Don’t be silly–of course not. 2012 is an eon away. But two Democratic Senators announced their retirements today, Kent Conrad and Joe Lieberman [UPDATE: Lieberman's announcement was reported today but is expected to take place tomorrow]. For their party, the numbers are daunting. I was struck by how The Hill described the Democrats’ predicament. The Hill is non-partisan, but it is very much a beltway publication, and the Dems are the home team:
Sens. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) have dealt a blow to Democrats’ faint hopes of keeping the majority in the Senate after the 2012 election.
“Faint hopes”? That’s music to our ears! As The Hill points out, the Democrats have to defend 23 seats next year, the Republicans only 10. The GOP needs a net gain of three to take control, assuming a Republican President is also elected next year. As Junie B. Jones once said: “Boom! Do the math.”
Actually, it would be a surprise if the GOP picks up Lieberman’s seat, but a bigger surprise if the Dems can hang on to Conrad’s. The Dakotas should continue to be a fertile field for Republican pickups.