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Ben Nelson is out in Nebraska.

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Nelson Exit Takes GOP Closer to Senate Majority

Ben Nelson is out in Nebraska.

The stunning report from Omaha today that two-term Sen Ben Nelson would soon announce his retirement in 2012 has one major political impact: namely, taking Republicans one step closer to the four seats they need for the “magic 51”–the. 51 seats they need for a majority in the Senate in ’13. (Should the GOP win the White House, Republicans will need only three seats, as a vice president from their party rather than Democrat Joe Biden will cast the tie-breaking vote).

Like the retirement announcement of Nelson’s fellow Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota earlier this year, the Nebraskan’s exodus Leaves his party without any heavyweight contender and makes the Republican primary the de facto election. So far, the two major contenders are State Treasurer Don Stenberg, who narrowly lost to Nelson in one of the closest Senate races of 2000, and State Attorney General Jon Bruning. Stenberg is considered the “tea party” candidate and has the backing of Sen. Jim DeMint (R.-SC) while Bruning is regarded as the “establishment” favorite.

Now the biggest political question is which Senate Democrat will follow follow Dorgan and Nelson and leave his party in the political lurch?

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John Gizzi has come to be known as â??the man who knows everyone in Washingtonâ? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on whatâ??s going on in the nationâ??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as â??Gizzi on Politicsâ? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of â??Gizziâ??s America,â? video interviews that appear on HumanEvents.com. Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. Johnâ??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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