The Washington Post and National Journal have just issued the news alert that Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., will soon announce his returement. Conrad's exit could result in North Dakota's three-man delegation to Congress flipping from all Democrat to all Republican in the space of just two years. Until earlier this month, Conrad was serving with Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., who lost in November, and Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., who retired.

Michael Barone has a few things to say about Democratic dominance of North Dakota here, in a year-old post on Dorgan's retirement. This is a definite pickup opportunity for the GOP. The 2012 Senate map is going to be a hard one for Democrats to defend, if only because of their outsized successes in 2000 and 2006 Senate races.