Does that increase the chances he’ll vote for the bipartisan climate and clean energy bill?
Sen. Byron Dorgan, a 18-year veteran Democrat, dropped a late-day bombshell, announcing he will retire when his term ends this year. Dorgan’s announcement represents an opportunity for Republicans: North Dakota is a Republican-leaning state, where President Obama got just 45% of the vote last year.
What’s bad news for the Dems in the longer term could be good news for the climate bill in the short term. Nate Silver had given Dorgan a “Probability of Yes” vote of 22%. He was certainly going to be among the 5 toughest Dem votes to get.
But now he doesn’t face a tough reelection, and the Senator from the state he himself calls “the Saudi Arabia of wind” is free to vote his conscience. Indeed, all things being equal, I think he’d like to vote ‘yes’ — see post “When Sen. Dorgan finds out what’s in the climate bill “” hint, hint, White House “” he might just support it,” which I’ll excerpt and update here: