In a move that may offer Republicans an opportunity to pick up a Senate seat in the next midterm elections., Sen. Jay Rockefeller has decided not to run for reelection in West Virginia in 2014. "It was a very hard decision for me," Rockefeller told Politico's John Bresnahan. But once he made it, he wanted to make the decision public. "I do it now because I'd just rather clear the air and just get on with things." Rockefeller, the 75-year-old great-grandson of John D. Rockefeller, has been in office since 1984.
In November, The Washington Post's Aaron Blake rated the 10 Senate seats most likely to change parties in 2014. Nine were held by Democrats. Rockefeller's seat wasn't on the list, but now that he's out, it'll move up the rankings. In recent presidential elections, West Virginia has steadily trended more Republican. Rockefeller's fellow West Virginia senator, Democrat Joe Manchin, famously won election by shooting a cap-and-trade bill in a campaign ad.