Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson To Retire
Politico is reporting that long-time Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson, a Democrat who many considered vulnerable in 2012, will retire rather than seek re-election:
Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska will announce today that he is retiring after two terms, a serious blow to Democratic efforts to hold onto their majority in the chamber next November.
Nelson is scheduled to hold a press conference back home in Nebraska as early as today to make his decision official, said several Democratic insiders close to the leadership.
The 70-year-old Nelson was considered one of the most endangered Democratic incumbents this cycle. GOP-affiliated outside groups have already dumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into TV ads bashing Nelson, while the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spent over $1 million on their own ad blitz to bolster his image.
This race was rated a Toss-up by Charlie Cook, Stuart Rothenberg, and Larry Sabato, but Nelson declining to run is likely to push it into Lean Republican status at least initially given GOP successes there in 2010.