By Mark Memmott

Saying that "every important journey in life begins and ends at home," Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut just told voters in his state that he will not be a candidate for re-election in November. (Word of his decision had surfaced already.)

"I'm very aware of my present political standing," Dodd added, referring to polls that have shown his popularity in decline. But he said that did not factor into his decision and that there's no way of telling what might have happened if he did seek a sixth term.

Looking for a rundown on the 35 Senate seats up for grabs this year? The Cook Political Report has a chart here.

Update at 12:15 p.m. ET: Flashing a bit of wit, Dodd said there's "nothing more pathetic" than a politician who says he's leaving politics to spend more time with his family. The senator, who has two young children, said spending more time with his wife and kids was "not the reason for my decision," but will be one of the benefits.

For analysis of what this means, check NPR's Political Junkie blog.

categories: Politics

12:10 - January 6, 2010