(CNN) - Sen. Joe Lieberman, the independent from Connecticut, is planning to announce Wednesday that he will not seek re-election, according to two knowledgeable Democratic sources.
The move by the former Democratic vice presidential candidate could add even more murkiness to the party's hopes of hanging on to its slim majority in the Senate in the 2012 election, especially coming on the heels of Sen. Kent Conrad's, D-North Dakota, that he will not seek re-election at the end of this term.
North Dakota's other Senate seat fell into Republican hands in the midterm election after Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan announced his retirement. Rep. Earl Pomeroy, Democrat-North Dakota, meanwhile, lost the state's only at-large House seat in November, so Conrad's seat will be in major jeopardy.
While Lieberman is an independent he has aligned himself with the Democratic leadership for organizational purposes, helping to boost the Democratic majority on issues like health reform. But he has also frustrated party leaders on other big issues, leading one Democratic source to say privately that it's a "sigh of relief" for Democrats if Lieberman does step aside because the party would have a chance to elect someone who sides with them more often.
The race for his seat is wide open. Earlier on Tuesday former Connecticut secretary of state Susan Bysiewicz announced that she is planning to get into the 2012 Democratic primary for Lieberman's seat regardless of what the incumbent does. Reps. Chris Murphy and Joe Courtney are also considering Senate bids, while various Republicans are mulling their options.
A Lieberman aide stressed that the Senator made his own decision some time ago and it was not influenced by Bysiewicz's announcement Tuesday or any other maneuvering.
Lieberman, whose poll numbers have dipped mightily in Connecticut, is scheduled to officially announce his decision on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. ET at the Marriott Hotel in Stamford, Conn.
"After many thoughtful conversations with family and friends over the last several months, Sen. Lieberman made a decision about his future over the holidays which he plans to announce on Wednesday," said Lieberman spokeswoman Erika Masonhall.
Lieberman won a fourth term in 2006 as an independent after losing the Democratic primary to Ned Lamont. After his re-election he still caucused with Democrats in the Senate, helping to boost their majority.
–CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash contributed to this report.
Thank God this useless piece of driftwood is exiting. Hope returns. That is my opinion.
great! we'll finally be rid of him
thank the Lord we will be spared another term of this ego-maniac.
Great. Now he can openly go do what he does best. Lobby for and look after the interests of the Israeli government.
stash all the junk underneath mattress... o.k, we need young blood...not old junk with crooked thinking...like this idiot...nation will never lose any thing nor a dime...o.k...good for the nation...we need to ban all earmarks, senate term limits, and congress term limits....pass and talk...
good riddance, benedict arnold – this idiot actually tried to get sarah palin a heartbeat away from the presidency; that's total lunacy!
Any knowledge on the republicans that might run?
whether republican or democrat, no one likes this kind of turn coat.
The rats are leaving the sinking ship.
Conrad is no loss for the Dems as he's one in name only anyway. Lieberman is no loss for anybody. These two Senators are also directly responsible for the watering down of the Healthcare bill, blocking both the public option and Medicare for 55 or over – they cared more about the insurance industry than about American lives – so good riddance to both!
I dont think he will be missed to much. He lost my support when he said he would vote against the public option.
In other words he knows Connecticut voters will remember that he lied to them about the Iraq war. They are also sick of sponsoring the Senator from Israel, while Connecticut goes down the tubes.
Time for this guy to get a real job.
What about Michael Bloomberg running as an Independent taking Senator Lieberman's place (Connecticut)? We know the Presendential race is out, but Mr. Bloomberg is very interested in continuing his legacy and this might be in his vision. Senator Clinton ran in New York and there is no reason Mr. Bloomberg couldn't run in Connecticut.
We should fire all DEMS & PUBS and have a independent congress that takes all views in consideration for the best of what AMERICA NEEDS. We have too much bickering between the two and then we all lose.
Lieberman is a sellout...total sellout...only cares about 1 thing - himself
anyone in CT need a job?
Best news I have heard today. Purple is such a dire color. Blue and red are not murky.
Maybe he'll run for President of Israel. After all, he's been serving Israel his entire career.
What? Another Democrat (aka In depend ent) out in the upcoming election. Do you think they have realized that the Liberal Progressives have subverted their party to Socialism lite and they can't stomach the thought of such political subterfuge? Or maybe they just don't want anymore of Obama's Chicago style politics....take your pick, they both suck. Don't worry CNN, you guys can spin it till your heads fall off, I know of at least 25 million Americans that will not be voting for this clown.
Joe – I know you're not staying in Washington but must you come to ct?
An independent ct voter and one of your avid supporters when you were a rational man.
So long, Prince of the Turncoats!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! You can't leave soon enough!
He's not running again because he knows he will be defeated. His support of the patriot act and his war on Wikileaks is nothing short of Nazism.
He's too young to resign. This is an exceedingly intelligent and reasonable man. Furthermore I have never seen him be anything but civil. In these times of unreasonable and strident bickering, we need him. It's a loss.