The new Independent Senator from Maine, Angus King, has officially announced that he will caucus with the Senate Democrats. King is replacing retiring Republican Senator Olympia Snowe. Throughout the campaign King refused to say which party he would caucus with, but based on his positions this announcement doesn’t come as a surprise. It was widely assumed King would eventual join the Democratic caucus.
In his statement King stressed that he will work to maintain his independence and people shouldn’t expect him to be a party line vote for the Democratic caucus.
With King now officially part of the Democratic caucus the balance of power in the Senate is 55 Democratic aligned votes to 45 Republican votes. As a result of the 2012 election the Democratic caucus managed to actually net two additional seats. This is a remarkable achievement for Democrats given how incredibly unfavorable the 2012 Senate map was for the party. Democrats had 23 senate to defend while the Republicans had only 10.