as compared to 10 Republicans.
There was never a serious chance of the GOP recapturing the Senate in 2010; the math was against them (they were mostly playing defense). However, with more than twice as many Democrats playing defense in 2012, the GOP has a much better shot at flipping enough seats to capture the Senate. The GOP just needs to make sure they don’t “go wobbly” to Obama and the Democrats before then; people won’t turn out for them in 2010-esque numbers if the GOP returns to their ever-unpopular “Democrat Lite” positions.