Election 2014

Cluster of Retiring Geezer Dems Boosts GOP Senate Hopes

Maybe they should try for renewal at Carousel.

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If Republicans capture control of the U.S. Senate, there will be many explanations for their victory: President Obama's poor numbers, a great Senate map filled with attractive opportunities, a generally strong slate of candidates, the success of establishment-backed Republicans in primaries and others.

But one of the biggest factors will have hardly anything to do with the national political climate or, really, the campaign as a whole. Five Democrats, all of whom are old enough to be eligible for Medicare, decided not to run for another term in the Senate. Their decisions, all announced before May 2013, are a huge but largely forgotten boon to GOP hopes.