Pro-abortion Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI) announced today he would not seek another term in the US Senate. Serving since 1989, Kohl has racked up one of the worst pro-abortion records, supporting partial-birth abortion, taxpayer funding of abortion, embryonic stem cell research and the pro-abortion Obama healthcare law.
Kohl’s retirement is yet another blow to the Democratic Party whose hopes of retaining control of the Senate are becoming quite grim. With Kohl’s retirement, Democrats will now have to defend 6 open seats and reelect 17 Democratic incumbents. Currently, only 2 Republican seats are open in 2012 and only 8 Republican incumbents are up for reelection. Overcoming these numbers will be a tall order for Democrats, even with their party’s most beloved figure at the top of the ticket.
Kohl and Wisconsin Democrats are hoping recent state squabbles over union rights will energize their base and play a role in the 2012 Senate race. Wisconsin Democrats suffered major defeats in 2010 when voters elected pro-life Republican Governor Scott Walker and pro-life Republican Senator Ron Johnson. Both parties are expected to field top-tier candidates in this now highly competitive race.
On the Democratic side, many hope pro-abortion former Senator Russ Feingold, who lost his reelection bid in 2010, will seek another stint in the US Senate. Other possible candidates for Democrats include pro-abortion Rep. Ron Kind, pro-abortion Rep. Tammy Baldwin and pro-abortion former Rep. Tom Barrett, who lost to Scott Walker in 2010.
The name at the top of any Republican wish list is pro-life Rep. Paul Ryan. Widely known for his fiscal savvy, Ryan is also strongly pro-life and would be an outstanding addition to the Senate.
Despite Kohl winning his last reelection campaign with 67% of the vote, this race is expected to be a toss-up. Surely, Democrats will fight hard to retain this seat with their Senate majority at stake. It is also expected Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee and a Wisconsin native, will make flipping this seat a major priority in 2012.