Bleak And Getting Bleaker

Senator Jim Webb, D-Virginia, will not run again. Instead he will retire after a single term.

Virginia Democratic Senator Jim Webb plans to announce today that he won’t seek reelection, the Senator confirmed Wednesday.

Webb appeared likely to face a rematch with former Senator George Allen, whom he beat in a bruising 2006 contest. He had expressed ambivalence about the prospect of another run, and has said he never planned a life in politics.

Keeping Webb — a Vietnam veteran, former Reagan defense official, and author — in the Senate had been a top priority for the Democratic leadership, with no Democrat of Webb’s prominence, and his centrist politics, openly exploring the race. Senate Democratic leaders view Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine, the former Virginia governor, as a top prospect to replace him, despite Kaine’s disavowals that he’s looking at the race. Kaine, the source said, hasn’t shut the door on the possibility. Former Congressman Tom Perriello, who is close to the White House, could also be a candidate.

How bad were his internal polls? Well, given the run-the-table Republican wins in Virginia in the last election, I expect they were grim indeed. But Webb also never seemed all that passionate about being a Senator to me. Nor has he been particularly visible.

But the Democrats chances of holding the Senate just got considerably worse.

Via Memeorandum

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2 Responses to Bleak And Getting Bleaker

  1. feeblemind says:

    The Hill is reporting that Tax and Spend Ben (Sen. Ben Nelson D-Nebraska), is ‘leaning toward” running again.

    Ben cast the deciding vote for cloture on 0bamacare a year ago in December (receiving the Cornhusker Kickback in exchange) and that kept the bill from dying.

    As a result, he immediately dropped 30 points in the polls and has not recovered. It is likely he will have his behind waxed in 2012 should he run again.

    I marvel at how out of touch he was with the electorate when he cast that vote. He was truly surprised by the voters’ reaction. OTOH, had he voted against, he would have been a pariah in the dem party. No more invitations to cocktail parties, people not speaking to him and such. I am sure he didn’t want to be an outcast in Washington so he inadvertently fell on his political sword for teh won.

    Anyway, Nebraska should be a GOP pickup in 2012 unless something goes terribly awry.

  2. Gaius says:

    Cook rates it a toss-up.

    http://www.cookpolitical.com/races/senate/ratings.php

    But I suspect that’s being optimistic at best. Last poll I saw on him showed him in deep doo-doo (I don’t follow Nebraska politics closely, it was just something I glanced at). I hope he does run – just to see the multiple coats of shellac.

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