Possibly not that many: “Of the 34 senators facing re-election next year, just one has announced retirement. A CQ Roll Call survey of the entire Senate class showed only one more senator publicly undecided about re-election, plus three additional senators considering bids for other offices. Two more Senate offices did not return requests for comment on re-election plans, though Democrats are near certain one of them — [mc_name name=’Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’W000779′ ], D-Ore., will seek another term.” The retiree is, of course, [mc_name name=’Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’B000711′ ] of California. The three thinking of running for other offices are [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ] (Kentucky), [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ] (Florida), and [mc_name name=’Sen. David Vitter (R-LA)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’V000127′ ] (Louisiana); the undecided is Dan Coats of Indiana.

The wildcards right now are Barbara Mikulski of Maryland and Harry Reid of Nevada; [mc_name name=’Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’M000702′ ] is 78, while [mc_name name=’Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000146′ ] is both 75 and still recovering from a disastrous injury. On the other hand, Senators are expected to be old more or less by default; that is, in fact, what their title means. On the gripping hand? One wonders just how much fun Democratic Senators will find the next Congress. While the path to a Democratic majority in the Senate might be clearer than the one for getting in the House, that path is not actually ‘clear.’ Or really plausible, at this moment in time. Some Democratic Senators might not be burned out enough yet (Murray, Schatz, Wyden), or are too worried about getting reelected (Bennett), or have other things to enrich occupy themselves (Blumenthal, Schumer), or simply may just not have anywhere else to go (Leahy). But it is a little surprising that Barbara Mikulski hasn’t committed to running for re-election yet.  Keep track of that one*…

(Image via Shutterstock)

Moe Lane

*Admittedly, the chances of us picking up a Senate seat in Maryland if Mikulski retires is as about as likely as, shoot, winning the Maryland Governor’s race against an African-American incumbent Lt. Governor OH WAIT.