2010 Elections

Dodd, Dorgan Dropping Out

Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) will announce Wednesday that he will not seek re-election in 2010, The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza reports. The news comes on the heels of announcements by Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and Gov. Bill Ritter (D-CO) on Tuesday that they also will not seek re-election. Dodd's expected retirement comes amid sinking poll numbers and months of speculation about his political future, and Connecticut's popular attorney general, Richard Blumenthal, is expected to jump into the race, vastly improving Democrats' chances of holding the seat, Cillizza reports. Dorgan's seat, currently rated “solid Democrat,” will now be hotly contested, especially if North Dakota’s Republican Gov. John Hoeven decides to throw his hat in the ring. Ritter was already facing a tough re-election fight when he dramatically canceled a scheduled fundraiser Tuesday night and pulled the plug on his political career without explanation. Ritter’s opponent, former Rep. Scott McInnis, will have a much easier campaign now that he’s gunning for an open seat. Dorgan, on the other hand, said he decided to leave behind his 30-year career in Congress to pursue “other interests” including teaching, writing, and working on “energy policy in the private sector.” Democrats are nervous about a large number of their veterans retiring in competitive areas this year (including Tennessee’s Bart Gordon and John Tanner, Kansas’s Dennis Moore and Washington’s Brian Baird), though Republicans have only a slim chance of taking back the House.