(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.
About time now we can play all the video games we want without lip.
Don't let the door hit you on the way out! It will be nice to get rid of that turncoat.
its about time this schmuck steps down.
Farewell to a sad shyster that couldn't even carry Miami back in 2004. The GOP and big business looses a bought and paid for friend. Good riddance!
Good Riddance! May the door hit him hard on his head on his way out.
HURRAY!!! We don't want him or need him to caucus with the Democrats. He's a sell-out game player. Good riddance!
THis is good news.
Oh boy trade in one establishment crook for another who will more effectively rubber stamp the democrats anti-freedom constitution denier agenda. Connecticut like my home state of Illinois will have a rude awakening for blindly continuing on the liberal spending spree to bankruptcy. I'm glad i do not depend on government for anything because they aren't going to be able to continue the handouts much longer. Either prepare or continue to deny America, your choice. Don't come crying to those who did when you are screwed though!
As a Connecticut resident I would just like to say "good riddance" and have a happy retirement
Good Riddance! Another politician on Israel's payroll...
He no longer even cares about Connecticut – so no big loss.
I have to give credit to the Senator, he wasn't just a Democrat puppet or follower. Although I disagree with the liberal policies, he followed his own beliefs and did what he thought was best.
Lieberman leaving will mean the Democrats will get a bigger majority. I don't think it's likely Connecticut goes Republican.
Hooray! Judas won't be missed, the traitor he became. Come on CT, get someone worth while to take his place, especially one not in bed with the lobbyists!!
Good riddance, one less traitor to the Liberal cause to be concerned about.
Good Riddance and dont let the door knob ht ya!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hey Joe, don't let the door hit you in the butt on your way out! The democrats won't miss you, but the Republicans and Israeli's will. If not for you, we might have gotten the public option in the health care bill as well as other things.
I for one would like to see a Democratic Senator from Connecticut.
Liberals happy. I am not. Election for Dodd's seat gave us 2 distasteful characters. The purported candidates for this race even more so. What exactly is so wrong with being a moderate these days and actually standing on principle? Sigh. I, for one, will miss Sen. Lieberman.
Well, duh, Good riddance. I want a politician who takes a stand. Even if you're a centrist, you can't please all the people all the time. At least we know where he stood, well, no we don't! And I never did, really.
This is the BEST news I've heard in a long time. Go home, TURNCOAT!
Good riddance! After his support for the Iraq war, there was no reason for him to be in power.
I am glad he had decided to hang it up. He is and had been part of the problem in DC. All about what can I do for myself vs what is best for the country.
One positive step towards American independance from the Zionist Israelis who have led this country towards destruction..
As a former republican and now a Democrat I could care less about Lieberman who sometimes forget his past service to the Democratic Party to spout out right wing ideas and leave his roots in politics for the fame and publicity he wanted!