After Sen. Kent Conrad's (D) announcement Tuesday that he won't seek re-election, the Cook Political Report has moved the North Dakota Senate race from "likely Democrat" to "Toss Up."
2010 was not especially kind to Democrats in North Dakota, and Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad's announcement today that he will retire at the end of this Congress may be a sign that 2012 won't be much better. Conrad's retirement puts a race that Democrats were favored to retain - at least at the start of the cycle - into the Toss Up column.
The 2010 elections saw Republicans pick up the open Senate seat vacated by Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan. Republican John Hoeven, who was Governor, took 76 percent of the vote in a race that Democrats didn't even contest. Democratic At-large Rep. Earl Pomeroy was defeated in his bid for a 10th term, losing to Republican Rick Berg, 45 percent to 54 percent. Democrats also took a hit in the state legislature where Republicans were able to gain strong supermajorities in both chambers. Before the election, Democrats held 36 of the 94 seats in the state House and 21 of the 47 seats in the state Senate. They saw those numbers drop to 25 seats and 12 seats, respectively.
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