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Retirements Shuffle 2012 Senate Landscape.
Sen. Kent Conrad’s decision to retire makes the 2012 Senate map a little easier for Republicans aiming to retake the Senate majority, and it shines a spotlight on Democrats who haven’t yet said whether they plan to seek re-election in what could be a tough cycle for the party.
Sen. Joe Lieberman on Wednesday is widely expected to say he has decided against a re-election bid, opening a seat in Connecticut that Democrats are likely to retain. But Conrad’s move changes the 2012 landscape and won’t help the party stave off a likely loss in North Dakota.
Conrad is the lone Democrat in North Dakota’s delegation, and Republican Sen. John Hoeven’s landslide victory following Sen. Byron Dorgan’s retirement last year may have scared away Democrats on the bench from seeking Conrad’s seat next year.