Long time senators are headed for the exit next year, an increasing sign of frustration in a body once viewed as the “greatest deliberative body in the world”. However, what’s interesting is the lack of viable candidates running to fill those once prestigious positions. Senatorial races that once would have been prime targets for aspiring politicians are now being left a lone. New York Times writer Jeremy W. Peters reports,
At this point in 2011, seemingly vulnerable incumbents like Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio, and Jon Tester, Democrat of Montana, had Republican challengers. In states where seats opened up like Nevada and Virginia, the Democratic and Republican sides of the tickets both quickly filled up.
This year there are numerous states with open seats where only one party has a candidate, and many states without a challenger where there is an incumbent the other party would very much like to pick off.
It seems that the Senate is facing a serious brain drain. The wave of retirements in the last two election cycles is the largest in the Senates history. How is this going to affect the already dysfunctional Senate? When the greatest political office shy of the Presidency is no longer desirable, what does this say about politics in America? In multiple cases, potential senatorial candidates cited the hyper-partisan media as a major concern about running for office. How has the media shaped the politics that we know today?