Another Dem to leave the Senate — Harkin announces imminent retirement

From Democrats’ point of view, Tom Harkin probably couldn’t have picked a worse time to announce his impending retirement — a move he made this morning.

With John Kerry expected to be confirmed as Secretary of State next week, Tom Udall rumored to be one of President Obama’s choices for Secretary of the Interior, and Jay Rockefeller declining to seek re-election next year, Harkin’s decision to retire at the end of his term makes the Democratic Party’s post-2014 grasp on the Senate look more tenuous then ever.

But while Scott Brown appears set to win his second special election and Shelley Moore Capito is the favorite to fill Rockefeller’s shoes, Democrats can take solace in the fact that there’s a decent chance of Harkin’s seat remaining on their side of the aisle. Iowa has voted for Democrats in six out of the last seven Presidential campaigns, with urbanization helping state Dems buck the decades long tradition of Republican dominance.

The Midwestern state might face a sea of red along its western border, but there are plenty of leftish voters there ready for the fight to keep Harkin’s seat blue.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Samuel Knight

Samuel Knight is a freelance journalist living in DC and a former intern at the Washington Monthly.