Until John Thune knocked off Tom Daschle in 2004, the conservative states of North and South Dakota were represented in the Senate by four reliably liberal Democratic senators. They are now represented by three reliably liberal Democratic Senators, each of whom voted for the Sentate’s Obmacare bill despite its vast unpopularity in their home states.
With North Dakota Senator Byron Dorgan’s announcement that he will not seek reelection, I think we can safely predict that the number of Democratic Senators representing the Dakotas will be reduced by one. That means that after next November there will be two to go. If Democrats field North Dakota Rep. Earl Pomeroy as their Senate candidate, Republicans should pick up Pomeroy’s congressional seat as a bonus.
North Dakota Governor John Hoeven has played his cards close to his vest regarding his future intentions, but if he had chosen to run against Dorgan, he would have knocked Dorgan off anyway. Dorgan’s statement to the contrary notwithstanding, my guess is that Dorgan sees the writing on the wall.
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