As harbingers of how an upcoming election race will ensue, few occurrences matter as much as do retirements of incumbents. Thus, it must come as dreadful news for the Democrats that Senator Chris Dodd (CT) and Senator Byron Dorgan (ND) will not be seeking re-election this fall. As well, it is being reported that 2 more Democrats will soon join them.

Dorgan’s announcement virtually guarantees that his seat will switch parties; Dodd’s retirement is more ambiguous. As was reported here last month, Dodd was in particular danger due to both policy decisions and personal peccadilloes.

These 2 decisions, particularly Dorgan’s, virtually guarantee that the Democrats will fall below 60 in the Senate. Thus, the filibuster-proof Senate will be over come November. It is also likely that, following the passage of health care soon, nothing of any consequence which is controversial will be passed within the next 7 years.