Nebraska Senator Mike Johanns (R) Will Retire

Senator Mike Johanns (R-NE)S
Senator Mike Johanns (R-NE)

In a surprise move, Nebraska Senator Mike Johanns (R) announced that he will not run again in 2014. Despite having served only one term and being relatively youthful by the geriatric standards of the Senate (age 62), Johanns plans to retire from the chamber. Johanns previously served as Governor and Secretary of Agriculture under George W. Bush.

His unexpected retirement gives Democrats one of the best chances to pick up a senate seat next year, which tells you something about how horrible Democratic prospects are in 2014. Nebraska is a deep red state and Republicans are still heavily favored to win it.

Johanns’ retirement could easily set off a nasty primary and that just might give a Democrat an opening. Democrats’ chances of winning Nebraska went from nearly impossible to simply very unlikely, but that is better than almost anywhere else in 2014. Of the 14 Republican held seats that are up in 2014, all but one are from states that were won easily by Mitt Romney.

Photo by U.S. Department of Agriculture under Public Domain 

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