GOP: Good Riddance, John Ensign
Resignation actually helps Republicans in Nevada
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 8, 2011 8:58 AM CST
John Ensign listens during a hearing before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee March 11, 2010 on Capitol Hill.   (Getty Images)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – You won’t find many Republicans shedding tears over John Ensign's resignation. Most seem overjoyed that the scandal-plagued congressman is out of the picture, potentially sparing heir apparent Dean Heller a messy primary battle, Politico observes. “I think he did it for his family, but it also benefits the party,” said one Nevada GOP consultant. “Ensign doing this early is, in many ways, a favor to the party because it allows time to sort it out.”

Ensign, proud owner of a sub-40% approval rating, “probably would not have escaped a primary challenge, let alone gotten reelected,” writes Nate Silver of the New York Times. Heller has a strong favorability rating and should be a slight favorite in the general election. Of course, there might still be a primary—Sharron Angle’s still out there—but “many Republicans expressed buyer’s remorse after nominating Ms. Angle in 2010, so electability is liable to be the order of the day.”