The retirements of Byron Dorgan and Chris Dodd from the United States Senate show just how unfavorable the electoral prospects have become from Democrats in the upcoming midterm elections. It will be easier for Democrats to hold the Senate seat in Connecticut now that Dodd is retiring, but his retirement is doubtless connected to the fact that Washington Democrats are hearing dissatisfaction from their constituents concerning their efforts in the nation’s capital.
Dodd’s retirement may not have been as much of a surprise, given his astonishingly low approval ratings, but the fact that the Senate Banking Committee Chairman has decided to call it quits is very newsworthy. Even more newsworthy is Dorgan’s retirement; yes, Governor John Hoeven was set to be a tremendously strong challenger, but now that Dorgan is retiring, a Republican pick-up in North Dakota looks very likely, if not certain.
Once again, it is worth noting that despite expectations that Barack Obama would create something akin to a permanent Democratic majority, when it comes to preparing for the 2010 midterms, Democrats are on the defensive. Matters are reaching the point where only a Republican failure to take advantage of the political climate will be able to help Democrats.