Brewtown Politico

Carrying a little stick and speaking loudly in Milwaukee


Sen. Jim Jeffords (I-VT) announced today he will retire in 2006 leaving an open Senate seat.

Jeffords left the Republican party in 2001 and became an independent who caucused with Democrats. Vermont has voted overwhelmingly for Democrats in recent years so the party should have a major advantage in defending this seat. Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is already being mentioned as a likely candidate to succeed Jeffords.

Under Senate rules, independents must caucus with either the majority or minority party. If Sanders is elected, there's no doubt he would follow Jeffords in caucusing with Democrats.

In other Senate news, Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) continues to lose support from residents of the Keystone State, according to new poll data out of Quinnipiac University.

The poll shows State Treasurer Robert Casey, Jr. has a 49 to 35 percent lead over Santorum in the 2006 Senate race.


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