The US Senate saw a major turnover in 2010, with sixteen new Senators being added to the body, 13 Republicans and 3 Democrats. Also, four incumbents lost their seats.
Now as 2012 comes on, 22 Democrats and only 11 Republicans face the challenge of running for re-election, and already three members have decided to retire–Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, Democratic Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota, and Independent Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut.
Senators Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Bill Nelson of Florida, Herb Kohl of Wisconsin, Jim Webb of Virginia, Daniel Akaka of Hawaii, and Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico, all Democrats, and Republican Senators Orrin Hatch of Utah, Jon Kyl of Arizona, John Ensign of Nevada, and Richard Lugar of Indiana all face major challenges from the opposition party, as well as the Tea Party purists who seem to be out to defeat several Republican Senators, including Hatch, Lugar, Scott Brown of Massachusetts, and Olympia Snowe of Maine.
The Senate may be seen as a glorious and prestigious body that no one would want to leave by choice, but the struggle to win elections and hold on to seats is becoming more and more taxing, emotionally and financially, as the country becomes more divided by vitriolic opposition, so it would not be surprising if more than the three who have announced they are retiring end up leaving the hallowed body, considered the greatest legislative body and debating society in the world!