Dems won't get to 60 in Senate after all

New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch says Republican Sen. Judd Gregg's becoming Commerce secretary wouldn't change the partisan makeup of the Senate.

By Alex Koppelman

Published February 2, 2009 8:25PM (EST)

Looks like the potential nomination of Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) to be secretary of Commerce isn't really the naked political move some thought. Observers had been noting that New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch is a Democrat, and might be expected to name a fellow Democrat to fill Gregg's seat, thereby giving his party 60 seats in the Senate, a theoretically filibuster-proof majority.

But in a statement released Monday, Lynch said that won't happen. "I have had conversations with Senator Gregg, the White House and U.S. Senate leadership. Senator Gregg has said he would not resign his seat in the U.S. Senate if it changed the balance in the Senate. Based on my discussions, it is clear the White House and Senate leadership understand this as well," Lynch said.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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Judd Gregg R-n.h.