Democrats look like certain underdogs as the political calendar begins on their struggle to maintain their Senate majority in the 2014 elections. The political map — and for that matter, the climate — appears to favor Republicans.
The election year got an instant jolt Monday, as Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, said she was ending her campaign for a U.S. Senate seat from Wyoming.
Cheney was challenging incumbent Sen. Mike Enzi in the state’s Republican primary.
“Serious health issues have recently arisen in our family, and under the circumstances, I have decided to discontinue my campaign,” Cheney said in a statement, according to multiple reports.
“Though this campaign stops today, my commitment to keep fighting with you and your families for the fundamental values that have made this nation and Wyoming great will never stop,” she said.
Her departure doesn’t change the overall national outlook, since the winner was expected to coast in the general election.
Republican hopes for picking up seats are concentrated in states with Democratic incumbents, states that have been GOP-friendly in recent years. The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, continues to be politically radioactive in a lot of states. President Barack Obama’s approval numbers have been sinking, not to mention that in a presidency’s sixth year, the incumbent’s party often gets swamped in congressional elections.