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Except for the affair, ethics probe and no money, Nevada's GOP Sen. Ensign was a certain 2012 victor

Nevada Republican Senator John Ensign and wife Darlene announces 2012 retirement 3-7-11

Nevada Republican Sen. John Ensign, a Christian who preached strong family values until about the time he admitted a sexual affair with a former aide who was married to a current aide whom he then helped get lobbying work, says he's putting his family ahead of his own career by deciding to retire next year.

Other factors that may have had something to do with the 52-year-old ex-veterinarian's surrender to political reality are: an ongoing Senate Ethics Committee investigation, a distinct lack of money, zero support from fellow GOP senators, a growing array of challengers, a high unfavorable rating and his name atop the list of most vulnerable 2012 incumbents.

Other than that, the former House member would have been a shoo-in for a third Senate term. Ensign said his self-imposed troubles had "zero effect" on his decision. So, add that whopper to the list of reasons he's gone.

Ensign's overdue departure sets up an even more interesting national ....

... Senate election scenario. The usual number of 33 Senate seats are up for election on Nov. 6, 2012, just 609 days from now.

However, 23 of those seats must be defended by Democrats. And due to retirements, eight of the 33 (including five now held by those who cDemocrat florida senator bill Nelson tries to hug president Obama 3-4-11aucus with Democrats) will now involve no incumbent.

In Ensign's case, as Jennifer Duffy points out, his departure is actually good news for Republicans because it creates a tossup instead of a surefire annihilation in the unlikely event Ensign had survived a mounting primary challenge by Rep. Dean Heller.

The other two GOP retirements are Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas and Jon Kyl of Arizona, and neither seat should be too hard to hold.

Given the growing strength of Republicans in the South the last few years, Florida Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson could be in trouble. President Obama opened his 2012 fundraising drive Friday night with two money events in Miami for Nelson, who turns 70 next year.

This is a very good time to be strong in the South, which shows the most gains in House seats (and electoral votes) following the 2010 census. Republican Texas gains four seats and Florida two. Georgia, South Carolina, Arizona, Utah,  Nevada and Washington gain one each. 

States losing House seats include the traditional Democratic strongholds of New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, along with Illinois and Louisiana.

But those kinds of changes really matter most only in presidential election years, which 2012 -- oh, wait -- is.

Related:

What's Obama telling Democratic donors this time around? 

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Steve Marcus / Reuters (Ensign and wife Darlene, March 7); Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press (Nelson goes to hug Obama, March 4).

 
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When Senator John Ensign came to my Political Science class at the University of Nevada-Reno, I found him to be charming and very straightforward. There were several students from my class as coming off very hostile to him about the war in Iraq and the oposition to the stimulus package. Coming from a Conservative family in Los Angeles, I was careful in questioning the Senator but I framed it the right way by asking the question on Healthcare. Since the University of Nevada-Reno is a conservative school where I was the student who likes to wear Hip-Hop gear like the Lakers and Raiders jersey, people were surprised and delighted that my one question was not hostile. I don't know about his extra-matital affairs but he was very busy that day in 2009 when Senator Ensign hosted a conference on finding alternative energy for the state of Nevada!

Nevada's students have no money, children no books, teachers are leaving, and John Ensign sleeps with his best friend's wife, while ignoring voters. Even yesterday, Ensign dragged his wife into his drama. The man is walking away because while attacking Bill Clinton over Monica, he was engaged in his own hypocrisy. Nevada has problems. Nevada voters want a leader that solves problems. No makes problems. John Ensign is a hypocrite, liar, and worst, bad Senator for the taxpayers who supported him.

John Ensign can't raise money to run for U.S. Senate. Again, he pulls his wife and family into his rejected life. The voters are rejecting him again, but Nevada's economy still suffers from his mismanagement.

Read the book that helped people learn about John Ensign's scandal in Las Vegas, Nevada. The title is;

John Ensign's Extramarital Mistress in Sin City
by anonymous author going by the name,
Nevada Taxpayer

I believe all married men, including barack obama, have or will have sexual affairs with other people while married.

John Ensign has left the Senate seat open for Sharron Angle.
How much is this going to cost Nevada investors? Who will invest with Angle in Washington DC representing Nevada?

Nevada's students have no money, children no books, teachers are leaving, and John Ensign sleeps with his best friend's wife, while ignoring voters. Even yesterday, Ensign dragged his wife into his drama. The man is walking away because while attacking Bill Clinton over Monica, he was engaged in his own hypocrisy. Nevada has problems. Nevada voters want a leader that solves problems. No makes problems. John Ensign is a hypocrite, liar, and worst, bad Senator for the taxpayers who supported him.

John Ensign can't raise money to run for U.S. Senate. Again, he pulls his wife and family into his rejected life. The voters are rejecting him again, but Nevada's economy still suffers from his mismanagement.

Now SHARRON ANGLE wants to replace Ensign. Will that solve Nevada's problems? Or make them worst? Would you invest in Nevada with Angle as Senator?

Read the book that helped people learn about John Ensign's scandal in Las Vegas, Nevada. The title is;

John Ensign's Extramarital Mistress in Sin City
by anonymous author going by the name,
Nevada Taxpayer

What is it about that "I'm really a boy scout" O.J. grin that white folk use?


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A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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