No Nelson (Yet)

by Robert Costa

Sen. Ben Nelson (D., Neb.) says he’s not looking to leave the Democratic party:

“They have never approached me, so I don’t know how hard they’re working,” Nelson said on Nebraska’s KFAB radio of Republicans’ rumored efforts to convince him, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Sen.-elect Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to switch parties.”I’m not looking to leave the party, and that’s why the party hasn’t left me,” Nelson explained.

A Senate GOP aide tells me that Nelson’s hesitance isn’t too surprising, since “party switches usually only happen when the Senate is on the verge of a tie; that’s when it’s more likely to happen, like with Jim Jeffords. Or, you get one when there is a big turnover, like with Arlen Specter.” (In April 2009, following President Obama’s successful 2008 presidential campaign, Specter left the GOP, presenting Democrats with a possible 60th vote.)

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