NPR logo Sen. Patty Murray To Lead Democratic Senate 2012 Campaigns

Sen. Patty Murray To Lead Democratic Senate 2012 Campaigns

Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA.) with Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid of Nev., Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2010. Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Photo hide caption

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Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Photo

After eking out a victory in a very tough re-election race in Washington State, Democrat Sen. Patty Murray has decided to lead her party's effort to hang on to its Senate majority after the 2012 election.

According to news reports, Murray has accepted the chairmanship of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, succeeding New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez.

It's a position that other Democrats declined as a Mission Impossible, viewed by some as a no-win post, pun intended.

That's because Senate Democrats will be confronted with the daunting task in 2012 of defending 23 seats versus the nine seats Republicans will have to defend.

Of course, two years is a long time in politics. So as bad as the situation looks now for Democrats, it could look significantly better closer to Election Day 2012. Or worse, for that matter.

Murray knows the job, having held it before in 2002.