Byron Dorgan to Retire from the Senate

There's no way of spinning this as good news for the Democrats:

Sen. Byron Dorgan, a 18-year veteran Democrat, dropped a late-day bombshell, announcing he will retire when his term ends this year. Dorgan's announcement represents an opportunity for Republicans: North Dakota is a Republican-leaning state, where President Obama got just 45% of the vote last year.

While it's true Barack Obama earned a higher share of the vote in North Dakota than any Democratic presidential nominee in more than 30 years (fully 9 percentage points better than John Kerry's showing in the state) and that the state's congressional delegation is entirely Democratic at present, it's hard to see the Democrats holding on to this seat without Byron Dorgan as their nominee. It's possible that Democrat Earl Pomeroy, who has been elected nine times statewide as Congressman, most recently with 62 percent of the vote (and even with 52 percent of the vote in the GOP-friendly 2002 midterms), could win -- but really only if the state's Republican Governor John Hoeven doesn't run. Tough news for the Senate Democrats (though, it's still worth noting, not news that means they're likely to lose control of the Senate).

Tags: ND-Sen, Senate 2010, North Dakota, Byron Dorgan, Retirements (all tags)

Comments

11 Comments

can't help but wonder

what role the failure of his drug re-importation amendment played in this decision. After so many years of Democrats campaigning on that issue, it must have been painful for him to see President Obama oppose the Dorgan amendment, and so many fellow Democrats go along with the White House.

This is very bad news.

by desmoinesdem 2010-01-05 06:35PM | 1 recs
No role according to Dorgan
"Let me be clear that this decision does not relate to any dissatisfaction that I have about serving in the Senate. Yes, I wish there was less rancor and more bipartisanship in the U.S. Senate these days."
from his statement.
by ND22 2010-01-05 06:49PM | 0 recs
It doesn't hurt to try.
And I'm sure those with an axe to grind will do just that.
by NoFortunateSon 2010-01-05 11:59PM | 0 recs
Lose control of the Senate?

You lose control of the Senate as soon as you have less than 60, and in our case, even with 60, you still don't have contorl of the Senate.

Hoeven must have called Dorgan and told him that he's running... there is reallly no other explanation for this. 

Why couldn't it have been Conrad??  At least Dorgen votes with the rank and file most of the time...

by LordMike 2010-01-05 07:37PM | 0 recs
Which is exactly why it was Dorgan and not Conrad

Think about it, you got a conservative Republican up for reelection this year vs. a moderate Republican up for reelection during a Presidential year, and a liberal Democrat who can beat either, who would you rather get rid of?

 

 

by ND22 2010-01-05 08:23PM | 0 recs
Lose control of the Senate?

You lose control of the Senate as soon as you have less than 60, and in our case, even with 60, you still don't have contorl of the Senate.

Hoeven must have called Dorgan and told him that he's running... there is reallly no other explanation for this. 

Why couldn't it have been Conrad??  At least Dorgen votes with the rank and file most of the time...

by LordMike 2010-01-05 07:37PM | 0 recs
Crap

My bet is that this seat goes red and stays red for a while.  Too bad.  It's been blue since '86.

OT Trivia: Kent Conrad held this seat from '86 to '92, then switched to the other seat.  Only true junkies remember why/how.

by DFLer 2010-01-05 07:53PM | 0 recs
RE: Crap

A pledge not to run for reelection without a reduction in the deficit plus the untimely death of a United States Senator. 

by Jonathan Singer 2010-01-05 08:17PM | 0 recs
RE: Crap
As the poster below states,Conrad left the Senate in 1992 over frustration with the lack of action on the defict, but reurend after then-Sen. Quintin Burdick died.
by spirowasright 2010-01-05 08:21PM | 0 recs
Gonna lose more than this one

Well, we are sure to lose 2 seats...this one and Chris Dodd in CT (he is toast).....Harry Reid may have a tough time as well...so there could be a loss of 3 senate seats at least here.....

by BuckeyeBlogger 2010-01-05 09:50PM | 0 recs
I can at least try to spin it...

It was an uphill battle to keep the seat, and at least he did it during an otherwise positive news cycle?

That's the best spin I can come up wit :-/ Because really, this is sad news.

 

by NoFortunateSon 2010-01-06 12:03AM | 0 recs

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