Dem leader ducks question on whether Sen. Kohl will retire

The Democratic leader tasked with retaining the party's majority in the Senate refused to answer a question about the potential retirement of Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.).

Asked on Tuesday if she has talked to Kohl about whether he will run for reelection, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (Wash.) would only say, "Herb's just great."

Political operatives on both sides of the aisle are watching Kohl's every move, especially after five other Democrats have announced they will not run for reelection next year.

Murray and other Democratic leaders have been urging Democratic senators to make up their minds early this cycle about their political futures. Republicans will be playing offense in 2012, having to only defend 10 seats while Democrats will be looking to save 23.

There has been some chatter that Kohl, 76, will not seek a fifth term.

The wealthy Kohl, who owns the Milwaukee Bucks NBA franchise, loaned his campaign account $1 million at the start of the year. That move was seen as a good sign for Democrats, but he's since remained quiet about his intentions. 
 
If Kohl doesn't seek reelection in 2012, it's possible that former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) will make a bid. Feingold has remained politically active since his defeat to Republican Sen. Ron Johnson in November.