The news for Senate Republicans couldn't be any worse this week. New Mexico Senator Pete Domenici, who has served in the Senate for 34 years, is throwing in the towel:
Republican Sen. Pete Domenici of New Mexico announced Thursday that he will not seek re-election.
"For the past 35 years my friends and neighbors have given me the honor of allowing me to serve them as their United States senator," he said. "Who could ask for anything more?
Domenici joins three other Republican senators who also are retiring at the end of their terms next year.
This is a crushing blow to Republican Party hopes to stave off next year's onslaught. Now, they will have to spend precious (and dwindling) cash defending a seat that they likely would have held if Domenici had stayed on. With corporate contributors turning their backs on the Republicans they are increasingly finding their cash drying up as long-time incumbents continue to bail out of Congress.
The second disaster for Senate Republicans this week is Larry Craig's decision to remain in the Senate until his term expires rather than resign. This means that Democratic challenger Larry LaRocco will not be running against a sitting incumbent in next year's election. Idaho is an uphill battle for Democrats who have not held an Idaho Senate seat for 30 years, but with Craig remaining in place the odds just got a lot better for us.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, a filibuster-proof Senate majority is within reach. We have the likely flips:
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
and the longshots:
- North Carolina
There are scenarios that get us to 60. We can dream can't we?
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!