Shaking up 2012: US senators who aren't running for reelection

With the 2012 campaigns not far off, the departures of these incumbents are shaking things up. Here's how.

5. Jeff Bingaman (D) of New Mexico

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    Sen. Jeff Bingaman, talks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington in Dec. 2010. Democratic officials say Bingaman intends to retire next year rather than seek a new term.
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Senator Bingaman, chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, was elected to the Senate in 1982.

"It is not easy to get elected to the Senate, and it is not easy to decide to leave the Senate," he said in a Feb. 18 statement announcing he will retire in 2012 rather than run for reelection.

Although President Obama easily won New Mexico's electoral votes in the 2008 election, voters in 2010 chose a Republican, Susana Martinez, for governor. It may be an indication that New Mexicans might elect a Republican to the US Senate for the first time since 2002.

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