A strong increase in the number of Democrats in the US Senate after next year’s elections keeps looking better and better. Washington’s two Democratic Senators – Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell -would find their job a lot easier with a larger Democratic majority in the Senate.
Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, according to the Washington Post’s political blog The Fix and other sources, is going to announce on Monday that he is not going to run for re-election.
Democrats will lose a strong critic of Bush’s Iraq fiasco but have increased odds of adding to the Democratic majority in the Senate.
Democrats are heavily recruiting former Democratic Senator Bob Kerrey to run for the seat. Kerry is now head of the New School in New York and is reported as of Friday as being undecided.
While Democrats currently only control the Senate now by one vote, their odds of picking up seats are great. To start with, Republicans have to defend 22 of the current 34 seats up next year.
Already two other Republicans have announced they are stepping down – Senator Wayne Allard of Colorado and Senator John Warner of Virginia. Senator Larry Craig of Idaho , despite second thoughts, is expected to resign.
Democrats are expected to mount strong campaigns against Republicans in Oregon, Maine, New Hampshire and Minnesota. And Republican Senator Ted Stevens is facing federal corruption charges in Alaska.