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View Diary: NE-Sen: Democrat Ben Nelson reportedly will announce retirement (306 comments)

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    (1) Nelson was weak. I don't mean on the Senate floor; I mean in the polls in Nebraska. To elect him, the DSCC would have had to hold it's nose and sink a ton of money into the race - and they can spend that ton of money better elsewhere.

    (2) The money that re-electing him would have taken could be better spent elsewhere, to elect (or re-elect) better Democrats. Among them:

    Heidi Heitkamp - a ND progressive(ish) legislator, she's running in a tiny (and therefore cheap to run in) State, and could just possibly keep the seat blue.

    Elizabeth Warren - 'nuff said. A progressive champion, and the GOP are throwing the kitchen sink at her already.

    Shelley Berkley - A moderate-to-progressive Democrat, Berkley has a real shot at flipping Nevada's Senate seat blue, especially when she starts reminding NV voters that Sen. Heller voted twice to kill Medicare (once in the House, then again after being sworn-in as a Senator). But telling them that will take money - lots of it.

    Richard Carmona/Terry Goddard/Gabby Giffords - Any of these three people is a good Democrat and a good person to flip AZ's Senate seat blue. But AZ is a reddish State, and it will take lots of money to get them in.

    Jon Tester - Montana's an increasingly red State, and Tester - generally far more 'liberal' than I'd have thought to see from Montana - needs help. It's a cheap media market, but the DSCC needs to get a foot in the door ASAP, rather than letting Renberg define him.

    Sherrod Brown - Ohio's in a "toss out the incumbent" mood, and the Chamber of Commerce has already cut millions for ads attacking this progressive champion.

    You get the point - there are far, far better places for the DSCC to be spending the money that defending Nelson would have needed, some of which are defense, and others of which are genuine pickup opportunities for better Democrats than Nelson.

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