Democrat Senators Bailing 2012

Five senators from the Democratic side of the aisle have already decided jump from the party plane in 2012.

“It’s about campaigns,” Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), a retiring member of the Democratic Caucus, told “It’s about both the unremitting — that’s a bad word to use — about the constant pressure to raise money and travel all over the country doing that and the nastiness of the campaign. ... I have no second thoughts about it.”

Others hanging it up are:  North Dakota Sen. Kent Conrad, Daniel Akaka of Hawaii, Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico, and Jim Webb of Virginia.  More are expected to announce their retirement soon.

Republicans see the playing field expanding with each Democrat who bails on the Senate.“It certainly suggests that the pathway to get to 51 is achievable,” Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.).

GOPAC chairman Frank Donatelli announcing to date 25 Democratic legislators have now switched parties and become Republicans.