Democrat Senator Ben Nelson is retiring, making it almost a sure bet that his Senate seat will switch to Republican in the 2012 election.
National Democrats (particularly Harry Reid) were desperate to keep Nelson in the race (and his $3 million bank account) because if he were running for re-election, they had at least a fighting chance to keep the seat.
Ben Nelson is not dumb, and he calculated that Nebraskans have tired of his claims to be a conservative Democrat, but siding with his liberal colleagues on the big votes (Stimulus and Health care being two biggies).
I suspect recent ads run by American Crossroads (see ad here) and Americans for Prosperity Nebraska (see ad here) had an impact on Nelson’s thinking and whether he wanted to spend the next year being thrashed with his own record.
This news reminded me of a web video I came across a while ago and blogged about here. It’s really funny.
Ben Nelson may not be laughing today, but most Nebraskans are cheering.