The seven-termer is leaving the "greatest professional honor of [his] life," and leaving a "toss-up" race in his wake with high hopes for a GOP pick-up:

The Arkansas Democrat is the 11th member of his party to announce he will not seek re-election this November. House Republicans are dealing with 14 retirements so far, but more Democrats in competitive seats are vacating the House.

The news comes amid a bad political week for Democrats as the national party is engaged in an effort to hold on to what was expected to be a safe Democratic seat in the Massachusetts Senate race.

Former U.S. Attorney Tim Griffin, the likely Republican candidate, was leading Snyder in polls.

A Netroots-forced retirement?

The question, raised by Nate Silver and others: Is Firedoglake trying to scare vulnerable Democrats into retirement in order to kill health care reform? All indications point to “yes.” I’m hearing that FDL will conduct more polls in vulnerable Democratic districts, based largely on this chart of the “top 20 Democrats who could lose their seat over health care vote[s]. Snyder was at the top of that list, posted by FDL’s Jane Hamsher on Jan. 6. (One irony: Snyder is a fairly progressive member of Congress, and not a member of the Blue Dogs.)

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