Skip to main content

Earlier today I posted my prediction that the Democrats would barely hold on to the Senate. Ben Nelson of Nebraska must have seen my analysis, because he's hanging it up.

The 70-year-old conservative Democrat, whose seat is being heavily targeted by Republicans in 2012, said in a statement that “while I relish the opportunity to undertake the work that lies ahead, I also feel it’s time for me to step away from elective office, spend more time with my family, and look for new ways to serve our state and nation.”

Nelson is on the conservative fringe of the Democratic Party and not very well liked by progressives; in particular, while Republicans think his vote for the Affordable Care Act would have given them a weapon to use against him, it's also true that Nelson held out his vote for as long as he could to make the Affordable Care Act the shittiest deal possible. It wasn't until Scott Brown gave the Republicans enough votes to hold up a filibuster that he stopped the crap and got in line. (Also, as msmacgyver points out below, Nelson joined Republicans in blocking extension of unemployment benefits, presumably because he was going for an award from the dick-of-the-month club.)

The bad news for Democrats is that they have nobody who can credibly run in Nelson's place (although I hold some hope that Scott Kleeb will try again). The GOP had a good shot of flipping this seat before, but it's a mortal lock now. The worse news is, this frees up Republican money to pursue seats elsewhere, such as Montana, Missouri, or North Dakota. I still think a complete GOP takeover is unlikely - they'd have to net four seats - but it just got a little more likely today.

UPDATE Love this:

Photobucket

Poll

Feeling good about Nelson leaving?

75%107 votes
18%26 votes
6%9 votes

| 142 votes | Vote | Results

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site