Via Bloomberg News:
U.S. Senator Tim Johnson’s announcement that he’ll retire after the 2014 election just made the Democrats’ job of holding their Senate majority a lot tougher.
Johnson, 66, the Senate banking committee chairman, is the second Democrat from a state won by Republican nominee Mitt Romney last year to say he won’t seek re-election in 2014. The announcement today means his party must defend two open seats and support five other Democratic incumbents running for re- election in Republican-leaning states.
“I will be 68 years old at the end of this term, and it is time for me to say goodbye,” Johnson said at a news conference in his home state of South Dakota.
In all, 21 Senate Democrats are running for re-election next year, compared with 14 Republicans. Only one Republican incumbent — three-term Senator Susan Collins of Maine — is seeking re-election in a state Romney lost. And, so far, Republicans must defend just two open seats, in Georgia and Nebraska, both of which Romney carried.
“The battle for the Senate will come down to Democrats’ ability to hold seats in Republican-leaning states,” said Nathan Gonzales, deputy editor of the non-partisan Rothenberg Political Report, based in Washington. “A lot depends on how popular the president is” next year “because if people are dissatisfied, their option is to vote against the president’s party.”
Keep the House, grab the Senate, we can make Obumbles last two years really memorable, not to mention both Ried and Pelosi will likely retire in a tantrum for losing.