Two veteran Democratic members of the U.S. Senate have decided not to run for re-election in 2010. Last night, North Dakota’s Byron Dorgan abruptly announced that although he had been raising money for his latest election bid, he has changed his mind about running. Dorgan had been facing a possible challenge from the state’s popular Republican governor, and had recently been frustrated in the Senate by the defeat of his favourite project, a bill to re-import lower-priced Canadian drugs into the U.S. Meanwhile, Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd is expected to confirm today that he will not seek re-election. Dodd had recently become criticized for “sweetheart” land deals, and his declining popularity in his home state had caused him to fall behind in the polls. Both announcements change the outlook for Democrats in those states. North Dakota, a strong Republican state, is likely to elect a Republican to replace Dorgan. But in Democratic-leaning Connecticut, Dodd’s retirement will likely make it easier for a more popular Democrat to hold the seat.
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