Report: Senator Tim Johnson Not Running For Re-Election
It looks like we’ll have another Senate vacancy in 2014:
(Reuters) – U.S. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson, a South Dakota Democrat, does not plan to run for re-election when his current term ends in 2014, sources said on Monday.
Connor Simpson notes that Johnson’s retirement puts the Democrats dangerously close to having a big problem in 2014:
Johnson’s retirement brings the number of new Senate seats that Democrats have to defend in 2014 up to five: West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller, Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, Michigan Sen. Carl Levin, and New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg have all announced their retirement. Politico describes the Democrats’ chances of holding on to Johnson’s Senate seat in the 2014 election as “perilous,” and perhaps one of the party’s biggest threats after protecting Rockefeller’s seat, while Michigan and New Jersey are seen as fairly risk-averse. But, still, that’s dangerously close to the Democrats’ fatal number: six, or, how many seats the party would need to lose to relinquish control of the Senate to Republicans. Losing control would deal the ultimate blow to President Obama’s chances of getting anything done in the latter half of his second term. They have enough trouble already with Republicans controlling Congress, surrendering the Senate would be disastrous.
Of course, Democrats were in a similarly perilous position in 2012 and they actually ended up gaining two seats instead of losing control of the Senate. The difference in 2014, though, will be that they won’t be able to rely upon Barack Obama’s coattails and the fact that, historically, the party holding the White House has lost seats in the midterms that take place in the 6th year of a two-term Presidency.